Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 1:07 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:All I'm really saying is it doesn't matter. Parade some electric mutant vehicles around at Burning Man. I just think it's going to accomplish nothing but making yourself feel better about all the fuel we burn to go out there and play.
The rest of the world considers Burning Man a joke, a bunch of hippie freaks doing drugs in the desert. If I were going to demonstrate anything serious, I sure as hell wouldn't do it there.

If the rest of the world consider burners a bunch of hippie freaks doing drugs in the desert and IF you want to change that perception isn't demonstrating something serious in the desert exactly one of the ways to do it?

At the end of the day, the parade will demonstrate alternatives to gasoline powered vehicles at an event that braces itself for encouraging communal effort, participance and "making the world real through actions that open the heart".

An electric dragon car, cup cakes and other colorful means of transportation driving through the desert might not in themselves change anything but perhaps together they can open more people's hearts and encourage creative thinking in the default world.

I would like to think this is also what Burning Man 365/24/7 is about.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby trilobyte » Mon May 14, 2012 1:32 am

I'd rather that alternative energy vehicles make their statements through their art and just being awesome mutant vehicles.

(and giving this a nudge to the mutant vehicles board)
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Mon May 14, 2012 1:53 am

Why not frame this in terms of what you personally feel as an artistic impetus, rather than hide behind an imagined group-think ideological construct?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby gyre » Mon May 14, 2012 2:07 am

Most people consider ethanol a biofuel in the usa, while it is actually counter efficient.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 2:46 am

trilobyte wrote:I'd rather that alternative energy vehicles make their statements through their art and just being awesome mutant vehicles.


Why would a parade make them any less awesome mutant vehicles? Besides, the CO2 painting is a statement using artistic tools.

Bob wrote:Why not frame this in terms of what you personally feel as an artistic impetus, rather than hide behind an imagined group-think ideological construct?


I'm sorry if it sounds as if we're trying to hide behind any imagined group-think ideology. We're not. CO2 Green Drive is an art project (we make CO2 GPS paintings) with the underlying objective to raise awareness of climate issues by engaging the public in a fun and entertaining spectacle. The intention behind this thread was simply to establish if there is interest in the idea among burners that drive MVs powered by renewable energy sources.

Once this has been established there are a few other obstacles to deal with before a parade can become reality.

Boy, I am surprised the idea of engaging Burning Man participants to support a message of climate awareness seems to be this controversial.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby BBadger » Mon May 14, 2012 3:11 am

That is a fundamentally stupid idea.

Burning Man is quite possibly the worst vehicle for promoting renewable energy imaginable.

In case you haven't heard, Burning Man is a giant festival located in the middle of a fucking dried out lake bed in the middle of a desert where people drive out from all over the world in fleets of tens of thousands of vehicles consuming hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline. At the festival, people burn sculptures and other stuff they don't want to truck back, use millions of lights and megajoules of energy, haul in tons of water and consumables generating tons of trash, and expose their possessions to harsh conditions that will shorten their lifespan.

Now you propose that making a bunch of "renewable" mutant vehicles to showcase to the world that our altar to consumption and festivities is concerned about doing good for the planet. We'll show the "default world" how it is done with vehicles that literally have to be towed onto the playa because they're not road worthy. We'll show the default world about "renewable resources" by making vehicles that are not even "renewable" in the sense that the MVs cannot be used at any time during the year except at Burning Man. We'll show the default world that we too can buy huge solar panel arrays and tons of sealed lead acid batteries to be transported to the middle of nowhere and back for a parade to ourselves.

That kind of idea is the very definition of myopic, dipshit hippiness.

It's laugh-worthy to read about doofus hippies trying to demonstrate their service to the planet by even attending Burning Man at all. A festival like Burning Man should be anathema to green thinking. If you truly felt you wanted to do something for the planet, you would not even participate in this festival of excess and consumption. Spend the money on solar cells or something.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 3:12 am

gyre wrote:Most people consider ethanol a biofuel in the usa, while it is actually counter efficient.

I don't have the knowledge to dismiss this point of view but having worked in this field now for a couple of years I can assure you there are as many opinions to theis question and other subjects as there are stakeholders. Which is also one of the thinkings behind CO2 Green Drive. To create an engaging platform where these questions can be dealt with in public and on a sound, scientific basis.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 4:12 am

BBadger wrote:
Burning Man is quite possibly the worst vehicle for promoting renewable energy imaginable.


So what you're saying is that Burning Man celebrates mindless consumption and that's it? That it's a laugh-worthy, myopic, dipshit idea to even suggest using what's going on at Burning Man to inspire the default world when it comes to issues of climate and sustainability? That these issues are somehow of limit for Burning Man?

