Bolivia/Ecuador: Indigenous People Confront Global Warming

Scientists are certain that Earth is suffering impacts of global warming, and that these impacts will become increasingly dire. Americans, in contrast, are growing less concerned. Widespread American ignorance about and disregard for global warming undermines support both at home and abroad for action to confront the problem. This reporting project will bring greater attention to, and understanding of, the impacts of climate change.

Dan Grossman will make the diffuse effects of climate change comprehensible by highlighting people around the world at most urgent risk. The principal effect of increased carbon dioxide is warming. But higher temperatures produce a cascade of other climate impacts, like altered precipitation and winds. His reporting will include stories of the people in the places where climate models predict unambiguous harmful impacts, like reduced rainfall in places where farmers already suffer from limited water.

Dan's first expedition will be to a climate conference in Bolivia. The event will attract indigenous people from all around the world, especially from the Americas. Such people could suffer the most severe impacts of warming, and could also become victims of ill-conceived plans, such as palm oil plantations, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The next expedition will be to Yasuní National Park, in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Yasuní is among Earth's most highly biologically diverse places. Below the surface is a billion barrels of oil that, if extracted, threaten both the park and Earth's climate. The Ecuadorean government is asking the world community to compensate the country to keep the oil permanently underground. The plan is a test case of how carbon dioxide levels could be reduced by reducing the availability, and thus raising the price, of fossil fuels.

Ecuador's Oil Demons

The Deepwater Horizon accident reminds us that oil drilling is dirty business.

Ecuadorans know this fact. They’ve lived off, and with, oil for more than three decades. For many Ecuadorans, oil promised riches but delivered ruin. Along with great wealth, for a few, it stimulated political vice and the noxious excretions.

Fishing story: Four Friends in Ecuador's Rain Forest

Tiputini Research Site, Ecuador--Do the world's tribes enjoy any pastimes in common? Probably not. But one lazy afternoon, four guys raised far from one another delighted in a mutual passion in the forest of the Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador, giving renewed hope of cross cultural harmony.

Bolivian Climate Summit Produces Final Report

The land occupied by the country of Bolivia has been inhabited continuously for more than 2,000 years. Perhaps due to the long perspective of time such ancient roots engender, Bolivians often view times marked on calendars or in the programs of meetings as advisory not mandatory. Yesterday, in Tiquipaya, a small town on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia, a small crowd waited to gawk at Bolivian president Evo Morales. They chatted amiably as ten o'clock went by and the president had not appeared.

Bolivia: The Planet or Death?

Capitalism. This was the most widely used word at the conference. Then came the phrase climate change, of course; the environment, and mother earth—or Pachamama, as it's known throughout the Andes.