Stories: Environment

  • Cambodia: Care and Comfort

    Matt Ozug reports from Cambodia. Genocide trials have begun in Cambodia for the surviving leaders and officials of the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror in the 1970s. The "killing fields" of that era are what Cambodia is most known for internationally. But for years, the country has quietly held another frightening distinction: The nation with the highest AIDS rate in...

  • The Green Leap Forward

    China is on its way to becoming not only the world’s largest economy, but also its largest polluter. Of the world’s twenty most polluted cities, sixteen are in China. Ninety percent of the country’s cities have contaminated groundwater. The World Bank predicts that in the next fifteen years, China’s shortage of clean...

  • China’s Pollution Revolution

    In 2005, China was shaken by 51,000 pollution-triggered “public disturbances”—demonstrations or riots of a hundred or more people protesting the contamination of rivers and farms—according to the government’s own statistics. (The real figures are almost certainly higher.) The Ministry of Public Security has ranked pollution among the top five threats to China’s...

  • The Middle Kingdom’s Dilemma

    In January 2007, a geologist named Yong Yang set out from his home in China’s western Sichuan Province with five researchers, two sport utility vehicles, one set of clothes, and several trunks of equipment for measuring rainfall and water volume; a camping stove, a rice cooker, canned meat, and more than sixty bottles of Sichuan hot sauce; a digital...

  • As butterflies die, so goes a way of life

    Butterflies in Mexico's Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve begin their northward migration in March by alighting from the trees and making their way toward the U.S. EL ROSARIO, Mexico -- The dead butterflies came up to his ankles, an ocean of orange and black that spread as far as he could see. On a mountaintop in central Mexico, Bill Toone...

  • Coal mine mixed blessing for Indians

    Photo by Krista Kapralos Prosendo Fernandez stands in front of a mud hut fortified with plastic tarps from the mine's dump. SIERRA MAESTRA, Venezuela -- Five years ago, students at the Jesus Carrera Bolivarian elementary school dragged desks past their playground to a dusty road used by trucks laden with coal from a nearby state-owned mine. "We wanted to tell...

  • Iceland shows Alaska the ways of geothermal

    Photo by Libby Casey Nesjavellir Power Plant outside Reykjavik, Iceland. Reykjavik, ICELAND - Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks is the first place in Alaska where geothermal energy is being used for everything from heating swimming pools and greenhouses to generating electricity. Now, imagine the resort on steroids, and you've got Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. Iceland's president visited...

  • Iceland’s hydrogen revolution stalled

    Photo by Libby Casey Thorsteinn Hilmarsson works for Iceland's national power company Landsvirkjun and drives Iceland's first hydrogen car as a promotional demonstration. Hydrogen-powered vehicles play a critical role in Iceland's plan to free itself of fossil fuels by 2050. The hydrogen revolution is getting off to a rock start. Libby Casey of member station KUAC reports on the island nation's...

  • Iceland’s Geothermal University

    Photo by Libby Casey Graduating class of the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP) in Reykjavik. Iceland is a leader when it comes to tapping the energy potential of underground hot springs and steam. The United Nations wants other to learn how it's done. So it's set up a research center in Iceland for experts from developing nations to...

  • “As Go the Hippos” IRP Fellow’s story on Congo in the Atlantic Magazine

    Photo by: Delphine Schrank   On the blue-gray waters of Lake Edward, where the eastern fringe of Congo blends into Uganda, Byanmongo Matabishi, a fisherman from the Congolese village of Vitshumbi, stands on a pirogue and shakes his head. "Nothing," he says, glancing into the empty nets in the hull. "Nothing." Three days on the lake, and he has no...