How to “Speak” Climate Change, Solarpunk Art Contest and 2021 Winners Announced, Solarpunk Magazine to Launch Soon

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

How to “speak” climate change, plus the Solarpunk Art Contest and the top three 2021 Winners. By the way, Solarpunk Magazine to launch January 2022!



Big shout out to solarpunk Yishan Wong, a fan of The Climate Daily. Last week, after we dropped our episode highlighting the Solarpunk aesthetic, Wong told us about the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021 he recently sponsored.

According to his website, Wong was inspired by “Justine Norton-Kertson’s recent call for submission to a solarpunk anthology called, Solarpunk Sunscapes: Optimistic Visions of the Future, looking for short stories or poems centered on the solarpunk theme.”

As a quick reminder, solarpunk is sub-genre of science fiction, as well as an artistic and social aesthetic offering optimistic-yet-future forwardly-realistic stories about near and distant future societies powered by renewable energy, and where nature and technology coexist. It’s also about extending human life on a species level, rather than individually.

Initially award money totaling $18,500 for the ten best pieces of original solarpunk art was the prize money pool. All ten winners will also receive a free digital copy of the inaugural issue of Solarpunk Magazine. Wong invited both artists and philanthropists to enter Solarpunk Art Contest 2021. Artists—well obvio! And philanthropists? To help sweeten the pot.

Who is Yishan Wong and why does the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021 matter to us?

Wong is former CEO of Reddit and currently, the founder and CEO of Terraformation, a company dedicated to solving climate change by scaling global native forest restoration. His contest helps build spiritual resiliency, let’s us imagine an adaptive and bright era of climate change future, while also helping to lessen the psychological impacts of climate change on us through gorgeous artwork.

Here’s the bad news. The contest ran from September 1 – November 1. So while you cannot enter it, we can announce the winners!

DEEPER DIVE: Solarpunk Art, Wikipedia,, Adam Flynn, Medium, Solarpunk Magazine



So, remember way back 30 seconds ago, when we announced that Terraformation CEO and founder Yishan Wong created and announced the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021?

(Yeah and you said not only invited artists to submit their works but also invited philanthropists to sweeten the prize pot.)

Guess what? Philanthropists showed up and showed out! According to Wong, Justine Norton-Kertson, Mark Lutter, Diego Saez-Gil, Anonymous Contributor P, Gaia Dempsey, Ryan Rzepecki (Rizza Pecki), Blakelock Brown, Christian Anderson, Hal Hefner, Artur Piszek, and Andee Liao contributed to the prize pool. All told, the total value of prizes was $19,000!

So, the top three prizewinners are:

Third prize was awarded to Helia Jam, a graphic designer who hails from Persia, is into solarpunk, anarcho primitivism, and gardening.

Second prize: In a surprise twist, second place goes to Stephan Nance, who composed the inspiring original song Metropolis of Eden, which is the music you hear in the winners’ montage video: 

First prize: Elijah Johnson: for an animated film short as experimental as the concept itself: a solar-powered Farm of the Future; spanning acres, growing many types of crops/vegetation and sustained with a combination of large solar generators, and wind power.”

Oh, and in the collaborative spirit of solarpunk, Wong collected the top entries into a montage video — So, if you’re looking for the most enjoyable way to experience the winning entries, visit and click on the link to the Montage in the Deeper Dive Section of this story. We’ve also put links to the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021 in our Deeper Dive section for you to enjoy thoroughly.

DEEPER DIVE: Solarpunk Art, Wikipedia,, Adam Flynn, Medium, Solarpunk Magazine, Spark Music, Solarpunk Art 2021 Winners, WINNERS MONTAGE



You know what I like about solarpunk? It’s hope ethic. Fore example, founder of the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021, Yishan Wong’s tagline is, “See you in the future.” And the about-to-drop Solarpunk Magazine’s tagline is: “Demand Utopia.” Two great things to aim for in the era of climate change.

According to its website, Solarpunk Magazine is a bimonthly online publication of radically hopeful and optimistic science fiction and fantasy. It defines Solarpunk as a pre-figurative, utopian artistic movement that envisions what the future might look like if humanity solved major modern challenges like climate change, and created more sustainable and balanced societies.

The mission of this magazine is to become one of many important catalysts for an important and necessary revolution within both the literary world and our larger culture. So what is Solarpunk Magazine, and why does it matter to us? While dystopic, science fiction can be fun and exciting, it’s ultimately fatiguing and it establishes hopelessness.

According to the editors, “We need more fiction and poetry about amazing technological advancements of the future that work in harmony with nature. We need stories about sustainable communities that thrive on cooperation and mutual aid rather than competition and profit. We need to build utopias with pen and page where capitalism and it’s social ills such as white supremacy, patriarchy, and massive wealth disparity are things of the past. In short, we need more literature that demands utopia.”

Mark your calendars. Solarpunk Magazine is set to drop January 11, 2022. And for more insight, check out an interview its editors did with Dave Miller of Oregon Public Radio’s, “Think Out Loud” at

DEEPER DIVE: Solarpunk Magazine, Think Out Loud



If you’re a teacher, like I am, you know that in the words of Jean Luc GohDARR, sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form, or in the case of climate change, analogies give it meaning.

For example, if I were to tell you that Greenland was losing as much as 283 gigatonnes of ice annually, my students’ eyes might glaze over. Why? Unless you’re a scientist, they probably never use any word beginning with “giga” except perhaps to describe the size of their computer hard drives.

Even then it may lack meaning because well, what the heck is a giga? For the record, it’s the International System of Units way of indicating “a billion”. Oh and a tonne is a metric ton—or about 2,200 pounds. So why not just say 283 billion metric tons?

Even if we did, that’s a phenomenally huge, almost incomprehensible number. Numbers that big lose their meaning. They don’t resonate with the people with whom you want them to resonate.

But if I were to tell you one gigatonne was roughly in excess of six million blue whales, or more than one hundred million elephants, that might resonate.

And that’s why NASA has devoted a webpage to “Visualizing the Quantities of Climate Change.” It’s a great tool for educators and presenters to help connect the ginormous size and scale of the problem to the small scale of human beings.