This Earth Month, we’re looking back on the history of environmental radicalism. Brian Tokar is a teacher, activist, and writer who’s been involved in the movements he writes and teaches about since the 70s. We discuss how leftism and environmentalism came together, why ecology matters for the left, and what lessons we can learn from these traditions and put into practice today.



What happens when a solarpunk world is suddenly visited by aliens?

Ruthanna Emrys has long been known to the weird fiction community for her reimaginings of H.P. Lovecraft. She writes stories for monsters – stories that challenge the role of the monster as something “other,” something to be feared, something we can’t build social relations with.

Her latest novel, A Half Built Garden, begins with a classic scenario: an alien spaceship landing. But we learn pretty quickly that, strange and incomprehensible as these aliens are, fear is not the only response we can have to the unknown. A Half Built Garden is a story of high-stakes interspecies negotiations, of hope and progress despite immense challenges, and of bridging the divide between the familiar and the alien.

Ruthanna Emrys (website, and links to buy the book):



The editors of Strange Matters Magazine want your reading experience to feel like meeting a grad student friend for coffee. Meaning: they explain the most exciting parts of their research, give you all the hot gossip in their field, skip the jargon and elitism, and still deliver the information in a rigorous manner. Strange Matters is thoughtful yet playful, broad in scope yet deep in its analysis. They publish articles in a variety of genres and from a variety of viewpoints, all committed to their mission of “a new culture of open-minded inquiry on the Left.”


To kick off the New Year and a new season of Solarpunk Now, I’m bringing you a conversation with some other creators in the solarpunk space.

In June last year, I presented a panel at the Solarpunk Conference alongside Andre of HydroponicTrash, Ariel of the Solarpunk Presents Podcast, and Joey of The Fire These Times podcast. Our panel, From Capitalist Realism to a Solarpunk Reality, discussed the thought and action necessary to bring solarpunk to life. We got together after the conference to expand on these ideas and find connections between our related, but distinct areas of research.



AI already poses an immediate danger to our freedom, livelihood, and even our very survival. We don’t need to wait on the singularity for AI to become existential – the resistance starts now.

In this episode, Dan McQuillan (Goldsmiths Department of Computing) critiques AI from an informed, technical basis. We explore the risks of currently existing models, from shaping our subjectivities to eradicating marginalized groups. And finally, Dan makes the case for an anti-fascist alternative – radical care as the antidote to careless tech-solutionism.



AJ is a fashion designer who focuses on making accessible fashion: clothing for diverse bodies, abilities, and genders. His online store–Pocketbean Crafts–sells magical and accessible fashion. He also has a nonprofit, Queering the Spotlight, which provides accessible fashion opportunities for artists and models.

There are a lot of issues with the fashion industry: from labor rights, to a huge carbon footprint, to the lack of options for diverse bodies and abilities. In this episode, AJ offers his view of the problems with the fashion world, and how he’s navigated fashion as a trans man with disabilities. We’ll also learn how AJ challenges harmful norms beginning with the design process, and hear some great ideas for making fashion part of a brighter future!



Measure H was a ballot initiative in the 2022 election in Pasadena, CA (a city in Los Angeles County). The measure–now Article 18 of the city charter–established citywide rent control, “just cause” eviction protections, and a rental housing board to implement the law.

On average, Pasadena is more economically unequal than California, as well as the United States as a whole. Histories of this inequality, as well as redlining and racial covenants, are clearly visible in the city landscape. As you can probably imagine, landlords and landlord associations representing their class interests fought pretty hard against Measure H. But the measure passed (by a lot!), and Pasadena tenants now have the basic protections that were so desperately needed.

On the face of it, Measure H might seem like just another electoral campaign, but my guests today saw it as a lot more. They saw an awakening of political consciousness, and an expansion of the horizon of possibility for disempowered and disillusioned tenants. In this episode I talk with three on-the-ground organizers from the Pasadena Tenants Union: on the state of tenants rights in Pasadena, how this measure changes the playing field, and what they learned in the struggle to get it passed.



Bee Rooney is both a scientist and a socialist. She got her PhD in environmental engineering and science at Caltech (Pasadena, CA), and now organizes with the Socialists of Caltech and Pasadena Tenants Union.

Bee shares her insights on balancing the demands of research and activism. We also discuss her work in relation to climate, public health, and building a solarpunk future. Scientists can do a lot when they organize together, and when they bring their skills and knowledge outside of the academy to benefit their community. In this episode we’ll hear what it takes to get together, get involved, and make change happen as a scientist.


Last summer, tenant organizers from all over North America came together in Los Angeles for the 2022 Autonomous Tenants Union Network Conference. The conversations in this episode were recorded with permission live at the conference.

Tenants are uniquely situated between socioeconomic inequality and climate change, so a tenants union fights against a wide variety of challenges: harassment and illegal evictions, gentrification, natural disasters, displacement, racism, and more. In this episode, we’ll hear from two tenants unions who have faced unique regional challenges. We’ll see where their struggles overlap, as well as unique obstacles they face and strategies they’ve developed as a result.

West River Tenants United, based in occupied Oceti Sakowin land (aka South Dakota), are battling racism, poverty, displacement of indigenous tenants, and the challenges of organizing in a rural area. They organize in tricky situations like trailer parks, homeless encampments, and a hostile political environment. You can find their website here.

The Houston Tenants Union operates in an area especially prone to disasters caused by climate change. They help keep each other safe and rebuild in the aftermath of disaster, offer services that landlords and the city refuse to provide, and organize buildings against negligent management. You can find their website here.

I’m currently running a fundraiser to cover my 2023 expenses for this show. Please support if you can:



This is a collab episode with fellow podcaster Joey Ayoub of The Fire These Times. We talk in detail about the research I was doing before I started my show, as well as how it connects to Joey’s current research. We cover neoliberalism, capitalist realism, hauntology and ghosts, and all sorts of issues with temporality and imagining the future.

Fun fact, The Fire These Times was actually the podcast that encouraged me to start Solarpunk Now! I listened to some of his episodes on solarpunk while I was still learning about the genre and trying to come up with a central theme to design my own podcast around.

I’m currently running a fundraiser to cover my 2023 expenses for this show. Please support if you can:

The Fire These Times website:
You can also follow Joey on Twitter and Mastodon, and support his show on Patreon.

Follow me on Twitter:




@[email protected]