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 Climate Generation

For many youth, a warming world is more than an abstract threat. Within the lifetimes of today's young adults and children, climate change could lead to food shortages, changing coastlines and catastrophic storms. An October 2009 Pew Research Poll found that young Americans are more likely than any other age group to view climate change as "a very serious problem." About 2,000 young people voiced those concerns at the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen, where world leaders tried – and failed – to agree on a treaty to curb heat-trapping gases.

Fishing story: Four Friends in Ecuador's Rain Forest

Tiputini Research Site, Ecuador--Do the world's tribes enjoy any pastimes in common? Probably not. But one lazy afternoon, four guys raised far from one another delighted in a mutual passion in the forest of the Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador, giving renewed hope of cross cultural harmony.

Bolivian Climate Summit Produces Final Report

The land occupied by the country of Bolivia has been inhabited continuously for more than 2,000 years. Perhaps due to the long perspective of time such ancient roots engender, Bolivians often view times marked on calendars or in the programs of meetings as advisory not mandatory. Yesterday, in Tiquipaya, a small town on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia, a small crowd waited to gawk at Bolivian president Evo Morales. They chatted amiably as ten o'clock went by and the president had not appeared.

Bolivia: The Planet or Death?

Capitalism. This was the most widely used word at the conference. Then came the phrase climate change, of course; the environment, and mother earth—or Pachamama, as it's known throughout the Andes.

Bolivia: A Difficult Climate Deal

It's 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, the first day of the climate change conference in Bolivia, and for the last hour the participants in a panel discussion have been arguing about the definition of a forest.

Kenya: Sanitation in the Slums

On Wednesday, April 14, PBS NewsHour aired Fred de Sam Lazaro's latest story from Kenya: a report on social entrepreneur and Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz. She's developed a new idea called "patient capital", that is funding innovative approaches in tackling some of the worlds most entrenched social problems. Also, a look at one man's vision for cleaner and greener public toilets in Kenya. It's part one of a two part series.