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

How Cape Town Defeated Day Zero—for Now

Reporting from Cape Town, South Africa, Jacqueline Flynn explores the reality of living with Level 6 water restrictions and the little changes that made the biggest difference for Capetonians during the water crisis.

Cape Town Water Crisis: A Timeline

What were the first signs of a looming water crisis in Cape Town? What restrictions were placed on residents? And how did Capetonians reduce their water consumption?

Cape Town: Signs of the Water Crisis

For months, street corners, buildings, and bathroom mirrors served as constant reminders for Capetonians of the looming threat of the water crisis and suggested new ways to save water.

Pulitzer Center Projects Receive Knight-Batten Honors

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting projects received an Honorable Mention and two Notable Entries in the annual Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism.

The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism spotlight news and information providers who offer more than multimedia journalism. The awards honor novel efforts that seize and create opportunities to involve citizens in public issues and supply entry points that invite their participation or spark their imagination.

Common Language Team presents at Americans for Informed Democracy's Global Scholar Program

On July 10th, The Common Language team presented their reporting on the growing water crisis in Ethiopia and Kenya to Americans for Informed Democracy's Global Scholar Program. The course seeks to give students a historical overview of international affairs and a background on the most important international institutions. It takes an in-depth look at globalization and the U.S. role in our increasingly globalized world.

Round Two: Winning Essays

In May 2008, the Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its second round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Find the winning essays here.