Why Solarpunk Gives Me Hope for the Future

Insights + Opinion

When we look out into the murky depths of our future, it’s hard not to despair. The scars of capitalism run ragged through our minds, bodies, and environments. The uncertainty of a world in climate chaos is driving many into a state of apathy. Inaction and status quo politicking is so prevalent among the ruling class that it’s easy to believe in neoliberal hawk Margaret Thatcher’s assertion that “there is no alternative.” Well, there is. It’s beautiful, vibrant, and gives me hope for a juster, more ethical, and more ecological future. It’s called Solarpunk. Today, we’re going to dive into the visions of Solarpunk, uncovering what it is, what it looks like, and how exactly it can be implemented right now to construct a radical eco and human-centric present.

Solarpunk. A burgeoning movement blending aesthetics and politics that envisions a future which answers the question: “What kind of world will emerge when we finally transition to renewables?” In opposition to the environments of cyberpunk or dieselpunk, which craft dystopian futures based in capitalist corruption, technological authoritarianism, and the deification of fossil fuels, Solarpunk grounds the future in the task of bridging the chasm between human society and the natural world. A chasm that is currently widening at the hands of exploitative capitalism. So, Solarpunk runs starkly in opposition to the political and economic forces of late-stage capitalism by demanding a non-hierarchical, diverse, decentralized yet integrated world. A world with worker co-operatives, tool shares, and common-pool resources. And all these decentralized approaches to economies would emphasize production focused not only on ecological well-being but human well-being. Solarpunk also means embracing technologies like rooftop solar, passive houses, or even modern sailing innovations to allow the natural workings of the planet to flourish while also providing a comfortable living to the masses. In short, Solarpunk argues that just climate action doesn’t have to mean living in scarcity or giving things up, it instead shows us how beautiful the world could be when we live with appropriate abundance.

To learn even more about Solarpunk and see its beautiful visuals, check out the video above!

Our Changing Climate is an environmental YouTube channel that explores the intersections of social, political, climatic, and food-based issues. The channel dives into topics like zero waste and nuclear energy in order to understand how to effectively tackle climate change and environmental destruction.

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