No matter what I may have murmured since the late 90s, once again I'm definitely not going to Burning Man this year, and I don't dare predict if I'll ever go. Help to finagle some extra vacation time for me, and I'll postpone my ho-humness for a week to freak with you in the desert.
But if I were heading to Black Rock, I could use the CoolingMan calculator (via SF Chronicle) to help make up for whatever pollution I might cause there. Contrary to what the Chronicle's headline implies, this is by no means the first effort to make Burning Man greener; the festival's environmental commitment starts with its rule that no trace is left when it's all over. So many members of the Burning Man community already pilot biodiesel buses and dedicate their days to green pursuits rather than daily downtown wage slavery, whether they're helping prisoners to garden organically or volunteering in the post-Katrina zone.
Then again, plenty of trustafarians and corporate sellouts make the annual trek, which is an uncharitable and glass-house thing to say. I guess that the climax of an even greener Burning Man might just light up a sculpture with LED lights instead of torching a pyrotechnical effigy. If that ever happened, hopefully Burning Man wouldn't tame itself to the point of resembling the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (doubt it, but who in 1971 would have foreseen Jerry Garcia ties?). By a stretch of the imagination, if there were ever some corporate involvement, then hopefully the world at that point would be more like a Mona Caron mural and so it wouldn't matter, because corporations would have evolved to behave like Eleanor Roosevelt rather than as run-of-the-mill psychopaths.