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

Two Lives of Fire Giant (bahasa Indonesia)

Journalists and civil society organizations from different countries came together to uncover the alleged involvement of corporations in Indonesia’s 2019 fire season.

Feeling the Heat

There is concern that a number of articles in the job creation bill may weaken environmental law enforcement. The bill poses a new threat to forests and peatlands.

The Jersey Shore, A Century After Sandy

Dr. Stewart Farrell and other coastal scientists have been warning that much of the iconic Jersey Shore will be erased by sea-level rise and storms over the next century. But is anyone listening?

Cambodia Burning

In the heart of South East Asia, fires and chainsaws are clearing Cambodia’s last fragments of forest. Logging, agriculture, and rubber plantations are pushing forests to the edge of existence.

Kolkata: Delta Megacity Under Threat

Rising seas threaten the future of Kolkata, a coastal city of five million in the Indian state of West Bengal. But what humans do on land may be increasing the region’s climate risk.

How the Global Recycling System Collapsed

Vivienne Walt and Sebastian Meyer reported from the U.S. and Malaysia in their investigation of the failure of global plastics recycling.

All the Flames of the Forest: The Complex Reality of Amazonian Fires Explained

From arson caused by large loggers to the use of fire for subsistence in traditional communities, a journalistic investigation differentiates the types of fires in the Amazon rainforest.

Meet the Journalist: Bukola Adebayo

Bukola Adebayo discusses the environmental impact of sand dredging along Lagos coastlines, the socio-economic challenges, and the relationship to violations of land and property rights.

Meet the Journalist: Kai Schultz

Kai Schultz reports from the Maldives on its transition to democracy, the misappropriation of tourist taxes, safety at resorts, and the growing fear of Islamic radicalization.

Meet the Journalist: Fred Pearce

200 environmental and human rights activists are assassinated each year, according to Global Witness. Fred Pearce investigates the headline-grabbing slayings of three of these activists.

Exploring Other Countries

In this lesson, students use the Pulitzer Center website to research a specific country before giving an oral presentation.