Environment

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

They’re tiny, they’re toxic, they’re everywhere. Cigarette butts are a huge source of pollution in Spain and lawmakers have said, enough. They're ordering cigarette makers to pay for the cleanup, but smokers worry they’ll end up footing the bill.

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

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?

The world kept warming in 2022. Is the 1.5-degree Celsius target within reach?
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
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
A CH-47F Chinook helicopter sits nestled in the Alaska Range to offload National Park Service equipment, supplies and personnel on Kahiltna Glacier April 27, 2022. 

Arctic alternatives: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into 21st-century US policy on the Arctic, with a focus on the language used to shape these policies.

Arctic alternatives: Part I
Antonio Lopez makes markings in the sand to show what sea turtle tracks look like.

From the desert to the sea, CRRIFS cares for and protects San Carlos wildlife

CRRIFS, a wildlife rescue in San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas, Mexico, helps protect sea turtles and other animals facing threats from human activity. Many volunteers make their work possible.

From the desert to the sea, CRRIFS cares for and protects San Carlos wildlife
a mom and son

Barcelona’s children find safety in numbers as they bike to school in herds 

Across Spain's Barcelona province children are getting to school in organized convoys of bikes, dubbed "bicibus," or  bicycle-bus. As with traditional bus lines, each bicibus route has stops where other cycling students can join along the way. Parents, teachers and other volunteer adults ride, too, to ensure the kids’ safety.  

Barcelona’s children find safety in numbers as they bike to school in herds 
man and woman side by side

Residents of informal settlements among the most at risk from climate change 

In Karachi, Pakistan, a tragedy this past summer highlighted those risks. 

Residents of informal settlements among the most at risk from climate change