Solarpunk Podcast 0 00. Episode Zero – The Origin of Hope

Solarpunk Podcast. Episode Zero.

It’s the year 2047. My daugther Elisabeth just arrived on Mars. She is full of hope. Young and talented she sets out to become the most famous artist of her generation. She will define our idea of Mars for a century to come. At least that’s the plan…

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About Solarpunk Podcast

Solarpunk is a fictional podcast from the year 2047. It is the future history of my children. In America, in Europe and on Mars.

Think of Solarpunk as kind of an Immigrant Tale: It’s about the joy of starting fresh. It’s the story of how we heal the world. Make it a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race.

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Spoiler Alert!

I use quotes from real people in a fictional setting. The reason is simple: I think it’s fun. You will also find that I often hint at people, events, music, movies and stories that I love.

My advice: Listen to the episode first – then come back and see how many hints you successfully spotted. It’s a fun game.

Listened already? Here comes a list of the hidden jokes, references and spoilers in this episode of the Solarpunk Podcast:

Hidden jokes & fun facts in this episode

  • Did you listen to the music, when I say “Make it a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race”? When I wrote the line “Make it a better place” I started humming without even thinking. So I decided to pay tribute to one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. (Despite his dark sides). If you listen closely you hear an hommage to Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World“.
  • Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps on the moon. Spoken on 20 July 1969. (I am European, that’s why I use the European logical order of time: Day, Month, Year).
  • Buzz Aldrin never met a camera he didn’t like. Here he is with Tina Fey in “30 Rock”.
  • Elon Musk’s idea of affordable is half a million Dollar (2012 value). Here he explains his idea of building a city on mars.
  • “Genius Picasso” by National Geographic is fantastic! I used their trailer, which is full of great ideas. Listen to Alex Rich as young Picasso and enjoy Antonio Banderas as the older painter. (I am a big Antonio Banderas fan. Little travel trip: Visit Malaga if you ever come to Europe. It’s the beautiful home town of both Picasso and Banderas. Also: My son expressed his appreciation for art in the Picasso museum by sitting on the floor and shitting his pampers. Museum staff was very understanding.)
  • Dorothea Lange was a photographer in the 1920’s. Many of her pictures became icons of the depression area. One of the most famous ones is her portrait of a migrant mother.
  • If you want to re-live an inspiring moment of progress: Watch this video of Space X shooting a Tesla Roadster into space. Complete with fake astronaut, Hitchhiker’s reference and a green plate that says “Made by human on Earth”. I confess: It still brings tears to my eyes. That’s the “solar” part of solarpunk: Life is hard enough as it is. Let’s help each other! Also: Great music by David Bowie.
  • Madeleina Kay is a British artist and activist. She ist best known as EU supergirl during the campaign to remain in the European Union. She is talented, tough and fights for a better world. (She is also a lot fun.) That’s why I decided to name a prestigious art foundation in the European Republic after her.
  • Did you notice a hint of Star Wars in the music while I talk about SpaceX in comparison to Fridays For Future? That’s the “punk” part of solarpunk. Progress needs us to push established powers – even when they are well meaning. Also: I think it’s funny.

Ideas in this episode of the Solarpunk Podcast

  • If you wonder what’s so special about a washing machine: Watch this TED talk with Hans Rosling
  • Surprised that I talk about electricity that is both clean and cheap? Listen to this excellent presentation by energy expert Ramez Naam. He gives the same speech every year – and I always watch it. Why? Because Ramez has to constantly update his graphics, because reality turns out even better than he expected. PS: Ramez also writes fiction.
  • Flying taxis are closer than you think. My favorite is Lilium jet. Fully electric, with 300km of range at 300 km/h. A German company which major investors. They already have a flying prototype – and so far they met all their deadlines.
  • SpaceX and the independence movement on Mars have a fundamental conflict. SpaceX wants to protect it’s investment. The people of Mars want to run their own destiny. When you are able to do more – you want to do more. Progress leads to greater freedom by public pressure. This is the hopeful lesson from Christian Welzel’s decades of research. Read “Freedom Rising“.

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