Down to Earth - - EDITOR’S PAGE -

YOU WILL NO­TICE in this is­sue some big and small changes. This is our 530th is­sue, which means we have been re­search­ing, writ­ing, de­sign­ing and pub­lish­ing Down To Earth for 22 years. Ev­ery fort­night our aim is to bring you news, per­spec­tives and knowl­edge that can help you make a dif­fer­ence. Our ob­jec­tive is to pre­pare you to change the world. We be­lieve in­for­ma­tion is a pow­er­ful driver for the new to­mor­row.

So af­ter pro­duc­ing 529 is­sues and just at the time when In­dia is tak­ing a new breath, we re­vised the mag­a­zine for your read­ing. In this age of fast news and In­ter­net-driven in­for­ma­tion, we be­lieve there is a hunger for in-depth anal­y­sis and per­spec­tives. We know you want to know much more about the lit­tle things you skim over in news­pa­pers. There is a story be­hind and a way ahead. So, we have re­worked Down To Earth to do this.

Then we also know you crave for new ideas; you want to know what is chang­ing in our world that is for the good. We all have a duty to hope. We have, there­fore, in­tro­duced sec­tions that look into the ways people are work­ing in forests, farms and fac­to­ries to make a dif­fer­ence. We will also try and tease out how these small ex­per­i­ments in our world’s de­vel­op­ment lab­o­ra­tory can be scaled up. In our ex­pe­ri­ence scal­ing up in­vari­ably re­quires a change in some pol­icy, rule or reg­u­la­tion. Our ob­jec­tive is to pro­vide this un­der­stand­ing for im­pact. Most im­por­tantly, we be­lieve there is a lot more that ’s miss­ing in the news. When we started Down To Earth in 1992, we had no com­peti­tors. There was no­body who pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about en­vi­ron­men­tal change. We filled the huge in­for­ma­tion gap. To­day in 2014, en­vi­ron­ment has be­come a main­stream topic. All news­pa­pers write about it; this is good news. We want com­peti­tors. We want the in­for­ma­tion about the is­sues that mat­ter to be on the front pages of news­pa­pers and tele­vi­sion screens, day af­ter day.

But in 2014, we know we still fill a gap. There is news about en­vi­ron­ment, but it does not build our per­spec­tive; it does not go be­yond the or­di­nary and the known; it does not ven­ture into re­mote vil­lages and does not look into the lives and knowl­edge of the people who are miss­ing from our view. Even as there is more news, there is less news about what is hap­pen­ing out­side cities; more and more people are to­day out of sight and out of our mind. We aim at fix­ing this.

More­over, our daily news barely cov­ers the world of sci­ence as it in­ter­faces with mod­ern so­ci­ety. Down To Earth will fea­ture his­tory and ar­chae­ol­ogy to bring you per­spec­tives of how the past still in­flu­ences our present; me­te­o­rol­ogy and cli­mate change sci­ences will in­form you about our chang­ing weather. And our sec­tions on green ar­chi­tec­ture, chang­ing life­styles and cul­ture of food will give you in­for­ma­tion that you can use.

We also have to ask for your help. In ev­ery is­sue we pro­duce, we as­pire to bring you ac­cu­rate, rig­or­ous and use­ful in­for­ma­tion that will drive change in our world. We know we make a dif­fer­ence. We know this be­cause our ar­ti­cles are used to push pol­icy; used to chal­lenge sta­tus quo; used to spread the word about what is pos­si­ble. We know you be­lieve in our in­de­pen­dence. We have your trust. Our in­for­ma­tion has pur­pose. It is cred­i­ble.

We prom­ise to keep this trust. But we need some­thing from you as well. We need your in­volve­ment in tak­ing our ideas fur­ther. We do not have the mar­ket­ing mus­cle to get into each house; we are also limited by lan­guage. But we know if you can be our mes­sen­ger, mul­ti­plier and our friend, you can spread the word, use our in­for­ma­tion, take the word to ac­tion, bring us back the news about this im­pact. Help us to do what seems so im­pos­si­ble: turn the tide so that our present and fu­ture are se­cure.

Let me know what you think of the new look of Down To Earth. I look for ward to our con­tin­ued jour­ney to­gether.

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