It imagines a world where energy, usually from the sun or wind, can be used without harming our environment. Where green roofs and windmills allow humans to live in harmony with nature. On the surface it might seem like a rosy, perhaps even naive perspective for our moment, when climate change-fueled disasters are in the news every other day. But imagining Solarpunk purely as a pleasant aesthetic undermines its inherently radical implications. At its core, and despite its appropriation, Solarpunk imagines an end to the global capitalist system that has resulted in the environmental destruction seen today.
Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.