Cross-posted from the Weaponizer blog, this post was written in a single draft at approx 23:00 last night so it is a bit clunky and doesn’t cut quite to the mustard of the issue, but please read the articles/posts I link to as they are fascinating, and offer much more info than I can fit into a single post:

No, not the latest music genre, Solarpunk is the term being applied to a particular brand of thinking relating to a future that is a possible result of a combination of any number of grim-meathook future bearing issues – overpopulation, post-oil/fossil fuel shortages, resource scarcity, water supply problems, global pandemics etc.

Building on ideas espoused by Bruce Sterling, and as described by Justin Pickard in his Gonzo Futurist Manifesto (STOP READING THIS POST AND READ THAT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY) that, instead of a firm road-map into the future the best we have are a way-markers, Solarpunk confronts the possibilty that the relative comfort the developed world has enjoyed since the industrial revolution is not necessarily guaranteed.

First coined (in this context, the term has been in use since at least 2008 but not related to this subject) in a short post on The Splendid Vagabond, there is now the attendant Tumblr blog (what new movement would be complete without a dedicated tumblr?).

A key piece of thinking behind Solarpunk is that progress and growth are not synonymous, as stated in a post on the tumblr: “Progress/development not same as growth, and an integral thesis of solarpunk should be about decoupling the first from the second. More is not better.”

It’s still in the early stages so far, but for further reading on the subject (apart from the aforementioned tumblr) there are some posts by Charles Martin Reid on low power/no power computing and networks that are well worth reading

Certainly this is a movement that I’ll be keeping a keen eye on.


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