Solarpunk and Permaculture

Solarpunk and Permaculture

an intro to solarpunk and some notes on permaculture



  • earliest found piece of solarpunk literature by zenna is 1993
  • solarpunk is focused on more sustainable visions of society
  • walkaway by cory doctorow is one of the most inspiring
  • closely related to afropunk in terms of sci-fi genres
  • the Swedish sci-fi bokhandeln h
  • Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation
  • What part of th sci-fi is practical?
    • Walkaway example: for to contribute?
  • example system matches you up to job.
  • Hackerspace is an example * automating management
  • Still rely on social trust, utopian view
  • Create exploration of ideas. Example of city with gardens, no cars, panels, etc…
  • Not only just science fiction. Aligned with permaculture
  • selfmanufacturing, not using longer supply chains
    • The idea from walkaway that the magic machine can create what you need.
  • Example of salvage depot, example in Malmö.
  • Junk yard, available parts for repair
  • spare parts for computers. Against disposible.
  • Finding new purposes.
  • Fablabs example in book.
  • Montreal Storefront; with ability to make items. (eg
  • small side rant on mastodon, a federated social microblogging service.


Book discussion: Building a better world in your backyard (instead of being angry at bad guys)

a fact book, not a fiction book

  • personal responsibility; anecdote from the book about two people. Greta working 40hr weeks. Contrasted with another person (Gert) that lives locally in a community, greywater recycling, living like a millionaire. Contrast the idea of working 40hr weeks to live a carefree life with your friends, with actually doing that by starting a local context together with your friends.
  • most of the solutions are cold-climate solutions (e.g. usable in scandinavia) which are a woefully under-exposed living condition. contrast that with relative the easiness of living off-grid in hawaii with the high temperatures year round.
  • only heat up the area around where you are
  • incadescent lighting is usable for heating your actively used environment, contrasted with LED which doesn’t produce waste. think of using incadescent as using both aspects of the lamp (light AND heat)
  • heat the individual not the house
    • example: at this person from the book has a desk, heats directly underneath him and saves the heat by using a drape around him and the heater
  • black water: comes from you (poo, piss)
  • grey water: what comes as a byproduct of your use, like showering or doing the dishes. in the book they make use of the greywater in growing their own food
  • whole section of the book on finances in this context
    • have recurring revenue / passive income
  • staltz: in order to build something, you have to have some kind of surplus
  • staltz: interested in and preparing for hydroponics. with an aim at getting the skills for it, and to replace a portion of his family’s consumed food with his own grown food
  • malmö hydroponic’s lab; ask daniel
  • back to the book:
  • refers jacob fisker’s ideas of FIRE fame: financial independence, retire early
  • BEER plan: variation of FIRE
  • what worked well with investing according to FIRE: not caring about risk, disassociating yourself from what the media sells
  • permaculture really deals with planning well in the beginning
    • deciding what makes sense for the area and for its climate / local context
    • microclimate: your immediate local context; you live by the sea, which cools your house. context can differ with as little as 10km away.
    • look at what worked traditionally in your local context; what were the people who lived there before eating and doing to cultivate the land. your ancestors or the original peoples of the land
  • how to dial down the drama:
    • take away from the eco scale:
    • uses extreme early retirement example, your only able to handle two levels of magnitude around you. buy within your current income range
    • similarly: you can plan permaculture in the same way. there is conflict in the contact between the person who knows more and the person who knows a little. there needs to be a bit of conscious sympathy invested when people who are many magnitude of difference in ability. be conscious of the strain in these interactions
  • the book really strives to make the point that you shouldn’t have to live ascetically; you can live really well, luxirously
  • random book recommendation: bullshit jobs

invested capital / rate of return = total value over time i.e. how to sum annuity

e.g. 100 dollars / 0.05 = 2000 dollars


@matthias has done quite some resource on this, and is experimenting various solutions on himself. Gearing up for more experimentation at #earthos:the-reef, our co-living space.


@alberto and @matthias — this is a link to a video the author has made with regards to personal heating as mentioned above. This is in a similar vein as some of the ideas from lowtechmagazine with a colder climate twist.

Thanks for pointing me to the reef — while I didn’t touch on this topic during my part of the talk, there is some content with regards to co living with 20 others that might be suitable to that circumstance.


As a followup; and related to these points:

  • refers jacob fisker’s ideas of FIRE fame: financial independence, retire early
  • BEER plan: variation of FIRE

Both the above points were discussed in length in the referenced permaculture book; and this is a clarification/closeout post to an item that was discussed in the session; but not recorded in the minutes.

One of the discussions that was had during the permaculture talk at re:web was the discussion on hedging for climate change; financially. This means having a cover for the impacts, and investing suitably against this by allocating investment decisions accordingly.

I wasn’t sure about a solution at the time, and was a bit challenged that I hadn’t considered this :smile:

With recent discussions on AMZN and other single stocks on ssb; I was inspired to see if this was already a discussed problem, in keeping with the benefits of diversity afforded by index investing in reducing some of the risks obtained by placing money into public markets.

note: entertainment use only, do not drive after reading, not investment advice, etc…

So a quick google I came up to this swedish 2015 paper on hedging climate risks by excluding the more CO2 intensive companies. By accepting a small tracking error from the parent index, you can achieve significant CO2 reduction on the portfolios economic activities. From the graph below it suggests that it might be possible to reduce the intensity while keeping track of the index, in a similar way that “perfect is the enemy of good“ where you may not get to 100%; but a small change can get you to 50% quite easily with not a lot of drama.

Linking to possible etf is an exercise best left to the reader…

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Is Zenna (1993) published anywhere on the internet?

@teirdes — Ooops, that wasn’t clear. What is being referred to is @zelf – aka Zenna – who was providing background to the solar punk literature. I don’t recall which book she referred to, I’ll ask on scuttlebutt; and she’ll see this also!


@teirdes — the crowdsourcing on scuttlebutt probably worked, I think… A fine person there (@)deni there suggested this list and if I was a betting man I would guess that

The Fifth Sacred Thing (1993) by Starhawk – A post-apocalyptic novel depicting two societies, one a sustainable economy based on social justice, and its neighbor, a militaristic and intolerant theocracy

is the book @zelf referred to. As (@)deni said, awesome question!

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another solarpunk festival in sweden:

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