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December 2016

Resettling China's 'Ecological Migrants'

MIAOMIAO LAKE VILLAGE, China — Ankle-deep sand blocked the door of their new home. Pushing bicycles through the yard was like wading in a bog. The “lake” part of Miaomiao Lake Village turned out to be nothing but a tiny oasis more than a mile from the cookie-cutter rows of...

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Living in China's Expanding Deserts

In the Tengger Desert, China — This desert, called the Tengger, lies on the southern edge of the massive Gobi Desert, not far from major cities like Beijing. The Tengger is growing. For years, China’s deserts spread at an annual rate of more than 1,300 square miles. Many villages have...

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A Remote Pacific Nation Threatened by Rising Seas

TARAWA, Kiribati — One clear bright day last winter, a tidal surge swept over an ocean embankment here in the remote, low-lying island country of Kiribati, smashing through the doors and windows of Betio Hospital and spewing sand and debris across its maternity ward. Beero Hosea, 37, a handyman, cut...

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Resettling the First American 'Climate Refugees'

ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, La. — Each morning at 3:30, when Joann Bourg leaves the mildewed and rusted house that her parents built on her grandfather’s property, she worries that the bridge connecting this spit of waterlogged land to Louisiana’s terra firma will again be flooded and she will miss...

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Africa - 'Road on Fire'

AGADEZ, Niger — The world dismisses them as economic migrants. The law treats them as criminals who show up at a nation’s borders uninvited. Prayers alone protect them on the journey across the merciless Sahara. But peel back the layers of their stories and you find a complex bundle of...

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Why Coal Plant Closings Will Continue

The appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that President-elect Trump is dead serious about his campaign promises to rein in environmental regulations and revive the coal industry. Pruitt is a vocal critic of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks...

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They Lost Their Jungle to Plantations, But These Indigenous Women Grew It Back

“We planted dates, mangoes, jackfruit, tamarind, jaamkoli [a berry],” says Balo Shikoka, a Khalpadar villager. Forest officials notified the police, who soon came to arrest the villagers. “We said, Fine, we will go to prison for this. But you will have to take all of us—women, children, elders, everyone. We...

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If Jackfruit is the answer, what is the question?

PAITAMKUNNU, India—The rustle of dehydrated jackfruit chips echoed through Shaji Elanjimattom’s warehouse in Paitamkunnu, a village in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountain range in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Women dressed in maxi dresses and flowing saris were busily putting the finishing touches on jackfruit products for...

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