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Climate Change and Drought

‘Every Day You Become More Desperate’

José Ramón Campos López, a 40-year-old farmer from San Carlos Lempa, El Salvador, stares out at his two acres of land. It’s August, harvest time. The field should be full of tall, vibrant corn stalks. Instead, it’s full of weeds, but for a small patch of corn on the edge …

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Can farming save Puerto Rico’s future?

Our climate is changing, and our approaches to activism and politics have to change with it. That’s why FERN, in partnership with The Nation,  is launching Taking Heat, a series of dispatches from the front lines of the climate justice movement by journalist Audrea Lim. Lim will explore the ways the communities …

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Syrian seeds and the future of wheat

When a team of researchers set loose a buzzing horde of Hessian flies on 20,000 seedlings in a Kansas greenhouse, they made a discovery that continues to ripple from midwestern wheat fields to the rolling hills that surround the battered Syrian city of Aleppo. The seeds, once stored in a …

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A slow-motion catastrophe threatens 350-year-old farms

On the lower eastern shore of Maryland, the stately Almodington plantation overlooks the Manokin River as it drains into the Chesapeake Bay. First surveyed in 1663, the expansive farm sits a few miles from Princess Anne, a town named for the daughter of King George II. For 350 years, this …

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An unlikely climate crusade in Trump country

It was a quarter after eight on a steamy August morning when Rachel Grantham rumbled up in a big black pickup truck. The 26-year-old, six-foot-three agronomist sported a pink top, a purple miniskirt, camouflage muck boots and a single blonde braid draped over one shoulder. I hoisted myself into the cab …

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Uprooting FDR’s ‘Great Wall of Trees’

Surely the end was nigh. Up and down the Great Plains, from the Texas panhandle to the Dakota prairies, dust stripped the paint from their barns, the wheat from their fields, the money — what pitiful amount was left — from their pockets. “Today is just common hell, death and …

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