Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

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Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Sun May 13, 2012 8:16 am

Burning Man is packed with jaw dropping art cars and mutant vehicles to all sorts of bikes and ... well, pretty much everything in between.

And so we have been wondering. Wouldn’t it be cool to make a parade of Burning Man transportation solutions powered by renewable energy sources and show the default world you can do good and have fun at the same time?

The project we have in mind involves a route shaped as a "CO2" to visualize the challenge with carbon emissions. To make things more interesting - and even give the default world a chance to follow live what we're doing - we have already developed a Smartphone GPS Tracking APP that participants can download. Essentially, the APP turns parade participants into live "brushes" with the playa functioning as a huge "canvas".

To see what the painting can look like here is a CO2 painting we did in Copenhagen/Denmark in August 2011: http://gilvader.dk/co2erace/event0011.html

We are aware that mobile reception in BRC is not very reliant but there are ways to work around this. And it is by NO means a must to download the APP to join the parade.

The parade would be open for any and all electric and biofuel powered vehicles, bikes, stiltwalkers, unicycles, pedestrians, runners etc. As long as your means of getting from A to B is powered by a renewable energy source you are welcome to join the parade.

The idea for the project stems from the CO2 Green Drive Project: A default world Art, Climate & Technology event designed to motivate the general public to take active part in addressing climate issues and the related challenges of transportation. This is done by “tagging” cities across the world with a giant CO2 sign “painted” by a convoy of alternative fuel powered vehicles equipped with Smartphone GPS tracking.

As of April 2012 the project has been produced 23 times. Latest, CO2 Green Drive took place in connection with Earth Day 20-22 April 2012 and involved simultaneous performances in 12 cities on 5 continents, including New York, Dakar, Bangalore, Santiago and Horsens (Denmark).

At Burning Man our ambition is to organize the parade Thursday 30 August from 16:30 to 19.00.

But before we move on we'd first like to know what the Burning Man community thinks of the idea.

More info about the project on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CO2greendriveatburningman2012

To learn more about the CO2 Green Drive project go to:
http://co2-e-race.blogspot.com/
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby jkisha » Sun May 13, 2012 10:04 am

I don't quite understand the parade route. The noncontiguousness nature of the route doesn't seem conducive to the flow of a parade.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 13, 2012 10:16 am

How many mvs are alternatively fueled?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Sun May 13, 2012 10:41 am

JK: The parade will also travel the distance between C to O and from O to 2 but this won't be "painted" via the Smartphone APP.

Crypto: Good question and part of the reason we are posting this thread. The electric cupcakes is one type of vehicle that fits very well. Jon Sarriugarte's Serpent Twins and other vehicles from his fleet are also electric and perfect for a parade.

I have also seen images of electric spider machines at Burning Man and electric bikes that will fit really well.

But yeah, we are very curious to get an idea how many alternative fuel powered vehicles come to the burn and feedback on the idea.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 13, 2012 10:55 am

Here's my burner take on this...
Burning Man itself is a huge "waste" of energy. It's an extravagant, frivolous party that people consume tons of materials, fuel, etc. to participate in. Trying to use it as a platform to promote environmental issues seems hypocritical.

Most mutant vehicles are built on the cheap, using whatever running gear is readily available, because these things are built to operate for one week a year, sometimes only one year ever. It's not practical or necessary to worry about "carbon footprint" or efficiency.

Another point of hypocrisy is that almost all electric vehicles at Burning Man are charged from gasoline-powered generators. Unless you are getting all your electricity to charge up from solar or wind, you're NOT zero or even low-emission just because the final drive to the wheels is an electric motor. I call bullshit.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 11:07 am

Get with the program, Captain. Burning Man is full of do-gooders these days. At least they aren't cramming a clown nose onto your face.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby jkisha » Sun May 13, 2012 11:41 am

Yet on the other hand, Burning Man (BMORG) thought it important enough to have the "Green Man" theme a few years back. Would you consider that then the ultimate in hypocrisy?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 11:48 am

The hypocrisy is irrelevant -- what I find objectionable is representing Burning Man and its participants as having any kind of ideology. Always liked to consider it an ideology-free zone, but Burners w/o Borders tossed that out the window.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Sun May 13, 2012 11:52 am

@the captain: I think I understand your position about Burning Man being an extravagant party but I don't think that's the full story. For starters, I'm sure you agree you can find many burners that will say Burning Man provided an environment they feel opened their eyes and made them change a pattern. I know that's what happened to me.

