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

The Crisis: Civil War in Papua New Guinea

Last night I was on edge.

It wasn't just the "ambassador." Much of what I'd read about Bougainville before arriving painted a picture of a troubled and unstable country. Ten years of fighting for autonomy from Papua New Guinea and a brutal civil war ravaged the country in the 80s and 90s.

The "crisis" as the locals call it started in 1989 when villagers in the south protested against Rio Tinto, an international mining company that destroyed a mountainside of pristine rainforest to build one of the largest copper mines in the world.

Carteret Islands: Five Flights and Three Days Later

The Carteret Islands are some of the most remote islands in the South Pacific. Three days after leaving New York City and five flights later, we arrived in Buka at the tip of Bougainville, where we plan to catch a boat to the Carterets to document how climate change is impacting this low-lying atoll.

Water Wars Portal Featured on Foreign Exchange

The Water Wars portal is highlighted in a special edition of Foreign Exchange devoted entirely to global water issues. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Pulitzer Center journalist Alex Stonehill and draws on the portal to share video reports and student perspectives. Rose George, author of The Big Necessity also joins the program to discuss the critical issue of sanitation.

Kibera: Not a Drop to Drink

In Kibera, a massive slum of rusty tin roofs and makeshift homes spreading out from the southwest of the city, the rain is turning the twisting dirt roads and alleyways to thick red mud.

Here in one of largest slums in the world--a flashpoint for violence stemming from Kenya's parliamentary elections in December--the rain is causing open sewers to swell and uncollected garbage to rush in rivers of tattered plastic and human waste through backyards.

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.