Solarpunk Presents

  • 7. Come Play in Solarpunk’s Future Garden, With John Threat

    Between September 15 to 24, 2023, you can go be a part of renowned hacktivist, writer/director, and creative futurist John Threat’s Zukunft Garden—a solarpunk future garden—that’s part of Vision2030’s Earth Edition festival at CalArts, in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles. Join us for this episode, where John talks to Christina about this social art installation, what it means and can signify for participants, and the inspiration behind it. They discuss John's background as a hacker, an activist, a cyberpunk and, most recently, a solarpunk dedicated to thinking outside of the systems of this world.Stay tuned also for what John has to say about what solarpunk can do with AI art and why we should be engaging with AI technology, rather than ignoring it outright - as John points out, corporations will still be using AI, and it's incumbent on solarpunks to know thy enemy ... or at least, to be able to know enough about new technologies to decide whether or not to use them as tools for community support and envisioning better futures, rather than taking advantage of others.Useful links:Zukunft Garden official siteEarth Edition Festival official siteVisions 2030 official site"What Is Solarpunk?" YouTube video by AndrewismThe Solarpunk Conference official site
  • 6. 3.6: Propaganda and Petroturfing with Dr Jordan Kinder

    What is petroturfing? What is an energy imaginary? If, as Thomas King says, we are all stories, how can we make sense of which stories are leading us to an understanding of things as they are, rather than misrepresenting reality or persuading us to take a biased view? And what can we do when we learn to critically interpret the world around us? What are some concrete actions we can take as regular folks if we decide that we want to push back against this narrative of “ethical oil” and intervene in the reactionary oil culture war?Dr Jordan Kinder has spent the last decade of his life thinking about these questions, specifically in the context of the Canadian oil industry and Alberta. The result? His new book Petroturfing: Refining Canadian Oil, which covers these topics and more, forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press in spring 2024. Join Ariel and Jordan to learn about the many competing narratives about (and even by!) Canadian oil and gas—including but not limited to being labelled dirty oil, ethical oil, one of the world’s leading polluters, an underdog industry under attack, a Canadian success story, the ball and chain around Canada’s neck as it tries to avert climate catastrophe, and the list goes on…References:Just Powers Petrocultures Research GroupSolaritiesEnergy HumanitiesKinder, Jordan “Mystifying Oil Today” for HeliotropeKinder, Jordan “Tailings, Unconventional: Sedimented Horizons for More Equitable Energy Futures” for Against CatastropheSocials:Connect with Jordan at jbkinder.github.ioConnect with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 5. Birdwatching as a Gateway to Environmental Activism: A Conversation With Prof. Cin-Ty Lee

    Birdwatchers. They’re both easy to envy (They know so much!) and laugh at (What nerds!). Yet birdwatching is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to connect with nature. Yes, as we discuss with Cin-Ty Lee, professor of geology at Rice University in Texas and author of the Field Guide to North American Flycatchers: Empidonax and Pewees, you could go buy all the books and gear and then book trips all over the world to start checking off boxes on your life list. Or you could just sit and watch out the window at whatever birds are out there where you live. All birds are interesting! And, as Christina and Prof. Lee discuss in this episode, watching them is habit-forming in a way that makes people of all political stripes want to start protecting their habitats. This doesn’t need to mean lying down in front of tractors. Instead, it could mean working to improve small patches of nature within cities and in your own backyard to make them better for birds and the plants and insects the birds need to thrive. Before you know it, you’ll be heading up neighborhood or citywide initiatives to better the spaces around you for the sake of the birds. Socials:You can find Cin-Ty Lee at @CinTyLeeEarth on Twitter, at @cintylee on Instagram, and at Or check out his YouTube channel: with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at our blog.Support the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 4. Capitalism, Community, and Friendship with Joey Ayoub

