The economic pillar of the SolarPunk philosophy is difficult to discuss as there is no consensus on what would work best in the real world. SolarPunk societies have either eliminated scarcity altogether or have otherwise managed to perfectly balance consumption with the amount of resources available in a sustainable manner. Achieving such a society is obviously the stated aim of nearly every government in the world, but the ability to achieve such results still eludes even our best efforts.
Typically, forms of socialism or communism are the economic models proposed by SolarPunk advocates trying to achieve some degree of the quality of life proposed by the genre in their own lives. With our current technology, growing your own food and sharing your bounty with others while only taking what you need for yourself is encouraged.
At its core, solar punk economics is a response to the limitations of traditional economics. Conventional economic models often prioritize economic growth and profit over human well-being and ecological health. They assume that resources are infinite and that the pursuit of individual gain will automatically lead to the common good. This approach has led to increasing social and economic inequality, environmental degradation, and a growing sense of disconnection from our communities and the natural world.
Solar punk economics, on the other hand, takes a holistic and systems-based approach to economics. It recognizes that the economy is deeply interconnected with society and the natural world, and that economic decisions have social and environmental consequences. It also acknowledges the limits of natural resources and seeks to build a circular economy that eliminates waste and pollution, while prioritizing the well-being of all members of society.
One of the key principles of solar punk economics is the transition to renewable energy sources. This means moving away from fossil fuels and investing in solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energy technologies. This transition not only helps reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, but also creates new jobs and opportunities for local communities.
Another important principle of solar punk economics is community ownership and control. This means creating local economies that prioritize the needs and well-being of communities, rather than the profits of multinational corporations. It can involve the creation of cooperatives, community land trusts, and other forms of community-based ownership and control that help ensure that economic decisions are made democratically and transparently.
Solar punk economics also emphasizes the importance of social justice and equity. It recognizes that the economy is deeply connected to issues such as poverty, racism, and inequality, and seeks to address these systemic problems through economic policies that promote equity and justice. This can involve measures such as universal basic income, progressive taxation, and targeted investments in marginalized communities.
Overall, solar punk economics offers a hopeful and inspiring vision of a sustainable, equitable, and just economy for the future. By prioritizing renewable energy sources, community ownership and control, and social justice, this approach to economics can help create a world that prioritizes human well-being and ecological health over profit and economic growth. As we continue to grapple with the challenges of the 21st century, solar punk economics offers a powerful and transformative vision for a better future.