Did Gaia punish Burning Man for ignoring local weather protests?



Local weather protesters blockaded the street to Burning Man previous to the pageant’s kickoff per week in the past. Their objections have advantage – Burning Man is fairly rattling polluting. The pageant, which occurs in Pershing County, Nevada, yearly in late summer time, celebrates artwork and neighborhood dwelling. The idea is nice – there’s no cash, every little thing is given away, and there’s a go away no hint precept.

Lately, nonetheless, folks have been leaving traces. A number of them. The group that runs Burning Man was appalled final yr on the quantity of what’s referred to as “MOOP” (miscellaneous objects on the playa…the playa being what Burners name the sandy location of the Burn) left behind after the pageant. I imagine the organizers of  the Burn do care in regards to the surroundings. Nature is commonly celebrated in artwork, and a lot of the training and initiation for Burners revolves round being variety, doing the precise factor, and caring for all.

But it surely’s not the trash alone, after all, it’s the…every little thing. How do you construct a metropolis in the midst of the desert, after which take all of it down and go away no hint? Heaps, and much, and much….of fossil fuels. Individuals touring to and from, and getting all that tools, gear, and infrastructure to the playa from the closest metropolis (Reno), in response to Burning Man’s sustainability report, constitutes the grand, grand majority of emissions attributed to the occasion. In accordance with their chart of emissions, 63% of whole pageant emissions come from automobile journey (folks driving RVs from throughout, then sitting and ready in visitors for hours to get within the gates, then ready in visitors for generally as much as 8 hours with a view to get out), whereas 27% come from folks flying in/out, and solely 10% comes from actions on the playa. The overall? 100,000 tons of CO2. For a pageant of 1 week.

Featured picture: A view of the Burning Man occasion from the Worldwide House Station. Picture by NASA ISS (Public Area).

Local weather protestors instructed that…you recognize…possibly if the organizers of the Burn had been severe about their local weather objectives, possibly they may ban non-public jets coming and going (sure, the Burn has an airport that they put collectively for simply that week). The protesters had been bodily eliminated and lots of had been arrested, and an officer purportedly drove by their barricade to open the lanes for festival-goers to proceed on their method.

Add to this that Burning Man’s organizers joined what seems to be a NIMBY anti-clean vitality consortium to assist struggle geothermal vitality growth within the space, and are as an alternative making an attempt to purchase carbon seize as a technique to get to internet zero, and also you begin to marvel the place the group’s priorities are. (Creator’s observe: I admire that they’re making an attempt. I actually do. I simply hope it’s an actual dedication, as a result of as we all know, carbon seize just isn’t precisely…you recognize…)

The wrath of Gaia?

Final yr’s Burn featured a number of the worst mud storms the occasion  has ever seen. There have all the time been mud storms at Burning Man – it’s a part of the journey. However final yr was downright horrible, with most days getting unhealthy storms, in response to a few buddies who went.

This yr, although, Gaia might need upped the ante.

Common precipitation in Pershing County is 0.2 inches in August and 0.2 once more in September. This week, nonetheless, the place has been inundated. Friday night time, heavy rains (greater than half an inch, about 3x the traditional month-to-month whole) fell and flooded the playa. In accordance with the NYT, Burners had been instructed Saturday that they could be caught for a bit, so preserve meals, water, and different essential provides.

I’ve buddies who’re there, and I’ve not heard from them. That’s not irregular, given the dearth of cell service there, and I’m not frightened, but, however I additionally do not know how lengthy it’ll take for 3x the traditional month-to-month precipitation to dry out, not to mention if it would go away the desert harmful for vehicles and trigger even greater delays in exiting the pageant grounds.

I don’t find out about you all, however I feel Gaia is pissed. And I don’t blame her.



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