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TOPIC: climate change

Society

In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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Eyes On U.S. – American Diplomacy Is Unable (Or Unwilling) To Adapt To A New World

Crises worldwide mean we need less nationalism and more cooperation, but the U.S., a weakened superpower, won't accept its diminished status.

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — There is widespread international consensus that the post-Cold War period, which began around 1990, is over. Initially, it heralded a "new order" under the guidance of the United States, which promised stability, justice and equity but became instead a run of crises, challenges, conflicts and failures.

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Davos, The Slow Melt Into Irrelevance

The Davos Forum was once a true shaper of our collective future in a globalized world. Today it is beyond its expiry date, even if global solutions to global problems are needed more than ever.

-Analysis-

PARIS — For almost three decades now, perched in the Swiss Alps, has been the sunny face of a globalization that works.

It was the place, in the 1990s, where I understood for the first time the impact of the digital revolution. Davos was a place where one could meet Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk or Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, up close, and far away from South Africa or the Middle East.

It was also there that the new democracies of Eastern Europe took their first steps into the free-market economy and where emerging countries could be paired up with international investors.

This era, we must say, is now truly over. The dream-like world of Davos, the world of the free flow of goods and capital, the world of globally integrated supply chains, and technology designed for the common good, has run into perils it did not or could not predict.

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Russia Blames Attack On Phones, U.S. House In Limbo, 25 °C In Bilbao

👋 ሰላም*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Moscow blames its soldiers for using illegal phones that allowed Ukraine to locate them and kill scores in Makiivka, in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. House of Representatives fails to elect a leader for the first time in a century, and heat records are smashed across Europe. Meanwhile, Russian-language independent website Vazhnyye Istorii looks at the dangerous rise of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the infamous Wagner paramilitary group.

[*Selam - Amharic, Ethiopia]

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Sources

This Happened—January 3: Greta Thunberg Is Born

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is born on this day.

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Society
Burcin Ikiz

Climate Change Is Bad For Your Brain

Scientists need to learn more about climate change’s negative impact on the nervous system in order to mitigate it.

Climate change is the biggest global health threat facing us today. According to the Lancet Countdown's 2022 report that came out in October, the climate crisis is “undermining every dimension of global health monitored." Its effects include direct impacts, such as extreme weather events and sea-level rise, as well as indirect ones, like increased food insecurity, forced migrations, the spread of infectious diseases, and heat-related illnesses.

But one piece of information missing in most health reports, as well as in many climate change studies and international conferences, such as COP27, is how it affects — and will affect — our brains.

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This Happened

This Happened—December 26: The Mother Of All Tsunamis

In 2004, a 9.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, triggering a tsunami and series of tidal waves that became one of worst natural disasters in recorded history

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Economy
Luíza Lanza and Daniel Tozzi Mendes

Cracking Food Prices, On The Front Line Of Brazil's Egg Rush

With the price of meat on the rise, Brazilians have turned to eggs. The country is now producing 55 billion eggs a year, presenting challenges for farmers and raising questions of animal welfare. And in Brazil's "Egg Capital", the climate crisis is complicating matters further.

CURITIBA — "After the 15th, it's almost impossible to eat meat," says salesperson Cristina Souza Brito, as she leaves a supermarket in Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná in southern Brazil.

“Chicken or beef is only available when the salary comes at the beginning of the month," she adds. "Then we get by with omelettes, fried or boiled eggs."

Since the beginning of 2021, this has been the routine in the house where she lives with her daughter, a niece and two siblings. Brazilians might be replacing meat with eggs because of their budgets: meat has increased in price above inflation and, in April 2022, it cost 42.6% more than in early 2020, according to the Institute of Applied Economic Research.

The group Food for Justice pointed out that at the end of 2020, eggs had been the food that Brazilians had been consuming more of (+18.8%), and meat recorded the biggest drop (-44%), which reinforces the idea of substitution between the two foods.

Health and economic crisis aside, Brazilians have never eaten as many eggs as they do now. Egg consumption in the country has more than doubled in the last 15 years, rising from the annual mark of 120 eggs per capita in 2007 to 257 in 2021, according to figures from the Brazilian Animal Protein Association. The current level of eggs consumed by each Brazilian over the course of a year is higher than the world average, which is 227.

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eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

Eyes On U.S. — When African Leaders Go To Washington, China Is In The Room

-Analysis-

Some 100 of the most important political eyes in Africa aren’t turned towards the U.S. this week — they’re in the U.S. For the first time in eight years, the White House is hosting 49 African heads of state and leaders of government (and the Senegalese head of the African Union) for a U.S.-Africa summit. Not invited: any nation that has recently undergone a military putsch, or otherwise not in good standing with the African Union, like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.

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This Happened

This Happened—December 12: Paris Agreement is Signed

Often referred to as the Paris Climate Accords, the Paris Agreement is an international treaty aimed at forcing countries and companies to change their behavior to reverse climate change. It was signed on December 12, 2015 at the end of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference near the French capital.

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eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

Eyes On U.S. — How White House Climate Action Could Spark A Global Trade War

-Analysis-

When the U.S. Congress passed the Biden administration’s landmark "green" spending bill in August, environmentalists around the world saw it as a very strong — and long overdue — step in the right direction on climate change.

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Green
Mubashir Naik

Fading Flavor: Production Of Saffron Declines Sharply

Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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