    Why is it easier to imagine a zombie apocalypse than it is a generative, sustainable future? This question drives Joey Ayoub, host of The Fire These Times: in fact, this season of his pod is partially about solarpunk and generative futures. Tune in today to listen to Ariel and Joey discussing imaginative expansion of solarpunk, the “realist” impulse, climate anxiety and grief, and community building in a crisis. Also The Office. Trust us, it’s an important part of this whole conversation. In this episode, Ariel speaks with Joey Ayoub, host of The Fire These Times podcast and someone who’s been focusing his podcasting and thinking on solarpunk quite a bit in the last while. Joey is a Lebanese writer, researcher, scholar, editor and podcaster currently based in Switzerland since 2020. He is a research associate at the Center for Social Sciences Research and Action and a member of Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN), and Degrowth Switzerland, to name just a few organizations he is involved with, and he has been published in more places than I can list here. Join us for this thought-provoking and entertaining conversation.Links/References:SP episode 2.3 on Beirut and the history of Lebanon with JD Harlock SP episode 1.4 on climate grief and chaplaincy with Gabrielle Gelderman Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit Socials:Check out The Fire These Times website, as well as Joey’s personal site, and connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Mastodon.Connect with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at our blog.Support the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 3. Carbon Capture and Storage with Prof Mike Bickle

    Conquering climate change for our survival and that of much of the rest of the biosphere calls for more than attaining net zero emissions of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. We also need to actively remove much of the 140 extra parts per million of carbon dioxide currently up there in the atmosphere thanks to our burning of fossil fuels and destruction of so much of Earth’s biosphere. Both attaining net zero and going beyond it will take carbon capture and storage. This means capturing carbon dioxide from power plants and other point sources and from our agricultural activities before it gets into the atmosphere, as well as capturing carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. Then, we need to store that carbon somewhere safely away from the atmosphere for at least a few thousand years. Join us for this episode of Solarpunk Presents, in which Christina talks to Dr. Mike Bickle, professor emeritus at the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Cambridge. We’ll be discussing what methods for carbon capture and storage are the most promising (and the most likely for us to engage in), what some of the dangers are, what it would take to deploy carbon capture and storage at the scale required, and how long it might take us to bring an end to the global warming we’ve created.Links:Overview of carbon capture and storage from the International Energy AgencyEuropean legal framework for carbon capture and storageFact sheet for the Sleipner gas field carbon capture and storage project (last updated 2016)Scientific paper on 20 years of carbon storage in the Sleipner gas field. The effects of a carbon dioxide pipeline leak in MississippiA moving, informative article on the Lake Nyos disasterSupport the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 2. Thinking About How We Think About Animals with Dr Chloë Taylor

    Today’s episode is all about animal ethics—or do we mean critical animal studies? Ariel discusses this linguistic nuance and the difference between them (and much, much more!) with Dr Chloë Taylor, professor of women and gender studies at the University of Alberta. Dr Taylor has been involved in a five-year-long project researching the “Intersections of Animality” and is a trained philosopher who works in gender studies, and sees a lot of intersections between the way that we think about and treat animals and the way that we think about and treat minoritized subjects. Come join us for a thought-provoking and highly educational discussion!LinksDr Chloë Taylor’s profile at University of Alberta Peter Singer and Tom ReganNorth American Association for Critical Animal StudiesWhere Disability Rights and Animal Rights Meet: A Conversation with Sunaura TaylorMaking Kin: An Interview with Donna Haraway Auroch de-extinction and rewildingConnect with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at our blog.Connect with Ariel at her blog, on Twitter at @arielletje, and on Mastodon.Connect with Christina at her blog, on Twitter, and on Mastodon Support the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 1. 50 Shades of Solarpunk

