Based on a map from OpenStreetMap, centred on Edmonton, the illustration metaphorically captures the desire to breakthrough the fossil-fuel-dependent paradigm that is driving climate change. The cloud-wrapped wind turbines exemplify the future-friendly approaches advocated in this issue.
This is the most important issue that A\J has ever published. It will land in the hands and mailboxes of more Canadians than any issue in A\J’s 44-year existence. What’s so important? We as a nation are on the cusp of embracing and implementing the sustainability that Gro Harlem Brundtland envisioned almost 30 years ago in her pivotal book, Our Common Future.
To help map our sustainable future, A\J has teamed with a group of Canadian scholars called Sustainable Canada Dialogues/Dialogues pour un Canada vert (SCD). Every scholar in this 60-person-plus group puts sustainability central to his or her area of research, whether it is species diversity, resource extraction or how we manage the land that feeds us. All SCD participants have identified what is needed for their specialized science or social science field to become more sustainable – and thus for Canada to become more sustainable. These pages contain articles by more than 20 of those scholars.
This collaboration started as a conversation between SCD coordinator Catherine Potvin and A\J’s leadership team. Its sum is now far greater than its parts – and we invite you to add your voice. The Sustainable Canada Dialogues are an opportunity for all Canadians to join the conversation at this pivotal moment. There are many doors to sustainability contained in the following pages and many ways to participate. Be warned that as you read this issue you just might blurt out, “Hell, yeah! We can do this!” The words and imagery herein might just be the ticket to how we, as Canadians, can and will grasp the transformational nature of sustainability.
All comments posted on the A\J site will be considered during the creation of a white paper on how Canada can achieve sustainability.
But don’t stop at reading. Join Sustainable Canada Dialogues and A\J as we take this show on the road. The kickoff will be on March 18 in Montreal during Americana2015. We will hold a full-day plenary program with the “Illustrious panel on Climate Action,” an event that will launch both this issue of A\J and the Sustainable Canada Dialogues’ position paper Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars. It’s fitting that the dialogues from this plenary session will form the basis of Canada’s contributions to the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015.
You will find also roving SCD scholars in cities and towns across the country. They will be at Toronto’s Green Living show on March 27; at Congress 2015 in Ottawa at the beginning of June; and at various universities along the way.
The conversation continues here on our website, where you’ll find references and further reading for most of the articles in this issue. All comments posted on the A\J site will be considered during the next step of this project: a white paper on how Canada can achieve sustainability. This manifesto will amplify Acting on Climate Change by including public, private, nongovernmental organization and academic feedback obtained through A\J’s website and conversations at events across the country. In our hands, and in the hands of our elected politicians, the white paper will guide us toward sustainability in Canada.
This project is just beginning. Everyone can be involved by reading, becoming informed or taking it to the streets. We know you will share your stories, your successes and even your bitter lessons. We also know that some of you will take the ideas herein and test them in your own communities. This is open-source sustainability at its most intentional and powerful. There is strength in numbers and united we will push forward. We’re all in this together.
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