If one can use this environment to demonstrate alternative fuel powered vehicles I can't see why this should inherently be hypocritical. On the contrary, one can argue it's a chance for any and all to become involved and show solutions they think make sense and make their case. Why not?

With respect to powering the vehicles you clearly have a point that some (I don't know how many) electric vehicles are probably charged from gasoline powered generators at Burning Man. The same type of argument is raised when people say electric vehicles are powered by coal plants.

This doesn't take away, however, that electric vehicles are ABLE to run on renewable energy sources and represent an alternative to conventional and depletable gasoline powered vehicles that we are ruining ever more pristine wild life areas to fuel.

Furthermore, as far as I know the electric cupcakes at Burning Man are powered from solar energy "harvested" at the burn.

So as much as I see you point I still think you can make the case that Burning Man provides an excellent platform to showcase sustainable solutions.

I'd be really sad if you were able to convince me otherwise but happy to take the debate!!
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby jkisha » Sun May 13, 2012 12:14 pm

Bob wrote:The hypocrisy is irrelevant -- what I find objectionable is representing Burning Man and its participants as having any kind of ideology. Always liked to consider it an ideology-free zone, but Burners w/o Borders tossed that out the window.

Would I be wrong then to extrapolate that you feel the same way about the 10 principles?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Sun May 13, 2012 12:24 pm

@Bob: Well, as I have heard it said there is no such thing as an ideology-free zone. If there were, that would be an ideology.

Having said that, I am not arguing that a parade of alternative fuel powered vehicles necessarily represents THE ideology to unite all burners. Of course, not. If you don't feel like joining such an event I certainly find that both fair and square.

On the other hand, if one HAS to pick an ideology I would like to think that a project concerned with climate changes and sustainability ranks high at Burning Man. I would also like to think that that makes sense.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 12:31 pm

Not going to belabor the point, but if you want to represent Burning Man more fairly you might leave off the "2".
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby SkeletonMan » Sun May 13, 2012 1:26 pm

[quote="Bob"]Not going to belabor the point, but if you want to represent Burning Man more fairly you might leave off the "2".[/quote]

How so?
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Eric » Sun May 13, 2012 1:35 pm

I have a question about your route- MV's are supposed to stay off the streets unless they're on their way to the open playa. You might want to check with someone at the org about the "c" part of the parade.

From the Driving Rules in Black Rock City portion of vehicle protocols:
No driving on pedestrian-designated streets (see your map for details)


"Letter" streets are considered pedestrian-designated.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 1:40 pm

SkeletonMan wrote:
Bob wrote:Not going to belabor the point, but if you want to represent Burning Man more fairly you might leave off the "2".


How so?


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(If you want quoting and such to appear properly, change your profile prefs to enable bbcode.)
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 13, 2012 3:02 pm

Yeah, Burning Man had that damn Green Man theme a few years back, and as I recall it was probably the least popular theme ever.
I don't see how parading an electric powered dragon, couch, flame-throwing penis, and whatever else at 5 MPH in a circle in a desert will have much effect other than "Oh, cool! Man I'm gonna build a mutant vehicle to bring out here next year too!". So, a truck and trailer will end up driving hundreds of miles dragging another party wagon to the desert. But - we'll feel better about ourselves.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 3:04 pm

Re: Eric's comment, not going to try to decipher the DMV rules, but I'm guessing a good portion of the vehicles that might comprise such a parade would be exempt.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 13, 2012 3:59 pm

jkisha wrote:Yet on the other hand, Burning Man (BMORG) thought it important enough to have the "Green Man" theme a few years back. Would you consider that then the ultimate in hypocrisy?