Of course, driving out in the middle of a desert to build a temporary city is not, by definition, sustainable. But Burning Man DOES actually take place in the middle of a desert and I am surprised if the common perception is that we should somehow not stand by this and still use what's going on to inspire the default world even if it means taking a good look at our actions.

What about being responsible and stand by ones actions? What about Burning Man being a state of mind rather than a location? This only applies to some of the things that goes on at Burning Man?

Instead of denying or hiding what's going on I will argue we need to stand by all the activities that make up Burning Man. Pro and counter environment/society beneficial. How else can we honestly expect that the default world would want to listen seriously to anything we have to say?

And for the record, we are merely suggesting to use MVs that are already out there.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby BBadger » Mon May 14, 2012 5:36 am

SkeletonMan wrote:So what you're saying is that Burning Man celebrates mindless consumption and that's it? That it's a laugh-worthy, myopic, dipshit idea to even suggest using what's going on at Burning Man to inspire the default world when it comes to issues of climate and sustainability? That these issues are somehow of limit for Burning Man?


Beyond the credibility of Burning Man more like it. You might as well be hosting a free speech convention at China's Great Firewall facilities.

Of course, driving out in the middle of a desert to build a temporary city is not, by definition, sustainable. But Burning Man DOES actually take place in the middle of a desert and I am surprised if the common perception is that we should somehow not stand by this and still use what's going on to inspire the default world even if it means taking a good look at our actions.


Therefore your platform should be to criticize Burning Man for its location, consumption, and overall resource decadence rather than use it as a publicity platform for a cause that is diametrically opposed to what actually takes place at the event. Why don't we have a big chastity parade at Burning Man too? Or a pro-Prohibition rally? Because while Burning Man is not exactly promoting such things as sex, alcohol consumption, or for that matter pollution, it's not exactly an event taking any efforts to mitigate them.

What about being responsible and stand by ones actions? What about Burning Man being a state of mind rather than a location? This only applies to some of the things that goes on at Burning Man?


No, not it is not. What you might get out of Burning Man might be a state of mind, but fundamentally Burning Man is an event/festival. The best part about Burning Man is that it isn't, for the most part, trying to push ideology onto people. For a week we get to enjoy being segregated from the default world and all its ideologies and causes.

Great, you want to participate and get other people to participate in your "green" campaign. What I'm thinking is that it is a stupid idea because BM is practically the antithesis of a green event so you're losing substantial amounts of credibility--especially with the default world you're trying to "inspire"--by trying to leverage it for your green platform.

Want to stand by your actions? Don't attend. You're protesting a hugely polluting that does nothing for green causes.

Instead of denying or hiding what's going on I will argue we need to stand by all the activities that make up Burning Man. Pro and counter environment/society beneficial. How else can we honestly expect that the default world would want to listen seriously to anything we have to say?


Nobody here is hiding or denying anything, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. Burning Man is not green, and never will be. I'm seeing it for what it is, and how it would be perceived by other people.

How can we expect the default world to listen seriously to anything we have to say? It's called credibility. It starts by not looking like a damn hypocrite.

And for the record, we are merely suggesting to use MVs that are already out there.


So what? How is that any better?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elderberry » Mon May 14, 2012 6:33 am

On this board, it doesn't matter how good (bad) an idea is, there will always be people that won't (will) like it. :? :shock:
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Mon May 14, 2012 6:59 am

Sure you don't want to go with CO instead of CO2?

H2S might be doable if you flip 90 degrees clockwise and use the Center Camp ring roads.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby some seeing eye » Mon May 14, 2012 7:14 am

I think it's been said it would be good to coordinate with the Earth Guardians, and figure out where to do the parade in a sanctioned way. I think giving educational talks at the various camps who do that would be a valuable complement to your overall program. Your concept would be strengthened by gathering personal quotes from participants of all your parades.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 7:19 am

At the end of the day it comes down to perspective.

One perspective is that a lot of energy is used in connection with Burning Man. Energy that would not have been used if Burning Man was not there. End of story. Burning Man = bad for the environment.

Another perspective is that whatever actually comes out of all this energy usage is not only reflected in the amount of joules used and that some aspects may still be used in a climate related story that can inspire to do better. At Burning Man and/or in the default world down the line.

I would also like to suggest that the engineers behind alternative fuel powered MVs may have taken eco-related matters into concern when they chose to use renewable energy ressources.

The parade will simply offer these a platform to show their vehicles - dipshit perspective or not.

