Environment

people search through rubble

‘There were screams everywhere’: Residents of northwest Syria grapple with quake aftermath

​​​​​​​Entire neighborhoods have been leveled in northwestern Syria, where an earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday morning. This region of Syria is home to millions of people displaced by years of civil war. Even before the quake, they had been living in already dire conditions.

‘There were screams everywhere’: Residents of northwest Syria grapple with quake aftermath
Men remove debris as they search for people in a destroyed building in Adana, Turkey, Feb. 6, 2023.

After deadly quake in Turkey, rescue teams struggle to help amid frigid temps

After deadly quake in Turkey, rescue teams struggle to help amid frigid temps
Antonio Trujillo holds a cigarette while resting on a bench, in Pamplona, northern Spain

Big tobacco is forced to pay for cigarette butt pollution in Spain, but smokers may soon be on the hook

Big tobacco is forced to pay for cigarette butt pollution in Spain, but smokers may soon be on the hook
Felled trees on Karipuna territory in the Amazonian state of Rondônia.

Lula empowers Brazil's Indigenous peoples with their own ministry. But environmental protection remains a key concern.

Lula empowers Brazil's Indigenous peoples with their own ministry. But environmental protection remains a key concern.
The Belo Monte dam.

Lula vows to end illegal mining in the Amazon. But legal mining is more complicated.

Lula vows to end illegal mining in the Amazon. But legal mining is more complicated.
cows

Lula promises sustainable development for the Amazon

Brazil’s new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has promised to promote sustainable development for the Amazon — stopping deforestation while keeping agribusiness thriving. This is not an easy task.

Lula promises sustainable development for the Amazon
firefighters in a line

The world kept warming in 2022. Is the 1.5-degree Celsius target within reach?

Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is the most-repeated goal in the fight against climate change. But as each new year is among recorded history’s hottest, is it still a viable one? 

The world kept warming in 2022. Is the 1.5-degree Celsius target within reach?
China began promoting potatoes as a staple in 2015 in an effort to combat food insecurity.

How changing national diets could help fix our global food crisis

Chinese farmers plant the largest amount of potatoes in the world, and the country produces about 20% of the global potato output. But while fresh potatoes are a traditional part of the Chinese national diet, they’re viewed as a vegetable rather than as a staple, and China’s per capita consumption of potato is below the global average. In 2015, the Chinese government decided to try and change that.

How changing national diets could help fix our global food crisis
Large icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, Aug. 16, 2019.

Arctic alternatives: Part II

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Arctic Council has been on hiatus. This week's Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into the history of the council as a model of international cooperation.

Arctic alternatives: Part II
The beach at the popular tourist resort of Puerto Peñasco in the state of Sonora, Mexico, September 2018.

Mexico’s clean energy plan could run into trouble at leaders’ summit

The North American leaders will be discussing immigration and the recapture of the son of drug cartel kingpin “El Chapo.” But also high on the agenda: a dispute over energy.

Mexico’s clean energy plan could run into trouble at leaders’ summit
Faina Butau prepares sorghum for grinding.

Zimbabwe's farmers turn to drought-resistant grains as maize falters in drier regions

Zimbabwe has had to import maize, a staple food, for the past several years. Experts blame droughts and erratic rainfall resulting from climate change. The government is now urging farmers to grow more small grains like sorghum and millet, which are more drought-resistant.

Zimbabwe's farmers turn to drought-resistant grains as maize falters in drier regions
Bees look for water on an outdoor tap in Berlin, Germany during a hot spell, June 19, 2022.

Bees face many challenges — and climate change is ratcheting up the pressure

Honey bees, wild and native bees face threats from parasites, pesticides and habitat loss. Shorter winters, more extreme weather and more habitat destruction won’t help.

Bees face many challenges — and climate change is ratcheting up the pressure
grassy mountain

An unseasonably warm winter in Europe threatens ski resorts, tourism

​​​​​​​Countries across Europe are experiencing unseasonably warm weather this January, causing a headache for ski resorts and broader concern for what it might mean for the year ahead.

An unseasonably warm winter in Europe threatens ski resorts, tourism
Baker David Buelens puts the baguettes into a basket at a bakery, in Versailles, west of Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. 

A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes

Due to soaring electricity costs, bakers in France can’t afford to turn on their ovens to bake bread. They’re demanding help from the government and threatening the unthinkable — to turn off their ovens.

A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes
The hydroponic tomato plants at Ráječek Farm rely on manufactured fertilizer to grow.

War in Ukraine sparks fertilizer crisis that may impact the future of global food production

Russia is the world’s largest fertilizer producer, but fewer Russian agricultural products are entering the global market due to the war in Ukraine. It’s changing how farmers and fertilizer suppliers are thinking about agriculture.

War in Ukraine sparks fertilizer crisis that may impact the future of global food production