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 Defenders of Darién: Part II

Mappers, a drone pilot, a lawyer, bird-watchers, a journalist, and reforesters are carrying out ambitious projects to stop the degradation the Darien Gap tropical rainforest.

Darién Under Threat

Central America's Darién region buckles under steady deforestation as timber colonists and palm oil entrepreneurs advance across the region—bringing strife and violence to the area’s indigenous residents with them.

The Defenders of Darién

Darién’s indigenous communities are organizing to combat deforestation. Mappers, a drone pilot, and a lawyer, are working tirelessly to save a precious Panamanian and universal resource: the rainforest. 

The Big Picture: Alberta’s Oil Sands

Alberta’s oil sands region is at the heart of the KeystoneXL pipeline controversy. A project built on aerial photographs from 1,000 feet up brings into sharp focus the project's scale—and stakes.

Uganda Tries to Clean Up

Uganda has a sanitation crisis, and it will take innovative solutions to help this country suffering from its own waste, where only 30 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.

Toxic Development: The Cost of Pollution in India

Pollution in India is a hidden problem with catastrophic consequences affecting rural and urban areas. Chromium contamination, lead pollution and pesticide poisoning have left a toxic trail.

Dolphin Slaughter in Peru

A brutal and illegal practice takes place far off the coast of Peru--the secret slaughter of thousands of dolphins for use as bait in the lucrative long-line shark fisheries.

Lesson Plans: Heat of the Moment

These curricular ideas guide students to think critically about the Pulitzer Center's environmental reporting, to consider the cross-disciplinary implications of climate change, and to report on climate change themselves.

Meet Dan Grossman

Daniel Grossman is a radio and web producer, and a print journalist. In his 20 years of experience, he has reported stories from all 7 continents and has been featured on NPR, PRI, BBC, New York Times, The Boston Globe and many other world renown news outlets.
 

Lesson Plans: Water Wars

With this lesson plan, students explore Pulitzer Center reporting on water shortage and access in East Africa and gain perspective by participating in related activities.