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What Bioneers Are Saying About COVID-19

This article was originally published on

For decades, the Bioneers community has been uplifting solutions and inspiring movements for a more just world. But the recent COVID-19 outbreak has posed a unique challenge: How can we bring people together while keeping them apart?

Following is a collection of what the Bioneers community is saying about COVID-19, featuring leaders in diverse fields, from medicine to animal cognition to climate justice. This is the first edition of our “regular round-up,” and we will continue to share news and information from our community ongoing.

Picture of Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein in The Intercept: 

Coronavirus Capitalism – And How to Beat It

In this video, author and activist Naomi Klein explains how this time of crisis can — and is — exploited by governments around the world “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks.” She calls on working class people to pressure politicians for meaningful change, and bailouts not only for big business, but for the people.

“This crisis — like earlier ones — could well be the catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to the most workers, wiping out small family savings and shuttering small businesses. But many are already pushing back — and that story hasn’t been written yet.”

Watch Naomi Klein speak about her book "The Shock Doctrine" and marveling at the Earth.

Picture of Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben in The New Yorker: 

What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us?

Bill McKibben, climate activist and founder of, reflects on the economic disruption, human toll and physical shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working and home

While people are home, planes are on the ground and cruise ships are docked at bay, the Earth is slowly healing, but what are less destructive means to that same end? The ability of communities to adapt to new circumstances proves an optimistic reminder of humanity’s resilience.

Read more from Bill McKibben about best-selling book "Falter," the magic of nature, and what we’ve learned about climate change in the last 30 years.

Picture of Carl Safina with a black- and brown-haired dogs.

Carl Safina on Medium: 

COVID-19 is a Wake-up Call; Don’t Hit Snooze

Carl Safina is an ecologist and award-winning author whose work revolves around humanity’s relationship with the natural world. In this essay, he points out how the “driving forces of this pandemic include our broken relationship with the rest of the living world.” The deadly source of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, often contracted in wildlife markets and through other methods of capturing and killing animals, is just as much of a wake-up call now as it has been numerous times before.

“What’s needed to reduce the frequency of new diseases adapting to humans from wildlife, farmed wild animals, and farmed domesticated animals is, basically, to stop farming and eating them.”

Read more from Carl Safina about intelligence in nature and what animals think and feel.

Picture of Dr. Rupa Marya

Rupa Marya on Medium: 

List of Personal Things You Can Do to Stay Well in a Time of CoVID19

Rupa Marya is a doctor, professor and leading activist whose work connects medicine with social justice. As a medical provider on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak response, she’s sharing her knowledge in this guide.

These tips cover how to take care of yourself, strengthen your immune system against the threat of the virus, and protect your loved ones.

Read more from Rupa Marya about social medicine and decolonizing healthcare.

Picture of Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman featured in FOX 47 News: 

One Fair Wage Campaign Launches Emergency Fund To Support Tipped Workers and Service Workers Affected

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many employees to transition to working at home, but some workers — like those in the hospitality and service industries — don’t have the choice. As restaurants and bars close across the country, thousands of workers are being abruptly left without income. Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and president of One Fair Wage, is launching an emergency fund for these workers who may not have a safety net to pay their bills or afford the cost of living day-to-day.

“Nationwide, many service workers are paid the federal sub-minimum wage of just $2.13 — which hasn’t been increased in almost three decades,” the article reads. “Seven states have moved to One Fair Wage with tips on top, but everywhere else in America, restaurant workers and other tipped workers rely on tips to feed their families and pay their bills.”

Read more from Saru Jayaraman about fair wages for workers and women in the service industry.

Logo for the Climate Justice Alliance.

Climate Justice Alliance: 

Climate Justice Alliance Demands An End to Trump’s Xenophobia and Negligence

Outbreaks of infectious diseases like COVID-19 will become the new norm as the climate crisis worsens, and time is running out to address this root cause and prevent more disasters. In this press release, the Climate Justice Alliance is demanding urgent action from the government in transitioning to a more sustainable society that works for all, noting how the COVID-19 crisis is revealing glaring inequities in our healthcare system, energy infrastructure, and economic protections for workers.

“Coronavirus is here and is a litmus test for how the climate crisis will destabilize markets, open opportunity for disaster capitalism, disrupt global supply chains, and expose inadequate or failing systems like our healthcare system. … Frontline communities have been here before and we know how corporations and special interest groups use people’s suffering for profit.”

Read more about how the Climate Justice Alliance puts community rights above corporate rights.

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Bill McKibben speaks about climate change in an episode of "Bioneers."

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Bioneers features notable speeches and presentations that highlight breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. Tune in every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT or stream online.