You don't have to dig far to find that Larry Harvey was thinking of something different, and the name pushed it into the eco stuff. The actual spirit of the forest thing might have been interesting. A better 2.0 than fertility, dammit.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 13, 2012 4:02 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Here's my burner take on this...
Burning Man itself is a huge "waste" of energy. It's an extravagant, frivolous party that people consume tons of materials, fuel, etc. to participate in. Trying to use it as a platform to promote environmental issues seems hypocritical.

I find it interesting, although possibly meaningless, that the calculated greenhouse gas emissions apparently are half that that they would have to account for in the permitting EA. I do wonder how they came up with that figure... I also wonder how much greenhouse gas would be emitted by the same people without the burn for that week or the other vacation they would take.

Captain Goddammit wrote:Most mutant vehicles are built on the cheap, using whatever running gear is readily available, because these things are built to operate for one week a year, sometimes only one year ever. It's not practical or necessary to worry about "carbon footprint" or efficiency.

Something that is under-emphasized in most discussions about the mvs.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 4:51 pm

I wouldn't know a "Smartphone GPS Tracking APP" from a rabid lymph node, but if we can ride around and have a rolling party I'm all for it. A definite highlight from my burns is the human-powered-vehicle treasure hunt held by Kinetic Cab Company in 2010, and I might enter the same bacon-powered four-seat vehicle in this parade. But try to start it a bit earlier, because the ePlaya Meet-n-Greet starts at 18:00 and I'm all done missing that. :D
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Pop_Tart » Sun May 13, 2012 5:15 pm

I agree with Bob on this one. The concept seems hypocritical. The best that can be said about our festival of excess and waste is that we *attempt* to minimize our impact to Mother Nature through the Leave No Trace principles and practices. Maybe you should just make a stamp celebrating the reduction of Carbon Monoxide / Carbon Dioxide and stamp all the Critical Tits/Dicks riders? Then again, there are over 50k different viewpoints on playa, so you may be able to recruit some people. Go for it. Good luck. With all the virgins this year, the average burner attention span will be shorter than ever before!

Good idea about the GPS app though. I'm going to put one on my smartphone (which I keep charged on Playa via a personal solar panel) and track my personal movements (or lack thereof) as I walk and bicycle around (or sit on my ass and let the party come to me). Should be an interesting readout.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Nothing hypocritical about exercising an idea at whatever venue.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Pop_Tart » Sun May 13, 2012 5:33 pm

I withdraw "hypocritical" and replace with "ironic". I love me some good irony.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 5:36 pm

We're all set!
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 5:39 pm

Think you might have been cornfusing my sentiments w/ the Captain's.

Hey, if it were up to me I'd ban all gas-based MVs just because they've mostly become annoying and not particularly creative stretch limos. You want that kind of scene, hit Florida or New Jersey. Might reconsider if fueled by irony.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Pop_Tart » Sun May 13, 2012 5:42 pm

Bob wrote:Think you might have been cornfusing my sentiments w/ the Captain's.


You are correct. I am easily cornfused. Not sure who I agree with, but I'm sure I agree with someone, somewhere, occasionally!
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 13, 2012 6:48 pm

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.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Bob » Sun May 13, 2012 7:19 pm

I've been known to parade around for no reason. Unfortunately, nobody got a picture of me on St Stupid's Day.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby jkisha » Sun May 13, 2012 7:54 pm

When I think about it, what activities or events out there have any deep meaning anyway? Critical Dicks? TuTu Tuesday? Critical Tits? Naked bike ride? Just to name a few. They might be fun and be meaningful to some people, though with some of the events the meaning is certainly different for many of the participants and the observers. So who cares, or why even care? If somebody wants to have a parade, so be it.
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Re: Parade of renewable energy powered vehicles

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 8:06 pm

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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