Why the RAT?
Bruce Cooper is a eleven time burner with five burns of solar powered playa art experience. Three of those burns included building a solar camp utility for the Prismaticamp's power needs.
Bruce coordinated a Burning Man Hive discussion with several artists that focused on the desire for artists to switch from reliance on generators to using renewable power systems. The discussion included sharing success stories, constraints, opportunities and lessons learned. Bruce then approached the Burning Man Project about the collective needs of artists and he was told, "you should start a group."
In 2021 Bruce founded the RAT with the goal of assisting artists to power their art with renewable energy. The RAT is actively supported by the Burners Without Boarders. Bruce is also involved with the Green Theme Camp Community that is working on BLAST (Burner Leadership Achieving Sustainable Theme Camps) certification standards, and the Burning Man Hive.
After 40 years of sailing as a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Marines he is gratefully retired.
RAT and the Burning Man Project's Sustainability Goals
The 2030 Sustainability Roadmap
In 2019 the Burning Man Project released a 10-year Environmental Sustainability Roadmap, which outlines concrete steps the Project can take as an organization to meet three ambitious goals by 2030:
No Matter Out of Place. Handle waste ecologically.
Be Regenerative. Create a net positive ecological and environmental impact.
Be Carbon Negative. Remove more carbon from the environment than we put into it.
The RAT directly tiers off of goal number 3: "Be Carbon Negative. Remove more carbon from the environment than we put into it."
While the RAT's efforts will not move Black Rock City to being carbon negative, the work the RAT is doing will reduce Black Rock City's air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.