Welcome to our hellscape summer

The big picture: The deadly heat waves, which are ongoing in portions of the Northwest and Canada, constitute a public health crisis. This is partly because they're hitting a region where air conditioning is uncommon.

The heat waves — along with overly thirsty California crops, and electric rail systems that cease operations at high temperatures, and highways that have buckled in the heat — demonstrate the limitations of our current infrastructure.

Everything from our roads and bridges to our buildings, mass transit and water treatment facilities were built for a climate that no longer exists.

By the numbers: Some of the temperature records set during the past week have shaken even climate scientists, despite the projections of exactly these outcomes in study after study.