All punk subcultures stem from a rejection of the way the relevant society operates. Given the impact that the proliferation of industrialism and late-stage capitalism has had on our planet’s support systems, it seems only natural that environmentalism would become part of punk. Enter “Solarpunk,” a term coined in 2014 on the social media platform “Tumblr” which has since been gathering an enthusiastic crew of artists and activists. Unlike the related concepts of “steampunk” and “atompunk,” solarpunk depicts an optimistic near future that can only be reached by rejecting fossil fuels and consumerism, leaving in their place a sustainable, equitable world. This future is depicted as a place where the elimination of resource scarcity and poverty have allowed people to devote themselves to enjoying nature, building community, and the beautification of necessary objects and locations.
Self-described solarpunks support this idea through environmental and social activism, sustainable lifestyle choices, and by contributing to the growing collection of solarpunk media.
This podcast was written and recorded by Janet Rogers for the PlanetFoward Storyfest 2018 competition. Music in the podcast is “Be a good Punk” by Monplaisir, courtesy of the free music archive. The anthologies mentioned are “Sunvault” edited by Phoebe Wagner, “Wings of Renewal” edited by Brenda Pierson, and “Biketopia” edited by Elly Blue.
How do you move the planet forward?