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

Cracking Down on Climate Migrants

Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Bahamas, deprived of legal pathways to migrate, face human rights violations, evictions and worse.

Waste in Georgia

Rising seas pose a serious threat to septic and sewer systems, putting our water at risk of contamination. This project looks at the risks and possible solutions for these problems in Coastal Georgia.

Congo's Illegal Timber

In the depths of the second-largest rainforest on the planet, an Indigenous community is waging a fight against industrial giants that are destroying their ancestral forest.

Changing Minds on Climate Science

A look at how attitudes toward climate science among coastal North Carolina residents and decision makers have evolved during the past decade as the signs of change have become increasingly visible.

A Deadly Shade of Green

Canada wants to supply New England with cheap, "clean" hydropower. But the region's mega-dams carry hidden costs to Inuit culture, the environment, and even the climate.

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.