Western society is used to a dark narrative. We’ve been told that this narrative is realistic and it is what we have to accept. However, a better environment and future can be had.
Rebellion has always been the result of government failure and lack of societal movement. History has shown that a lack of positive influences and connections can result in a need for abrupt and forceful removal of elements that are harmful to the general society. Royal families, for example. Solarpunk rose from the ashes of environmental destruction and exists to remind people that change is in fact possible, if we act now.
Broader focuses must be condensed to have meaning. As with many government systems, social and environmental causes must have a purpose and structure, not only to be created, but also to survive. Local perspectives and action allow for more personable experiences and provide for more involvement from our communities.
Many communities have been impacted by changes, especially those that are marginalized. The environment, unfortunately, has been treated in the same way that these communities have been. Who is the best champion for major social upheaval and progressive needs? Those who have been repressed and are tired of the current systems. We must understand though, that optimism through hardship is essential. Constant pessimism will not lead to change; it will only produce endless results that do nothing to progress our cause.
Dystopian literature has taught us many crucial facts and has served to ensure that we don’t continue making the same mistakes. But dystopian stories often lack a sense of hope, and as result provide no active solutions. Dystopia provides dread, and while often depicting acts of rebellion, dystopian stories often show no active change or participation from those who need to make the change happen.
Fantasy, on the other hand, although a great form of literature, provides overly optimistic solutions or instances that are beyond the realm of what we’re likely to experience. With solarpunk literature, we can see our present circumstances and understand what is needed now to change the future.
The goal is to not only become one with nature and improve our environmental circumstances, but to also create technology that will help, not harm the environment. This includes adapting our ways of living and understanding that the climate changes based on human behavior and destruction.
There is much hope for a better environment. It is not too late to ensure a future for many generations to come. We must take responsibility for the environmental choices we make and the destructive systems we create, and understand that it is action on our part that will lead to positive, sustainable change.
Abriana Tuller (she/her) is a Vegas native and Fiction co-editor at Solarpunk Magazine. She is an educator and a former journalist. When not spending time with her two children, Abriana can be seen dancing in the store, singing at karaoke, reading a fiction novel, or writing about fictional words.