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Solarpunk is a genre of science fiction where the focus is on sustainability, renewables, and co-existing with nature rather than conquering or exploiting it. It’s also the name of an online movement, where people share pictures of their daily lives that reflect their love of technology and the environment. But what do they really think the world should look like?

Why It all Started

It was in a conversation about energy. They were talking about community gardens, solar panels and wind turbines. I said something like And we’ll grow our own food, use renewable energy and recycle everything! We’ll never have any of those problems again! The other person scoffed, saying that wouldn’t work in practice. They said that if people really wanted these things they would have them already; after all, capitalism had delivered us cars and air-conditioning long ago.

Where We Want to Go

They don’t have a specific vision of utopia, but we do know what their ultimate goal is: a world where no one goes hungry or is left without shelter. The solarpunks envision a world where people don’t pollute their own or others’ environments. A world without racism, sexism, classism, or ableism. A world of abundance and joy.

How We Got Here

Few historical moments have left as big of an imprint on our collective consciousness as 1859, when Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Species. His theory that all species are constantly evolving was revolutionary for its time and continues to change how we see both nature and our place in it. In fact, Darwin’s work had such a profound effect that historians credit him with triggering a revolution against religion and superstition, ushering in modernity. But, it does not seem far-fetched to think that post-modernity will take us back into a age of religion and superstition as the pace of the contemporary world calls for it.

Where Solarpunks Stand on Money and Technology?

It’s safe to say that money has been a bit of a thorn in the side. In fact, as we continue innovating in space technology and exploring opportunities on Mars, there are even more pressing concerns here on Earth. It seems like we have more and more devices that run on batteries and need an electrical outlet. Where does it end? What can we do about it? Are we looking for solar power so much because of our anxiety about climate change or is it something else entirely?


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