A traveler from Far and Wide
One of the most exciting things about Burning Man is the communal attraction of people from all over the world. People form all continents and from different backgrounds get together and share in the festivities of Burning Man. People from different cultures and different backgrounds. But there is a disconnect between the values of Burning Man and the concept of 80 000 people traveling into Black Rock City: the burden on the climate exercised by the transportation of those people.
The eighth principle of Burning Man is to “Leave No Trace” and this is not limited to not leaving trash in the desert. This also includes the trace left in the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. For the Burning Man Festival to continue every year, the climate has to stay cool enough to make the week-long occurrence feasible for human bodies. Every year the weather will get more extreme, meaning more extreme heat-waves and more extreme storms, if climate change continues to develop as described in the IPCC-reports. In an already demanding environment like the one in the Nevada Desert, this can be detrimental for the health and safety of partying, festival-goers.
For a lot of attendees at Burning Man, flying is the only option to get to Black Rock City. So, does this mean that Burning Man should be a local burn, and the international community should disintegrate? Not necessarily, because there is a solution. The Carbon Dioxide emissions from Air Travel can be compensated through different programs. This way, nature has a way to adapt and bind the new greenhouse – gasses in the atmosphere.
One program for climate compensation is the Clime Works program which uses direct air capture methodology and stores the Carbon Dioxide. Through the link below you can choose to store 25, 45 or 85 KG of Carbon Dioxide. The idea is also that more donations and capital will lead to development in the engineering methodology, hopefully making it cheaper and more efficient to capture CO2 in the future.
Another option is Vesta which helps coastal communities, habitats, and infrastructure that are threatened by climate change and sea-level rise.Vesta adds a carbon-removing sand made of the natural mineral olivine to coastal systems. This nature-based climate strategy reduces ocean acidity and removes carbon dioxide permanently.
So for the sake of the continuation of Burning Man, I hope all readers are considering using one of the above programs to reduce their impact on the Climate. I also encourage everyone to do their own research, possibly finding something that is where the investment is used more efficiently to reduce our carbon footprint.
92% of your environmental impact comes from our travel to and from Black Rock City. That is a lot of MOOP.
Dusty hugs from Team Sustainability @Nordic Paradise