The End of Burning Man is Also its Future
It's time to enact large-scale policy changes or bag the whole thing
A hurricane striking the desert was not on anyone’s Burner bingo card for 2023.
Burning Man, the annual 80,000-person bacchanal, happens approximately three hours outside of Reno, Nevada, in the Black Rock Desert every Labor Day. It is a place of extremes: extreme temperatures, extreme dust storms and an extreme lack of water.
Climate change, and all its extreme unpredictability, has arrived at the playa, the dusty-dry lakebed where the event is situated. Last year, temperatures soared to 103° Fahrenheit. This year, not only did a tropical storm roll by, but an unseasonable rainstorm followed within the week. The resulting epic mud pit, filled with all manner of litter and trash, might strain the resources of the Burning Man Organization—the gathering's governing body, also referred to as the Org—to the breaking point.
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