Today I realized that #solarpunk stories need to focus on people losing their jobs and respecializing. There are millions of miners worldwide who need to know that learning a new trade is normal and should have a promise, a vision of a good life after that.
Otherwise Solarpunk fails its most important duty: to dream up a better future for everybody, not just for the few of us who were lucky to choose "future-oriented" professions.
That is not an easy quest: we can try doing it with a hands-on approach, a call to adventure, a promise to see the fruits of your labour yourself, being more than a spreadsheet row.
With that we should be careful not to go into the "adventure economy" too much, not to land into the exploitation of Uber.
@alxd While I don't yet know very much about Afrofuturism, it seems like it probably has a lot to teach solarpunk about exactly this, since it has forcible dislocation as a central theme.
@freakazoid I honestly don't like a big chunk of afrofuturism, since it's extremely US-centric and considers Oakland more important than the whole of Kenya or Nigeria.
I feel that it talks about a _mythology_ of dislocation, ignoring a lot of really fascinating issues African communities face.
@alxd How exactly does this respecializing happen? I'm one of those people that everyone wants to put out of a job (I work in a factory stacking parts in boxes in the USA). I can't really say whether or not I'm good at it, but I can program. I write web servers, a web framework, compilers, etc. I like to think I'm decently skilled at it and programming is supposed to be an in-demand profession but when I send out applications I don't even receive a response. Maybe this is anecdotal but I'm unconvinced that it's as easy as just "respecializing".
I'm not trying to call you out here either, I really want to know. I'd love to get out of the factory, but right not it seems impossible. I even tried going back to university after failing out, but I guess you can't just start over so I'm not sure I can ever go back because I did poorly years ago. Also worth noting that my job pays better than some specialized jobs like machining.
@hunter my understanding is that right now only a comprehensive, well-prepared government programs can help people change jobs. Sadly, very few governments are capable of that, and even fewer are willing to. For now we have stories like https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-02-06/what-sweden-can-teach-the-world-about-worker-retraining and the Swedish Ministry of Employment
I'm not saying it will be ever easy, but it might be necessary. Here in Poland we have several hundred thousand people in coal mining industry - and we still import carbon.
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