Therefore your platform should be to criticize Burning Man for its location, consumption, and overall resource decadence rather than use it as a publicity platform for a cause that is diametrically opposed to what actually takes place at the event. Why don't we have a big chastity parade at Burning Man too? Or a pro-Prohibition rally? Because while Burning Man is not exactly promoting such things as sex, alcohol consumption, or for that matter pollution, it's not exactly an event taking any efforts to mitigate them.

Well, anybody is free to choose their approach they profer. We have chosen ours.

What you might get out of Burning Man might be a state of mind, but fundamentally Burning Man is an event/festival. The best part about Burning Man is that it isn't, for the most part, trying to push ideology onto people. For a week we get to enjoy being segregated from the default world and all its ideologies and causes.

So don't participate in the parade! I and others will argue there's more to Burning Man than an event/festival in the desert and if some of us seize the opportunity to talk about climate issues we have the right to do that.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 7:25 am

Bob wrote:Sure you don't want to go with CO instead of CO2?

H2S might be doable if you flip 90 degrees clockwise and use the Center Camp ring roads.


You might have to enlighten me why you think we should write CO or H2S instead of CO2?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elliot » Mon May 14, 2012 7:38 am

This would be a great discussion if it weren't for the hostility.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Mon May 14, 2012 7:42 am

CH4 and N2O are greenhouse gases too.

But you're right, H2S isn't unless you include the Dutch Oven Effect.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby ygmir » Mon May 14, 2012 7:52 am

I'll see your Krakatoa, and raise you a Pinnatubo (sp?).
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 7:55 am

Elliot wrote:This would be a great discussion if it weren't for the hostility.


Arh shoot, sorry if I have come across as a hard hat. That wasn't my intention and no offense taken.

Yes, this is an interesting debate.

Look forward to learn what drivers of alternative fuel powered MVs have to say about the subject !
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby smittydc » Mon May 14, 2012 9:06 am

I might be down for this. The parade route looks a bit long, however...
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby 5280MeV » Mon May 14, 2012 11:31 am

This would be more interesting to me from the perspective of what weird and alternative engines can power vehicles on the playa, without any reference to their environmental superiority - real or perceived. A fun parade showing what goofy things can be used as fuel, not necessarily because it is the solution to the world's energy problems, but for the fun of it.

Aside from the pedal power vehicles - which I would love to see in a parade - or even more get to help pedal, is there anything other than internal combustion engines and small golf-cart type electrics?

I am not all that enthused by an electric engine in this context. The battery is simply not a fuel source for the entire week, it needs to be regularly charged. If a generator is being used to charge the golf-cart or other electric, then this is essentially the same thing as a gasoline engine - the real source of fuel here is the gasoline. Unless the vehicle is an ultra-light composite coated in solar cells, the fuel source is whatever electrical source is at the base camp.

Frankly, in context of a week long expedition to a remote location that is hostile to electrical gear, gasoline (or perhaps natural gas) may actually be the most environmentally responsible fuel source there is. The reason for this is twofold. First, the machinery needed to extract power from gasoline is simple, compact, and generally able to handle a rough environment. I can haul out a 2kW generator and 20 gallons of gas in the trunk of my car. The system has a net weight of only 170 lbs, and is reasonably inexpensive to produce. The combined hardware for a 2 kW solar array is going to be heavier and take up more space, and so the fuel cost of shipping it at minimum 100 miles from Reno to BRC and idling in exodus will likely be nearly equal to the energy produced (assuming 20 gallons of gas used to transport).

Solar and wind power would make more sense if a semi-permanent settlement was being constructed and the time spent collecting power would allow one to more than compensate for the cost of lugging the infrastructure out there. It is also more useful at a smaller scale, as getting 50-100W of solar is reasonably cheap, compact, and easy to get to the playa.

For me at least, the reason for exploring alternative energy sources or setting up solar panels at Burning Man is the same reason for exploring anything else at burning man: its fun!
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon May 14, 2012 12:05 pm

To turn the two cents worth I already threw out there into three cents nobody asked for...
Yes, by all means, go have your parade. I'm with Elliot on that.
But the truth about mutant vehicle construction is most are built using whatever was readily available. Most electric ones are so because someone had an old electric golf cart. And a gas generator to charge it up!
I don't mean any hostility. I'd ride with you in your parade. I just don't think the effect you seek will be had. That's all.
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Mechabolic

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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Mon May 14, 2012 12:40 pm

Looks like about a ten-mile parade route. Are you comfortable denying participation to some alt-energy vehicles because they aren't allowed on the streets in the camping area? How many miles do you get on a charge on an old golf cart or whatnot? Are battery swaps in the spirit of the parade? Isn't ten miles in the dirt a bit long for a lot of human-powered rigs?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Mon May 14, 2012 12:51 pm

Elliot wrote:Parades are fun; no need to think so deeply -- any additional benefit is gravy. Here I am in a Christmas parade a few years ago -- in the pouring rain. We had a blast.

