“Imagine having our technologies built in harmony with nature…”

Posted on October 10, 2022Comments Off on “Imagine having our technologies built in harmony with nature…”

Here’s more from a great article featured last month, by Olivia Lai, former editor of Earth.org:

Solarpunk Is the Future We Should Strive For

Imagine being surrounded by lush natural landscapes, buildings covered with verdant plants and vegetation complete with rooftop gardens, and cities that are completely powered by clean energy. Imagine having our technologies built in harmony with nature and shared equally with everyone on the planet. This is what our world should look like as envisioned by the solarpunk movement. 

First coined in 2008, solarpunk originally started out as an art movement that aims to be the antithesis of Cyberpunk and Steampunk aesthetics. Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction whose main characteristics include futuristic technology such as AI and cybernetics juxtaposed against themes of societal collapse and monolithic corporations. It is a movement that is rooted in people’s anxieties in the rapidly developing technical age. Steampunk similarly features futuristic technology, but is paired with a sense of nostalgia for Industrial Revolution-era steam-powered machinery and aesthetics. 

Solarpunk however, offers a complete opposite vision to Cyberpunk. Instead of decay and dystopias, the future world does not have any existential threats such as the climate crisis hanging over its head, and synergy is achieved between people on Earth and nature, where humans conduct activities that do not harm the environment. Common solarpunk tropes include art nouveau-esque architecture that is intertwined with nature and towering vertical forest  – think Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay or its indoor waterfall inside the Jewel Changi Airport…

… But we need to do so much more before the solarpunk utopia can be realised. First and foremost, we have to put a price on carbon, end environmentally-harmful subsidies and phase out fossil fuels once and for all. We need to adopt circular economies across all sectors, and overhaul our agricultural and food systems. And most importantly, we need to fund the growth of renewables and carbon capture technologies. Though we need to be wary of parties and stakeholders using solarpunk ideas and imageries to greenwash without adopting the fundamental practices. Ultimately, the world collectively must undergo a massive behavioural change which cannot happen unless all countries do their parts. 

Solarpunk Is the Future We Should Strive For | Earth.Org

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