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August 25, 2015

Shocked, So Shocked I Tell You, We Need A Committee

Some people have suddenly noticed that Burning Man is not a green environmentally-friendly event. Duh. That was obvious to me my first time, and that was even the year the theme was "Green" or environmentalism, or something like that. Burning Man has never claimed to be low-carbon, nor green. The philosophy of "Leave No Trace" does not include a requirement that we all carpool in Priuses (Prii?). It doesn't mean all of our fires and explosions have to be powered by non-fracked natural gas.

In terms, then, of 70,000 people going on non-green summer vacation, how would Burning Man compare to, say, Disneyland or Las Vegas or even visiting Yellowstone or Yosemite? They're probably all in the same general neighborhood in terms of carbon footprint per capita. But that author decided to pick on Burning Man - probably because she knows all the haters are going to be on her side from the git go.

Some Burners have listened to her and created a petition on Change.org that seeks to create a committee. Yes, really. It's a petition to create a committee. We know how this might turn out. A committee will or will not be created. End of story, now let's plan for the next Burn!

It would be a real challenge to start organizing an educational effort to try to get the 70,000 attendees to alter their behavior in order to reduce their carbon footprint. But a petition to organize a committee, you can do that in less than 15 minutes and you'll still have time to put the kids in the SUV and drive to the beach.

In many of the more distant cities, Burner groups collectively rent trucks to haul most of their gear to the playa, allowing individual Burners to choose more environmentally friendly ways of getting themselves to the playa: small cars for example, or flying into Vegas or Reno to catch the Burner Express bus (is flying more environmentally friendly than driving from, say, NYC?), or renting vans for carpooling. The Burning Man organization might be able to facilitate the creation of similar hauling collectives in the big closer cities where most Burners come from.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 25, 2015 at 10:00 AM

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