The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. – Carl Sagan
It’s difficult to go 24 hours these days without encountering a conversation or story about climate change. And for good reason. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, which may be the greatest collective challenge humanity has ever faced. Whatever your personal beliefs and wherever you fall on the political spectrum, this issue affects us all. The actions we choose to take (or not) over the next decade will determine the course of our future as a species.
Burning Man has long been engaged in environmental stewardship through initiatives like Earth Guardians and the 2007 Green Man theme, and through partnerships with Black Rock Labs, Black Rock Solar, and Friends of Black Rock High Rock.
But we have to do more, and we have to do it now.
It’s time to rally the significant intellectual, creative, and financial resources of the Burning Man community to develop, proliferate, and scale environmental sustainability solutions. We’re looking to you to put your heads and hearts together to help address some of mankind’s most pressing challenges.
To that end, today Burning Man Project is setting three broad goals to be achieved over the next 10 years:
- No Matter Out of Place. Handle waste ecologically.
- Be Regenerative. Create a net positive ecological and environmental impact.
- Be Carbon Negative. Remove more carbon from the environment than we put into it.
These goals apply to Black Rock City and to Burning Man Project’s year-round programs and operations. We have just published our Environmental Sustainability Roadmap on Medium,* which goes into greater detail. We encourage you to read it and contribute to the dialogue here.
If the Kingdom of Bhutan can do it, shouldn’t we? And shouldn’t we inspire others to do the same?
Burning Man Project’s nonprofit mission is to facilitate and extend the culture of Burning Man into the world. In our efforts to become regenerative and carbon negative, we can further this mission and activate our community’s Principles by demonstrating how innovative and industrious individuals can work together in an open-source model to create and scale solutions for fighting climate change.
We don’t have all the answers. We’re not even sure we’re asking all of the right questions (yet). We’ve decided to state where we hope to go, and to trust that you — this community that’s clearly capable of great, improbable, and even unimaginable things — will help us get there. In true Burning Man fashion, we know this has to be a genuinely collaborative effort. This will require our most creative problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking yet, and we want you to be part of it.
We’re excited to do this work.
We hope you are, too.
* On Medium, you say? Why there? Like everything else about this project, this is an experiment. We’ve recently begun exploring Medium as a space for encouraging dialogue around Burning Man-related topics, and deepening the connections between Burning Man and other networks, communities, and ideas. We invite you to join the discussion there and/or in the comments here.
Top photo: Tree of Ténéré by Zachary Smith, Mark C. Slee and Studio Drift (Photo by Leori Gill)