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Welcome to the first issue of 2016, our 45th anniversary year. This issue, Faith, was conceived early in 2015 with an eye towards helping environmentally minded Canadians sustain their own hope and faith despite the myriad of challenges that we face as we tackle the impacts of climate change. 

Much has changed since we started developing this issue with our wonderful theme editor, Professor Stephen Scharper. The “sunny ways” that powered Justin Trudeau to the Prime Minister’s office are clearly evocative of the power of hope to enable and empower positive change. Additionally the Paris Agreement, flowing out of the emotional roller-coaster that was COP21, demonstrates that our faith in finding positive solutions is the most important first-step in actually engendering these new solutions and innovations.

The world is now awake to the existential threat that our species is facing from causes that stem from actions (and inactions) of our own making. But with realization of an existential threat can also come an even-worse existential dread that paralyzes us from fostering the ideas and taking the actions needed to mitigate the problem. We need to move beyond the fear and dread and move towards hope (and faith) that our future will get better. 

That was A\J’s founding ethos – and we still believe this is so today.

And speaking of A\J, you might have noticed a few changes as you picked up this issue – it carries more weight. We are evolving our model to create more opportunities for supporting the Canadian environmental community and to allow us to serve the needs of our readers in a changing media environment. We’re moving to a less-but-more strategy, adjusting to a quarterly+ format (four larger issues each year plus special interest publications). We are dedicating more resources to expanding our digital media efforts to reach more new readers in more new ways. 

I would also like to take a moment to salute Marcia Ruby, long-time A\Jer and, most recently, our publisher. Suffice to say that without Marcia’s steady hand and big heart, our world and our work over the years would have been much less enjoyable (and impactful). But fear not, Marcia will remain a guiding light for our organization as she transitions to a publisher emerita position – a new role that will see her engage with our biggest stakeholders to drive new innovations and opportunities. We have been very lucky to have Marcia leading the charge over the past few years – and we’re even more lucky that she will continue to support, inspire and encourage us in the work still to be done. 

We hope you enjoy this issue. And we have faith in our readers’ ability to put this issue to work to build a stronger Canadian environmental community. Please feel to drop me a note with your thoughts on this issue and/or about the topics that you think we should be covering in the future.  

All the best,

David McConnachie, Publisher 

david@alternativesjournal.ca

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