    Ariel and Christina open Season 3 with a chat about what solarpunk, or, at least this solarpunk podcast, is setting out to achieve… according to how Ariel sees it. With her occasionally curmudgeonly devil’s advocacy, Christina provides the nuance we need as we push through topics, including the definition of solarpunk in a time of slippery postmodern language (that, in true solarpunk fashion, changes according to cultural context and locale), the Anthropocene and its multiple issues, mix-tape metaphors, Ursula K LeGuin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, aesthetics (of course), infrastructure as resistance, and a liiiiittle bit of academic theory. Join us!LinksAlmanac for the Anthropocene "Solarpunk: A Container for More Fertile Futures" by Jay Springett in Solarpunk Magazine Listen to Season 1 here!Listen to Season 2 here!The Solarpunk Presents Pinterest has examples of solarpunk aesthetics we dig.Cruising Utopia by José Esteban MuñozPosthuman feminism definitionPostmodern linguistics / language plus a more philosophical definition of postmodernismConnect with Solarpunk Presents Podcast on Twitter, Mastodon, or at our blog.Connect with Ariel at her blog, on Twitter at @arielletje, and on Mastodon.Connect with Christina at her blog, on Twitter, and on Mastodon Support the show on Patreon or make a one-time donation via PayPal.
  • 10. Ecofascism and Rewilding: A Conversation With Ariel Kroon and Christina De La Rocha

    There’s no question that the biosphere is in crisis right now thanks to human-driven global warming, our hostile takeover of most of Earth’s land area, and our pollution and overfishing of the seas. Slowing down—never mind outright stopping—the collapse of the Earth’s ecosystems and the mass extinction currently gaining pace calls for aggressively protecting the environment, or possibly even giving half of the Earth’s land surface back to nature in a process known as rewilding. But how will we manage to share the Earth with the rest of the biosphere when history shows that we’re pretty terrible at sharing it with each other, with some states even going so far as to have used the preservation of wilderness as a tool of genocide and white supremacy? There are still those who would use environmental protection as an excuse to block immigrants, reject refugees, and expel “undesirable” people from the land. What will it take to value human and non-human life and the land all equally, without using one as an excuse to persecute the other?Getting urgently-needed environmental protection and rewilding right requires facing the evils that have been historically committed in the name of conservation, so that we don’t repeat those grave mistakes, even with the best of intentions. As solarpunks, we need to learn from the past in order to shape futures that are intentionally better than our pasts and presents.And that’s a wrap for season 2! Season 3 will be coming along in the last week of June for Patreon supporters, and to the public in the first week of July. Until then, keep dreaming, and keep up the good work!LinksReframing Narratives with Ecocriticism, with Dr Jenny Kerber Against the Ecofascist Creep webzine teaching resource and explainerRead about the 100-Mile Diet book and phenomenon on WikipediaRead about the locavore movement on WikipediaA great article on philosophical questions with The Sneetches from the Prindle Institute for EthicsSome articles on food forestsThe Half-Earth Project 
  • 9. Reframing Narratives With Ecocriticism, With Dr Jenny Kerber

    In this episode, Ariel discusses the topic of ecocriticism with Dr Jenny Kerber, Associate Professor of English at Wilfrid Laurier University.What is ecocriticism? Why is it important, especially for environmental activists and solarpunks, as a narrative reframing device? Solarpunks work very closely with speculation and imagination and as architects of the narratives by which we live our lives, it helps to have tools like ecocriticism at our disposal. Join Ariel and Dr. Kerber to think through terms like “wilderness” and “nature” and “the Anthropocene”. How do we hold on to hope, despite critical engagement with the dark side of our environmental narratives?  References:●     A bit more about the WLU Land Acknowledgement●     Dr Kerber’s profile at Wilfrid Laurier U●     “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon●     Elizabeth May●     Kerber, Jenny. "Tracing One Warm Line: Climate Stories and Silences in Northwest Passage Tourism." Journal of Canadian Studies 55.4 (July 2022): 271-303.●     Timothy Clark, The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment●     Kate Soper, What is Nature? Culture, Politics and the Non-Human ●     David Huebert's Chemical Valley ●     Lord Byron's "Darkness"●     Don McKay, Vis à Vis: Field Notes on Poetry and Wilderness ●     Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable●     Nicole Seymour, Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age●     Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, Almanac for the Anthropocene: A Compendium of Solarpunk Futures