Billionaires in space is not very solarpunk:
But maybe one in particular could be said to be rather solarpunk – especially with their roots in science fiction:
“Jill Lepore untangles the strange sci-fi roots of Silicon Valley’s extreme capitalism – with its extravagant, existential and extra-terrestrial plans to save humanity. In this world, stock prices can be driven partly by fantasies found in blockbuster superhero movies, but that come from science fiction, some of it a century old. If anyone personifies this phenomenon, it’s Elon Musk, the richest or second-richest person in the world on any given day. “The bare facts of Musk’s life, the way they’re usually told, make him sound like a fictional character, a comic-book superhero,” says Lepore. He says he hopes to colonize Mars, create brain-hacking implants and avert an AI apocalypse. He even has a baby named X. In this first of five episodes Lepore looks at the early origins of ‘Muskism’, and explores how the science fiction stories that today’s techno-billionaires grew up on have shaped Silicon Valley’s vision of the future.”
But maybe he’s not very solarpunk after all:
And talking of futurism, looking back exactly a century:
“Not only was Marinetti instrumental in the Futurist movement, he was also one of the artists who pushed the idea of artists as a brand. “Marinetti’s public braggadocio—and his manipulation of and engagement with the mass media—changed the way artists conceived of their relationship to the art world and popular culture,” writes Jon Mann at Artsy. Marinetti believed in the power of the manifesto, and in the idea that artists should be personas, and that they should push their narrative into the world. If Marinetti could have lived to see Elon Musk launch a red Tesla to space, he would likely have been beside himself with joy.
“But Musk and his colleagues should heed the warning that the Italian Futurist movement provides. This love of disruption and progress at all costs led Marinetti and his fellow artists to construct what some call a “a church of speed and violence.””
“Musk’s sci-fi imperialism and Akon’s Afrofuturism are both informed by the ideology of “green growth” — the illusion that our capitalist economies can continue to expand without limits as long as we “techno-fix” our way out of the current crisis by swapping dirty fossil fuels for renewable energy and environmentally-friendly technologies. It’s an ideology that’s informed master-planned “eco-city” projects like Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, led by Foster + Partners, and Sejong City in South Korea, funded in large part by tech giant Samsung. It’s paradoxical to think that the solution to waste, pollution, and diminishing resources is yet more building. Ditto that Musk could be considered some sort of environmental savior when, in 2018 alone, he flew 160,000 miles in his private jet, producing carbon emissions 263 times greater than those of the average inhabitant of planet Earth. Still, celebrity-led green growth is lauded by the current socioeconomic order…”