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Actresses Dorothy Sebastian and Joan Crawford, 1925. Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty
From every direction, the underpinnings of everyday life are being challenged — from the jobs Americans once held, to the allies we once embraced, to the decorum we tightly observed. Now, it's the hamburger — the very-nearly patriotic staple of every childhood and backyard barbecue — that's under threat.
The big picture: The hamburger goes back to a surge of German immigrants in the 1800s. When they arrived in the U.S., they brought with them a standard cuisine — chopped meat on a plate, with gravy. In the U.S., it morphed into the Hamburg Steak, a meatball-size dollop of beef between two slices of bread.
It may seem like people are eating less and less red meat, but that impression holds only if you compare now with the hamburger's peak years. Beef-eating crashed along with the U.S. economy starting in 2008, but it has picked up fitfully year by year and is back up to the equivalent of 229 burgers a year per person, or 4.4 a week, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. It's a global phenomenon — from 2007 to 2017, the world consumed an average of 1.9% more meat each year, the Economist reports.
The somewhat jarring arrival of faux beef burgers is part of an unlikely shake-up of the country's cultural bedrock:
Environmentalists and health experts support plant-based beef. Cows, for one, produce a good deal of the country's emissions of methane greenhouse gases. But Motz, the author of "Hamburger America," feels certain that, even if faux beef is taken up by lots of Americans, they will mostly want the real thing.
Oil demand is on a trajectory to peak in the mid-2030s, and plateau through the middle of the century, Barclays analysts say in a new report.
Axios' Ben Geman reports: The report is a major new entry into attempts by forecasting bodies, consultancies and major energy companies to get their arms around how the global energy system will — and won't — transform in the decades ahead.
The big picture: The report's climate-friendly "dynamism" scenario would require circumstances to line up in a very particular way — and not just for oil — to keep temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Of note: That break with current trends would involve an array of big steps such as:
By the numbers: Getting back to the main focus of the report — oil — here's a look at where Barclays sees things heading in "development."
Overall, it sees demand just slightly higher at 105 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2050, which is just over current levels. But the uses of that oil change. Per the report:
Oil needed for jet fuel rises from 6.2 mbd to 9.2 mbd in 2050. And growth in petrochemicals nearly doubles that sector's demand to 18.6 mbd in 2050.
Striking drivers in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty
Protests against ride-hailing companies today, ahead of Uber's IPO on Friday, had massive ambitions, spanning at least 6 major U.S. cities and several countries — but Uber and Lyft seemed to plug along undisturbed.
Erica writes: The protests were not invisible. In many cities, including San Francisco and New York, drivers congregated in loud, large demonstrations against low wages and mistreatment. They formed picket lines, took to podiums and stopped traffic to send a message to the Silicon Valley giants.
But the impact was not apparent on the apps themselves. In New York, ride requests didn't take an unreasonable amount of time to be filled and fares remained steady.
The West Coast protests are making more noise.
Go deeper: Axios' Dan Primack spoke with Jos Cashon, a striking Uber and Lyft driver in Los Angeles. Listen.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Capturing what's online in China before it vanishes (Raymond Zhong — NYT)
Women's sports are having a moment (Kendall Baker — Axios)
India's water crisis (James Temple — MIT Tech Review)
Nashville wants to be the next Austin (Erik Larson — Bloomberg)
What a nearby kilonova would look like (Lisa Grossman — Science News)
Moulin Rouge in 1929. Photo: Fox/Getty
Neon signs, once a symbol of vitality — the lighting that illuminated sleepless cities — have turned, over the course of a century, into a symbol of decline.
Kaveh writes: It's been more than 100 years since the noble gas started out lighting up the streets of Paris, writes Sarah Archer for The Atlantic in a review of a newly translated 2012 book on neon lighting.
But by the 1970s, according to de Miranda, old, now-flickering neon signs began to take on a sheen of decrepitude and even disrepute.