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2020: The Year to Make a Difference

Dec 29, 2019 09:30AM

Welcome to a new year and a new decade! I love the start of a fresh year, its invitation to tune into what we want to create in the world and what we’re willing to do to make it happen. 

Here in the Natural Awakenings office, we set the intention to embrace the possibilities for this new year with an exclusive interview with legendary journalist Bill Moyers, who is leading the charge for a new generation to make a critical difference in our world where it counts: climate change. We’ve accepted his challenge to join a global media project called Covering Climate Now to spread awareness of the urgency of this issue. Throughout this year, we’ll step up our efforts to share with readers the many aspects of how we eat and how we live impact the planet—and how each of us can shrink our own climate change footprint (page 36).

Meanwhile, schools across the country and around the world are growing the next generation of environmentalists with innovative, hands-on courses that teach students about climate change, the importance of renewable energy, sustainable food production, water quality/quantity and other conservation issues. Yvette Hammett explores this trend in “Raising Environmentalists: Teachers Prep Kids for the Future” (page 50).

If a quiet, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg can start a climate protest in her native Sweden in 2018 that spearheaded the youth global movement for climate action, become the voice for millions of young people and Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, perhaps nothing is impossible. 

I feel fortunate that I took an early interest in living a healthy lifestyle, and it’s continuing to pay dividends in my senior years. At the time, it wasn’t as apparent to me how directly related my personal health choices were to our planetary health. 

Thus, our enhanced focus on the environment will complement our ongoing commitment to leave no stone unturned in all facets of personal health. This month, the eternal quest for the fountain of youth leads us to examine the factors that contribute not only to living long, but living well. Melinda Hemmelgarn’s feature looks at the role of genes, environment and lifestyle factors; she offers age-defying strategies from diet, exercise and sleep to protecting our telomeres and adjusting our attitudes (page 38).

We have plenty of work to do, and it can seem overwhelming and have us question what difference we can make. But we can do this! Make it your New Year’s resolution to up your game: Some things just can’t wait any longer. Let’s create a better story that makes headlines in 2020, one that future generations can live with. 

Here’s to an empowered new year and all its possibilities, 

Sharon Bruckman, publisher 

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