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Auden Schendler's Posts

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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 …

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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. …

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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

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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 …

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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 …

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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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The dog ate my sustainability report

On my first day in the classroom teaching high school math many years ago, I looked around at the dazed faces in my 7:00 AM class, and I had an epiphany: if I try to teach these guys math straight up, they won't learn a single thing. But if I make the class into a stand up comedy routine, and slide in some math along the way, at least they'll learn SOMEthing. And that's what I did. (Some of those students are out there today, struggling in low paying jobs due to lack of math background...) Along the same lines, …

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Less vision. More work.

(This is reposted, in longer form, from the Harvard Business Review Blog.) I'm sitting here in Aspen on the heels of the Security Forum at the Aspen Institute, where the best and the brightest pondered, for a few days, how to prevent the next 9/11. As that meeting ended, in came Ideas Fest, with the finest thought leaders in the world on the subject of ... well ... thoughts. Next up is the Environment Forum. And if I were to slack a bit and troll the internet, I could find myself on the site of Fast Company, which now lists …

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Replacing Offsets with Something Even Sexier

'Policy tags' should relace offsets if we really want to solve climate change

Question: What are the best offsets for my company to buy to address guest travel?Answer: None. Instead, sell a "policy tag" that contributes the same amount to policy action. A friend, who's a sustainability director at a big hospitality company and one of the leading green business practitioners I know, recently called me asking what cheap offsets I'd recommend to address guest travel. Buying offsets to deal with personal plane travel, or customer travel, has really become a ubiquitous program. I have focused, in the past, on which are good, and which are bad. But after my friend called and …

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Unedited Evidence of the Apocalypse

Now you can actually just buy LEED certification

We are facing an unprecedented environmental crisis in the form of climate change (with the world at its all time hottest in recorded history right now) and yet we have a firm (and I use that term lightly) called Carbon Solutions Group sending me emails like the following: (I got it this AM and I'm pasting it verbatim but with extensive snarky commentary.) In short, it says: "You can BUY LEED credits for almost nothing! Green power is getting so cheap!" Want to know why the RECs these guys are selling are getting so cheap? Becuase they're friggin' worthless! Just like …

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