Solarpunk stands as a response to Cyberpunk and other dystopian artistic movements of the late 20th century. Particularly as the younger generation began to see these dystopians not as aesthetic curtains but potential future outcomes for our future selves or generations. As Flynn Adams puts it, "We're solarpunks because the only other options are denial or despair."
In this regard, Solarpunk is an aesthetic movement in options to transhumanist and singulatarian futurist movements which require unsustainable growth and energy consumption. Nor is Solarpunk an anarcho-primitivst movement which responds to collapse by rejecting the benefits of modern technology for an idealized Edenic times.
Solarpunk focuses on a futurist ideal of sustainable integration of technology and the environment.
St. Andrewism in hs video essay Solarpunk is not enough identifies four key elements that define Solarpunk:
- Solarpunk is anticaplitalist (rejection of endless growth, rejects capitalism's enroachment on imagination)
- Solarpunk is anti-statist (stemming from it's relationship to [[Anarchism]]; rejects that the state, the source of our ecological problems can be the solution to our problems.
- Solarpunk is local power (emphasis on local control, [[mutual aide]], direct action, DIY, full autonomy.
Furthermore, what solarpunk is not: reactionary romanticization of an idealic rural past (cottagecore), greenwashing -- that is neoliberal environmental solutions that place economic growth and profits before environmental concerns, non-substantial aesthetic -- Solarpunk both imagines a better world and works towards it's creation, continue explotation, blind worship or messianic beliefs in technology, doomerism, or soft-climate change denialism which aknowledges that climate change exists, but denies the reality of it's impacts.
- [[Spiritfarer]]: A game where you take over for Charon ushering souls into the afterlife as they relive moments of their lives and deaths.
- Flynn, Adam. Solarpunk: Notes toward a manifesto. Hieroglyph. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
- Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation with Roland Kelts. Internet archive. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
- St. Andrewism. Solarpunk is not Enough. Youtube. Retrieved 2022-02-08.
- Cuban Urban Farming, and Special Periods Old and New. <https://c4ss.org/content/58541>
- Allen, Irma. The Trouble with Rewilding <https://undisciplinedenvironments.org/2016/12/14/the-trouble-with-rewildin>
Marloes de Valk in [A pluriverse of local worlds: a review of Computing within Limits related terminology and practice] identified a wide discourse around radical computing practices focused around responding to the climate crisis, capitalist excess, and the creation of diverse hacker practices for low-powered, distributed, and computing. On Mastodon, they polled for a common term to cover this with "[[permacomputing]]" and "small tech" each splitting a third of the vote. Many of these solutions are also relevant to [[solarpunk]].