Issue

Environment and Climate Change

Earth's average temperature has risen approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. By the end of this century, it will be several degrees higher, according to the latest climate research.

But global warming is doing more than simply making things a little warmer. It's changing rainfall, causing heat waves, and making sea level rise, all of which create human suffering.

Environment and Climate Change brings together reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees on the abilities of communities in diverse regions to bounce back and adapt to the impacts of climate change: One highlight includes in-depth reporting by Nathaniel Rich on the response to global warming during the 1979-1989 decade—an article that takes up the entire issue of The New York Times Magazine. Our journalists investigate climate change in the Arctic—the effects on indigenous communities, the destruction of the fragile natural environment, and the conflict between humans and polar bears. One interactive, award-winning multimedia project, "Sea Change," looks at ocean acidification, its impact on fishing, people's livelihoods, and food security. The documentary "Easy Like Water" features a solar-powered school boat in Bangladesh, where flooding may create 20 million "climate refugees" by mid-century.

Other stories covered here range from the future of the residents of Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the Pacific, to the biological diversity of the rainforest in Peru, and the psychological effects of climate change on the inhabitants of Australia and Fiji. How does the melting Arctic ice cap affect our lives? How do overfishing and exploitation of mineral resources beneath the ocean’s surface jeopardize food sources need to sustain the planet’s ever-expanding population?

As part of the Pulitzer Center's long-term support for climate change reporting, the Rainforest Journalism Fund was established to provide capacity for local journalists operating in the rainforest regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as international journalists reporting from those regions. The Fund represents a major investment in global environmental and climate reporting, with plans to support nearly 200 original reporting projects along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global rainforest issues such as deforestation and climate change.

 

Environment and Climate Change

Clean Water for Kenya

In Kibera, a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, clean water is too scarce. But a new technology that takes just a plastic bottle and six hours in the sun is helping reduce sickness and diarrhea in the community, and in other developing countries around the world.

Water First: Fighting Thirst in Ethiopia

The water in our house has been turned off for days and my back is absolutely killing me. I've been squirming around on our dirty couches all evening, desperately seeking a position that doesn't hurt. My spine feels permanently compacted and I'm convinced in my self-pity that I can actually feel the vertebrae rubbing against each other.

UV Rays to the Rescue

ON A FRAYED MAT ON ONE of the dusty streets of Kibera — Africa's largest slums — in Nairobi, Sophia Mohamed sells her wares: two mangoes, five oranges, a half-dozen calcium-based chewing stones and a pan brimming with bhajia (a potato snack).

Living by Ethiopia's Sewage Canal

In a small shack made of iron sheets and pieces of clothing in the slums of Addis Ababa live the Alemu family - Abiy, Marasit Bishaw, and the couple's three-year-old son and 25-day-old baby daughter Yanit.

And just a few metres from their one-room home is a mass of sewage and garbage, mixed with the carcasses of dead chickens and cow and goat skulls.

The Alemus live near the gully where the Kabena river used to meander gracefully through the Ethiopian capital.

But the river is now full of the city's waste, and a stench of sewage is the first thing that hits.

The Business of Water in an East African Shanty Town

As day breaks over the rusty tin roofs and makeshift homes of the sprawling Kibera slum in Nairobi, the water sellers are already at their water tanks, waiting for their first customers.

Selling water in one of the world's largest slums is a good business. On most days the vendors charge 5 cents for five gallons, 100 times the cost of piped water provided by the city. But the city does not send water to the residents of Kibera--at any price.