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

Rwanda: Parks and People

Snapshots from Elham Shabahat's travels through Rwanda’s national parks to uncover the impact of conservation, climate change, and development on wildlife and local communities.

Malawi: Toxic Cooking Smoke Silently Kills

In Malawi, women smoke themselves to death—yet only 0.4 percent of women in the country puff cigarettes. Cooking smoke poses a serious public health threat to the country’s female population.

Gallagher Presents Images from "Desertification in China" at Climate Institute in Washington

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, in association with the Climate Institute, presents:

Heat of the Moment: Desertification in China

Beijing-based photojournalist Sean Gallagher presents images from his travels on the "desertification train" across China.

Followed by a Q & A and discussion on climate change policy, moderated by policy analyst Zhimin Mao

Friday, October 30
10:00 a.m. - Noon

The Heinz Center
900 17th St. NW, Suite 700
(17th and "Eye" Streets NW)

Seating limited. RSVP requested

Gallagher's Presentation at American University Reviewed by School of Communication

Sean Gallagher's Oct. 29 visit to American University, where he presented images from "Desertification in China," is reviewed on the School of Communications website (see link below). According to Bill Gentile, whose classes Sean visited, "It was great to get Sean in to speak with the students...it gives them encouragement to see a successful photojournalist still very young and out of school."

Gallagher's Presentation at Kent State Featured on KentNewsNet.com

Sean Gallagher visited classes and spoke at Kent State University in Akron, Ohio, on Oct. 26. He discussed his experience in international multimedia journalism, including his climate change project, Desertification in China.KentNewsNet.com covered Sean's speaking event and quoted Barbara Hipsman, associate professor for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as saying, "We wanted him to focus on passion and how you can go anywhere and do what you want to do. And that's exactly what he did."

Climate Change in Bangladesh: Rising sea levels threaten low-lying lands

A key feature of the Pulitzer Center's upcoming web portal on climate change is Daniel Grossman's reporting from Bangladesh on how rising sea levels threaten this South Asian country.

Yesterday Grossman had a piece run on PRI's The World, looking at the ways in which Bangladesh is experimenting with protecting itself. Among the experiments -- using floods to prevent floods.

See the piece as it ran at www.theworld.org

China's Growing Sands Featured by duckrabbit

Sean Gallagher won Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey's first Emerging Photographer Fund in 2008, and used the prize to travel to China to photograph the devastating effects of desertification on the most populous country on earth. Since then he has also received grant money to continue his work from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Recently he even managed to slip into North Korea, disguised as a tourist.

I've been following Sean's progress through his many blogs – his own, one on Resolve and one for the Pulitzer Centre.