5. Auden Schendler
December 26, 2006
Aspen has some incredible representatives working to combat global warming.Randy Udall, director of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency, is a regional speaker on world oil consumption and its tie to greenhouse gas emissions.
Dan Richardson is responsible for implementing Aspen’s aggressive Canary Initiative, a plan to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, is a guru in the energy- efficiency field.But the person most closely tied to Aspen’s promotion of “global cooling” in 2006 was Auden Schendler, the Aspen Skiing Co.’s director of environmental affairs. Schendler seemed to leave his mark everywhere as part of the Skico’s strategy to expose the threats of global warming and the necessary courses of action.
He played a major role in creating the company’s print advertising campaign that focused on global warming’s threat to the ski industry and snow itself. Instead of featuring perfect skiers with perfect form under severe-clear blue skies, the ads featured ominous messages about potential disappearance of snow by the year 2100.The ads referred readers to a website, http://www.savesnow.com, that informs people what they can do to help stop global warming. That website has attracted 71,344 hits since it was launched Sept. 8.Schendler also helped prepare Skico material for its entry as a “friend of the court” in a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Skico backed a dozen states and a handful of environmental organizations that are trying to force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions.
Winning the case will be an uphill battle, Schendler admitted, but “I don’t think the ski resort has done anything more important than this.”Schendler believes the Skico and Aspen are in a unique position to raise public awareness of climate change. Aspen always attracts out-of-whack amounts of attention for its size. By taking a stand against global warming and limiting its contributions to the problem, he theorizes, it draws extra attention to the issue.”Yes, solving this problem will be the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced,” he wrote in the Skico’s “Sustainability Report,” which details the company’s contribution to global warming and progress it has made to ease it. “But there’s another way to look at climate change. It is an opportunity on the scale of the Renaissance, a rare chance to radically change the face of society forever.”