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.

Polar Bears Endangered, But Cute

Olympic broadcast wins gold for vapidity

While eagerly watching Bode Miller and the men's downhill Olympic race yesterday, I was treated to an unbelievably vapid interlude by Mary Carillo on the Polar Bears of Churchill, Manitoba, which she showed to Bob Costas. The whole time I was waiting for someone to take this great opportunity to talk about climate change in front of a massive audience. After all, with the bears, there's really obvious stuff going on.

Dispatches from the Flat Earth

Utah solves climate change by voting it down

This post is reprinted from Climate Progress.  Utah: still the right wing placeWhen you drive into Utah from Colorado, there’s a sign that says: “Utah: Still the Right Place.” For years, the sign has been edited with red spray paint to read: “Utah, Still the Right Wing.” New word from the Beehive State suggests the grafitti should remain. Here’s a report from Tuesday’s Salt Lake Tribune: [Utah] House OKs resolution doubting climate change The House adopted a sternly worded resolution declaring the body’s deep skepticism over current climate science and called for the federal government to halt carbon dioxide reduction …

A Twenty-Something Riffs on GreenBuild

Dispatches from the Phoenix Green Building Conference

Recently, an interior designer and massage therapist named Becky Anderson helped me certify an Aspen Skiing Company building (Sam’s Restaurant) to LEED Gold. As a reward for her remarkable work, we sent her to the U.S. Green Building Council’s enormous, happening-like, and increasingly burning-man scale annual conference, which took place in Phoenix this fall and attracted some 40,000 people into the teeth of a depression. Her dispatch is below. A few notes: on reading this, I worried that my overly-critical and sometimes cynnical take on the green building movement (which played out in Grist over the years) had tarnished Becky’s …

Dispatches From Someone Who Got Lucky

How do I find a green job?

This is the time-honored question, one I get asked so frequently, from very qualified individuals, that I decided to answer it online. It is heartbreaking (and encouraging) how many skilled and interested people are looking for work in the sustainability field. The good news is the sector is growing exponentially. If you ask anyone in the field they’ll probably tell you they got there by luck. That’s certainly true for me. I’m less smart, strong, and fast than other candidates, and much less skilled. But I happened to be in the right place at the right time. That said, there …

Where to Donate Your Money

Breathtaking last minute philanthropy ideas

Most of us should be giving away more money. (Yes, you should be. If you have any doubt, please stop reading this blog and pick up Peter Singer’s book The Life You Can Save.) And many of us WANT to give but can’t pull the trigger for a host of reasons: basic cheapness (guilty!), a feeling that you don’t know where to give, a sense that most charities waste your money. So I’m going to make it simple by telling you where you should give your money away. Or, more generously, I’m going to offer some good suggestions based on …

Reality bites

The coming climate panic?

One morning in the not too distant future, you might wake up and walk to your mailbox. The newspaper is in there and it’s covered with shocking headlines: Coal Plants Shut Down! Airline Travel Down 50 Percent! New Federal Carbon Restrictions in Place! Governor Kicked Out of Office for Climate Indolence! Sometimes change is abrupt and unsettling. History shows that societies in crisis too often leap from calm reaction to outright panic.The only thing your bath-robed, flip-flopped, weed-eating neighbor wants to talk about over the fence isn’t the Yankees, but, of all things … climate change. Shaking your head, you …

Requested: Insight into the Human Condition

'Chunking' Trash Out the Window, Texas Style

People are unfathomable, what drives and motivates them to do things is beyond our imagining.

Real People Know It's All Baloney...

The culture wars become the climate wars

I’ve been wading through hate mail for the last week after referring to the governor of Utah’s “raging ignorance” on climate science in an AP news story. The mail doesn’t come from defenders of the governor, (he’s denying climate science in a state known for, and economically supported by, some of the best powder west of Aspen) but from the climate denial community. One of the common themes in the hate mail has been that solving climate change is a plot by East Coast liberal elites to stay employed, push their agenda, etc. The subtext is that to understand climate science, …

REC-ing the Planet

Why buying cheap energy certificates worsens climate change

Oh…my….God. I just received an email from a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vendor called Carbon Solutions Group ( that took my already high (but controlled) blood pressure to new heights. RECs represent clean energy and can be purchased by entities wanting to claim to be powered by renewable energy. The gist of the Carbon Solutions e-mail (posted at the bottom of this blog) is that there is a misconception about their cost. RECs, the e-mail argues, are portrayed as way too expensive. Further, the U.S. Green Building Council is providing a misleadingly high number for the cost of powering your …

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