Woot! Having wrapped up a 10-episode season of our podcast, Solarpunk Presents, under the wing of Solarpunk Magazine’s Solarpunk Futures Podcast, we’ve set up shop on our own for season 2. Which has just launched!!
For most episodes, we’ll be interviewing people about projects they’re working on or experiences they’ve had that aim to change the world for the better. But to open season 2, Ariel (my co-host) and I decided to have an informal debate about where best to live a solarpunk life. In the countryside where you can live in peace, quiet, fresh air, and self-sufficiency with your chickens? Or in the city where you can take up less space by living in an apartment, ride the bus or bike everywhere, and help spruce up your community garden.
Solarpunk, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a young sub-genre of science fiction that aims to bring about a better future by imagining it. The thought is that it helps to have goalposts to go for, and if all we’re imagining is post-apocalyptic or cyberpunk hell, then, well, ACK!
For some people, however, it isn’t enough to stop there. It’s not only good to visualize a cleaner, greener, more just society, it’s important to work on it. That can mean so many things. Making your garden friendlier to pollinators, for instance, or showing up at city council meetings and demanding parks and bike lanes. It can mean setting solar panels up on your roof and switching your heating system over to a heat pump. It can mean volunteering can volunteer with social justice projects. And it can mean all sorts of other things that we’ll highlight by interviewing people doing these interesting, world-bettering things.
Last season, for instance, we talked to a chaplain helping activists keep up the good fight by helping them cope with their climate grief. We also talked to a climate advisor to the Marshall Islands about their literally existential battle against rising sea levels. We also talked to a professor studying how communities build climate resilience and how to connect people with the experts who have the information they can used to take the best action to build resilience to climate change and things it brings (like droughts).
This season, we’re lining up 8 more interviews with people working to build a future we’d all like to live in. We’ll be taking to a librarian, for instance, from the city of Salinas about the role of libraries in communities (because libraries are totally the most solarpunk thing ever!). And we’ll be interviewing with an oceanographer who is a devout Christian about the conflict (or perhaps lack thereof) between science and religion. Just to give you two examples.
I’d love it if you’d have a listen!