🌍 Too much gas

Plus: Inflation remains the beast to tame
An emaciated cow stands at the bottom of the water pan that has been dried up for 4 months in Iresteno, a bordering town with Ethiopia, on September 1, 2022.
An emaciated cow stands at the bottom of the water pan that has been dried up for 4 months in Iresteno, a bordering town with Ethiopia, on September 1, 2022.
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The UN’s weather agency said greenhouse gas emissions hit record highs in 2021. The World Meteorological Organization predicts emissions will increase by 10.6% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. Another UN report found that countries’ climate plans aren’t sufficient.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak reimposed a fracking ban. He will stand by the 2019 Tory manifesto to put a moratorium on the controversial practice, reversing his predecessor’s policy. Meanwhile, the release of the UK’s new tax and spending plan was pushed to Nov. 17.

Intel’s Mobileye went public. The self-driving tech unit debuted at $21.8 billion after cutting its $50 billion valuation target earlier this year amid turbulent market conditions.

Germany made plans to legalize recreational cannabis. A law that could take effect as early as 2024 would permit adults to buy and possess up to 30g of the substance.

The Miss Universe pageant is now owned by a woman for the first time. JKN Global Group CEO and trans celebrity Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip paid $20 million for the organization.

The former president of China Merchants Bank was arrested. Tian Huiyu, who was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party earlier this month, was accused of bribery and abuse of power.

What to watch for

After recording two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is expected to announce today that the US economy expanded during the third quarter.

Various analysts have been revising their GDP growth estimates, pointing toward a healthy, albeit momentary, rebound. Consumer spending has not dropped (yet) and employment numbers remain robust. Amid persistent inflation and increasing interest rates, a strong GDP reading might help Democrats convince voters that they can curb economic turmoil ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 8.

One of the factors contributing to GDP growth this past quarter was a shrinking trade deficit powered by a decrease in imports, as retailers adjusted their inventory levels. But in the long run, inflation remains the beast to tame. The combination of the rising cost of living and the Federal Reserve’s ongoing attempts to tackle it by hiking interest rates—thus strengthening the dollar and hurting exports—is still predicted to cause a recession.

Biodiversity is a business problem

On the heels of two damning climate change reports, businesses are in a game of tug of war on protecting biodiversity. On one side are those that want more regulation, and on the other are those actively lobbying against it.

Sweden’s IKEA and India’s Tata Steel are among 330 firms from around the globe that recently signed an open letter calling on world leaders to strengthen biodiversity rules by 2030. But there’s a long road from pledge to action—and companies aren’t great at reaching their own goals.

If you’re skeptical, you probably should be—greenwashing can be hard to spot. You can bet we’ll be watching for it at the UN’s upcoming climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Quartz reporter Tim McDonnell will be on the ground reporting, and you can get updates sent directly to your inbox with our Need to Know: COP27 pop up newsletter. Sign up today!

RIP 🪦 YouTube’s ad revenue

YouTube’s ad division saw its revenue decline for the first time since the company started separately reporting those numbers in 2019.

The video streaming service, owned by Alphabet, was the weakest link in the parent company’s earnings last quarter, too. But beyond YouTube, even core search ads are growing slower for fellow Alphabet subsidiary Google. It’s emblematic of a broader trend of falling ad revenue that’s affecting rivals across the industry.

✦ Want to dive into what else is floating in Alphabet’s soup? The next Weekend Brief will explain YouTube’s effect on the Google parent’s bottom line, as well as the Android-maker’s global antitrust snafus. Don’t miss out on the email—grab a Quartz membership at our steepest discount yet.

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Surprising discoveries

Zombies are basically keto. Paired with a wonky hypothalamus, it’s no wonder the carb-deficient undead have a brain fog problem.

Six new types of frog were found in the Ecuadorian Andes. One species was named resistencia (resistance) to honor Latin America’s environmental activists.

Each British prime minister gets a personalized podium. The speech-making accoutrement can cost anywhere from $2,300 (£2,000) to $4,600 (£4,000).

Video games could improve memory and motor skills in adolescents. Kids, print out this study if you want to bargain for some extra screen time.

Bees may be able to affect weather. Hives can electrify the air to the same degree as a thunderstorm.  

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, zombie cookbooks, and electric bees to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.