Auden Schendler

Auden Schendler is vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company, author of Getting Green Done, and a board member of Protect Our Winters.

The Deniers are Coming Through the Wire

I published an op-ed in the Denver Post today about climate change’s first casualty, which might be joy. The article isn’t terrible, really, and it’s posted here: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_18201745 if  you care to read it.  But I urge you to look in particular at the comment section, where every single one of the 59 or so comments is from a denier, and most of them call me a fool and an idiot. In fact, most of the stuff I write for mainstream publications garners the same response. (Making a strong case for the argument that I am a fool and an idiot, but not so much making …

Poison, poop, and trash: spring in the park

Yesterday, I was at the park with my kids after dinner, a “night session” as we call it. The dandelions, ubiquitous this time of year, had a distinctly sinister curve to their stems that meant they’d been sprayed recently with 2-4-D, the world’s most widely used herbicide. You can smell it vaguely in the air, too, the sweet smell that wafts from outside a nursery. The health effects of 2-4-D are unclear — it’s a synthetic plant hormone — and there’s some concern it can be linked to cancer and Lou Gerhig’s disease. Or, others say, there is no concern. …

A foolproof way to talk about climate change

If you’re like me and have to talk about climate science in public forums a lot, you struggle with the denier community and how to talk about the issue. Personally, I find the denial world so outrageously out of touch that I mostly hit the science head on and then blow the deniers out of the water with facts if they challenge me. But straight science isn’t always the best approach for all audiences, especially very conservative ones. You need to skirt the question  sometimes. Over the years, there have been a number of ways to dodge the issue. One …

Meet the Climate Fockers

Here’a repost from my Climateprogress.org blog today:   A business colleague and friend recently had a nice conversation with his brother, a doctor visiting from the South. His brother doesn’t think climate change is a problem. It went something like this: Brother: “I’ve been reading some interesting articles about climate change that don’t….” Colleague: “Shut the $%& up, you’re a %$&ing DUMBASS!!!” Unfortunately his mom then piled on the denial train. And my colleague, who has been retrofitting boilers and lights as part of his work in finance, and reading dense climate science I hand him (Hansen on paleoclimatology, Stephen …

The journeys we take at home

Every day, I hear the same thing from parents of grown children. “Enjoy it while you can, it goes so fast.” With a 3-year old boy, Elias, who consistently wakes up in the middle of the night “needing sumfin” and a 6-year-old girl, Willa, who also wakes up frequently, saying “I just can’t get back to sleep,” a house so colossally messy I tell my wife it looks like crazy people live here, and extreme time poverty that makes taking a shower difficult (let alone getting to work on time or weeding the front yard), I find this advice baffling. …

Colorado is Poised to Actually Close Coal Plants

The holy grail of solving climate change, according  to climate scientists like Jim Hansen, is shutting down coal plants. That’s easier said than done, of course, because each year we run these old, dirty civilization destroyers gives us anoother year of cheap power. But Colorado, showing world leadership, is actually working on closing plants. In fact the Public Utilties Comission might even close the deal this morning. Here’s Colorado Conservation Voters’ Pete Maysmith on killing king coal. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pete-maysmith/taking-on-king-coal_b_792073.html

What is the Call to Action on Climate?

  Today I got a call from a rock concert producer. “We care about climate. We want to get the audience to act. What is the call to action?” This is a deceptively simply question, but it’s also THE question of our age. Meanwhile, I’ve been asked “what should I do?”  by audience members, by seatmates on the plane, but nonprofit heads, by pro athletes. And the answer has been blown–and continues to be blown–by the best of the climate crusaders. Gore blew it after Inconvenient Truth when the film listed a bunch of personal actions (he did include writing …

Enough about me: What do you think about me?

There’s an unbelievable ad for Columbia’s School of General Studies in the latest New Yorker magazine. It starts with the header: “I had a hunch there was more to it.” Then, there’s a note written on lined paper: “My life has been one of proud accomplishments — from my success as a business owner on Wall Street to the Marathons I’ve run and my travels around the world. Now, my focus is on my education and learning to interpret the literary classics through a whole new lens. At Columbia University School of General Studies, I take the same courses with …

Answer me this

I often spend parts of my day ranting against theoreticians and conference attenders who are essentially fiddling while Rome burns. I get really tired of the theorizing and the screwing around next to the chocolate dipped strawberries outside the panel discussion. That said, I realize there is an anti-intellectual flavor to this kind of thinking, and in some level of minor repentence, and a nod to the value of research and theorizing, I want to offer up three crucial questions we need answers to that will materially move the climate and sustainability movement forward. I welcome answers here, though I …

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