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Haha, looks like fun. How's it powered?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon May 14, 2012 1:07 pm

Elliot's? Pedal powered.


And I know it's just me, but there's a whole reluctance to call wheelchairs "alternative", except maybe push chairs...

Does anyone know the pre-history of the cupcakes?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby 5280MeV » Mon May 14, 2012 1:23 pm

Bob wrote:How many miles do you get on a charge on an old golf cart or whatnot? Are battery swaps in the spirit of the parade?


If the parade is about CO2 emissions, then I cannot imagine that golf-carts being charged on generators would be in the spirit of the parade. One cannot think of the rechargeable battery as a fuel source, but as a intermediate place to store energy before it is used by the engine. The fuel source is whatever is being used to recharge the battery. If this source is a generator, then the use of the energy stored in the gasoline fuel is generally less efficient than when burned for mechanical work directly in a modern gas powered vehicle.

People confuse the efficiency advantage of electric cars with the fuel source. A small internal combustion engine converting gasoline to motion or electricity will only be 15-25% efficient. An electric engine can easily be over 70% efficient. So if you can generate and distribute electrical power in a reasonably efficient manner, one gets an net environmental advantage over traditional cars even if fossil fuels are the source of the power on the electrical grid. Once an electrical grid switches to cleaner fuel sources, the electric cars automatically become better. This is the other advantage of electric vehicles - they are fuel source independent. Something else converts the fuel source to electrical energy, which the vehicle stores in the battery - the vehicle doesn't know or care if it is powered by a renewable fuel source.

The other problem with linking renewable energy and CO2 is that just because an energy source is renewable does not mean that it results in lower CO2 emissions. Corn based ethanol fuel has been traditionally found to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 20% in several studies, but a recent study (Searchinger, et al, Science 319 (5867): 1238-1240) that has tried to take into account direct and indirect land use effects estimates that corn ethanol increases CO2 emissions by 93% over gasoline.

I guess that brings me up to three cents as well...
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon May 14, 2012 1:45 pm

There sure is a lot of rain on this parade.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Tue May 15, 2012 7:20 am

5280MeV wrote:This would be more interesting to me from the perspective of what weird and alternative engines can power vehicles on the playa, without any reference to their environmental superiority - real or perceived. A fun parade showing what goofy things can be used as fuel, not necessarily because it is the solution to the world's energy problems, but for the fun of it.

Showcasing weird, alternative powered engines is exactly what we would like to do.

The whole purpose of the parade is to create an opportunity to gather these vehicles and show them in action. From our point of view we will then argue that you can use such an event to tell a story about alternatives to our gasoline dependency.

Hmm ... come to think of it perhaps just talking about "alternatives to gasoline powered vehicles" is the way to steer clear of the outspoken reluctance to "sustainability"?

Bob wrote:Looks like about a ten-mile parade route.

The route we've drawn up is about 6 miles long if I remember correctly but the C doesn't have to go along one of the letter streets and if we take it to the open playa it can be any length we want.

But we don't want to jump to conclusions. Before deciding on "details" such as route and date/time we'd just like to hear from alternative fuel powered MV drivers if this is an event they'd like to attend.

After this we still have a long way to go with BOrg but if we've established there's interest this might be shorter.

theCryptofishist wrote:There sure is a lot of rain on this parade.

I'll second that but rather have the rain now and a sunny parade!
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Tue May 15, 2012 7:25 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:To turn the two cents worth I already threw out there into three cents nobody asked for...
Yes, by all means, go have your parade. I'm with Elliot on that.
But the truth about mutant vehicle construction is most are built using whatever was readily available. Most electric ones are so because someone had an old electric golf cart. And a gas generator to charge it up!
I don't mean any hostility. I'd ride with you in your parade. I just don't think the effect you seek will be had. That's all.


No hostility taken - all your dollars and cents are appreciated 8)
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Re: Mechabolic

Postby SkeletonMan » Tue May 15, 2012 7:38 am

gyre wrote:http://www.wired.com/underwire/2007/08/burning-man-the/

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technol ... -slug.html

Thanks! I remember reading about this. Do you know what happened to it afterwards?

2007 was actually my first year on the playa so I might have seen it. But 2007 was my first year so there was a lot of stuff to take in...
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