Get Big Pivots

This second book from Basalt resident will be about corporate sustainability. A November release is scheduled.


Aspen’s Auden Schendler has a book headed to shelves in November. Titled “Terrible Beauty,” it  is described as a “firsthand, trench-view story of the failure of the modern corporate sustainability movement–and an inspiring prescription for positive change.”

Schendler is the Aspen Skiing Co.’s senior vice president of sustainability.

A synopsis from the publisher, the Harvard Business Review Press:

Apple calls its headquarters the greenest building on Earth. Microsoft announces an ambitious commitment to carbon negativity while simultaneously sponsoring an oil conference in Saudi Arabia. American businesses, communities, and individuals assiduously measure their carbon footprints, then implement voluntary emissions reduction programs, all while trumpeting their do-gooderism.

The problem is, none of this–individual efforts at recycling or carbon-focused corporate sustainability tactics–will make even a dent in solving the civilizational threat of climate change.

As corporate sustainability adviser and environmental activist Auden Schendler argues in this provocative, powerful book, we’re living a big green lie. The hard truth: Much of the modern corporate green road map could have been written by the fossil fuel industry specifically to avoid disrupting the status quo. We have become somehow complicit.

But there is another truth: While ineffective or duplicitous environmentalism has become standard practice, we all have friends and family we love and care about, whose future depends on solving climate change. Conscience or faith tells us we have an obligation to repair the world. How can our common dreams be so at odds with our common practice? And how might we meld our spirit and passion to fashion a better future with meaningful action on climate change?

Terrible Beauty is a unique and essential road map for a new environmentalism, showing us that the key to saving the planet is to tap into our own humanity.

Schendler’s first book, “Getting Green Done,” was published by Public Affairs. He has had op/eds in the New York Times twice in the last couple of years.

Allen Best
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