They say one person can make a difference in the world. I’ve never really believed this. That is, until now. Let us all put our hands together for Katie Herzog.
A post I wrote last week on the carbon footprint of Burning Man has, shall we say, blown the fuck up. It’s received hundreds of comments, thousands of likes, and tens of thousands of shares. Reactions have been … mixed. Some think I’m right, that Burning Man is a white privilege parade with a shamefully high environmental impact; others think I’m the world’s biggest buzzkill and would like to throw me on the pile along with the burning man. This, actually, seems to be the majority opinion, and I spent part of the weekend watching Burners call me names on the internet. Honestly, I kind of liked it.
Now, however, one Burner isn’t just taking to the comment section: He’s started a petition.
San Francisco Burner Ryan Kushner has started a Change.org petition calling for the Burning Man Board to address the environmental concerns I brought up in my piece. (An earlier version of the petition cited the article, but it’s since been removed. Not gonna lie. My feelings are a little hurt.) The petition reads:
Do you have even a little bit of “Burner Shame” because of the environmental impact of the event? Do you find yourself having to defend the event? Let’s banish Burner Shame forever by helping Burning Man become unequivocally a force for good, a leader in sustainability, and a place where solutions are born.
It then goes on to list specific demands like creating and expanding climate initiatives, establishing a baseline carbon footprint, and holding regular progress reviews. So far, it has almost 300 signatures of the 500 required to take it to the Burning Man Board. Good luck, Burners! If this petition is successful and Burner Shame becomes a thing of the past, you are welcome to PayPal your thanks to email@example.com. You might not take cash, but I do.
On a related note, a generous reader offered me free Burning Man tickets, so look for me in Black Rock City, friends! My playa name is Dusty Buzzkill.