Climate Solutionaries Spotlight

This article contains the content from the 1/9/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

“No one who isn’t us is going to destroy Earth, and no one who isn’t us is going to save it. The most hopeless conditions can inspire the most hopeful actions. We have found ways to restore life on Earth in the event of a total collapse because we have found ways to cause a total collapse of life on Earth. We are the flood, and we are the ark.” ―Jonathan Safran Foer, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Learn more from Bioneers climate solutionaries below.

Isha Clarke: A New Era of the Climate Justice Movement

In her keynote speech at the 2019 Bioneers Conference, Isha Clarke says that to build a successful global climate movement, we must prioritize the voices of those most impacted by environmental injustice. We must also resist efforts to tokenize the term “intersectionality” rather than actually implementing it in our movements and daily lives. What would a movement and a society functioning on a genuine understanding of intersectionality look like?

We talked to Isha a few months ago about adult allyship with Youth vs. Apocalypse, the group she leads to redesign the climate justice movement as a platform for youth of color and Indigenous youth. In that conversation, she said:

“Adult allyship is actually very strong at this moment. Adult organizations will reach out to YvA asking, “What do the young people want to do?” Adult organizers are very much trying to follow the youth. There is still work to be done there too, because, yes, the youth need to be leading this movement, and I’m super glad that people are on board with that, but there’s also a point at which we get stuck … where we can’t do everything. There’s a difference between leadership and carrying everything.

It’s also true that a lot of these adults have been organizing for decades; they have a lot of experience. Young people aren’t disregarding the fact that we’re working with people who have a lot of experience. Youth should be envisioning what moving forward looks like, but with the support of people who have been doing this work, and who may know things that we don’t know. There can be more collaboration. Overall though, we have a lot of adult allyship, and that’s something that is relatively new and it’s working out well for us.”

Watch Isha’s full keynote presentation here, and read more from our conversation with her here.

Bill McKibben: What We’ve Learned About Climate Change in the Last 30 Years

As an accomplished author, activist and co-founder of, Bill McKibben is a leading authority in the environmental movement. In this keynote speech, he explores: What lessons can we draw from three decades of struggles to address the existential threat of climate disruption? What do our failures reveal about the flaws of our political system and the economic nihilism of the fossil fuel industry? What strategies are most likely to lead to greater success to save our species from itself?

Here’s the latest news from McKibben, who remains one of the most active voices in the movement:

  • In his best-selling book Falter, McKibben warns us that our “human game” — the complex interplay of experiences across civilizations — may be unraveling because of climate change. Are we approaching “Game Over”? Read an excerpt from the book here.
  • McKibben penned this essay for The Guardian to emphasize the urgency of acting now, in order to prevent irreversible consequences of climate change. Read more here.
  • In this New Yorker piece, McKibben criticizes the greenhouse gas emissions — and efforts to cover them up by oil industries — that are driving up global temperatures. Read more here.
  • McKibben writes another article for the New Yorker, weighing the role of big money and fossil fuel special interests in the climate crisis. Read more here.

Just Transition as an Emerging Movement

A Just Transition affirms, restores and revitalize indigenous lifeways of responsibility and respect to the sacred Creation Principles and Natural Laws of Mother Earth and Father Sky, to live in peace with each other and to ensure harmony with nature, the Circle of Life, and within all Creation.

Learn how Indigenous Peoples are leading the way in a just transition from Indigenous women leaders who are leading their communities away from fossil fuel dependence.

Watch the full panel discussion here.

This Week on Bioneers Radio & Podcast

Just Say No: Planet Hackers, Resistance Movements & Climate Justice | Naomi Klein & Clayton Thomas-Muller

Climate change is more than an “issue.” According to renowned author and activist Naomi Klein, “It’s a civilizational wake-up call delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts.” She says it demands that we challenge the dominant economic policies of deregulated capitalism and bottomless resource extraction. She describes the transnational Blockadia movement that’s opposing fossil fuels and warns about geo-engineering fantasies. Canadian Indigenous leader Clayton Thomas-Muller of Idle No More reports from the front lines of the Native-led rights based movement to stop the drilling of the Canadian Tar Sands.

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Take Action:, co-founded in 2008 by climate activist Bill McKibben, is an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

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More from Bioneers Thought Leaders on Climate Justice:

  • Heather McTeer Toney, leading an environmental inclusivity movement in her work at Moms Clean Air Force, discusses what it means to be an environmentalist today. Read more here.
  • Mishka Banuri, a youth climate activist, is working to protect the Utah lands she first fell in love with when her family immigrated from Pakistan. Read more here.
  • In his best-selling books, author and activist Paul Hawken takes a constructive and comprehensive approach to climate change solutions. Read more here.
  • Listen to youth across the world who are rising up to spur action on climate change. Read more here.
  • May Boeve, executive director of, delves into uncomfortable truths about what’s holding the climate movement back. Read more here.

This article contains the content from the 1/9/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

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