|Jules Rules: Saving Skiing|
|LIFESTYLE - Eco|
|Written by Jules Older / SkiPressWorld.com|
|Tuesday, 03 February 2009 09:50|
If you're a skier, the most important book you'll read this year won't each you to how to ski moguls. It won't strengthen your core or improve your stance. What the most important book you'll read this year MAY do is save skiing...
And as a byproduct, save the planet.
I like it that a book that is supremely useful, crackling with lively writing and as practical as an old work glove was written by a skier. In fact, the cover image of Auden Schendler’s Getting Green Done: Hard truths from the front lines of the sustainability revolution isn't sun-on-snow or mountain’s majesty — it’s an old, beat-up work glove.
I asked Schendler, who’s Executive Director of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company, “What's up with the glove?”
He said: “The book is about what it means to actually do the work of solving climate change, what goes wrong, and what obstacles and barriers there are. It's not a book on theory with pictures of well coiffed consultants in suits on the cover. It's about the trenches.”
The cover glove looks like it’s done hard time in a lot of trenches — and so has Schendler. Sometimes winning, sometimes losing, now and then getting humiliated, ever since he left college he's been fighting to protect our Earth and snow from death by heatstroke. The book spends more pages on the defeats and humiliations than on the victories.
That’s a good thing. ‘Cause if you're gonna join the fight, you'd better know where the minefields lay. Schendler’s been there when a lot of mines went off.
Like the time he finally got Aspen to install early versions of the waterless, flushless urinal. Great idea. Lousy execution. They stank. Aspen yanked ‘em out. Later, when Schendler suggested they try another model, the CEO said, “Over my dead body.”
Today, leading hotels and other ski resorts use efficient, odorless, good-for-the-planet waterless urinals. “But more than five years after our first experiment, we’re still flushing urinals at the Snowmass Club.”
That insight — if you go green but don’t go smart, it’s worse than staying brown — is but one the book reveals. It also exposes the lie, Going green is free! And, Everybody welcomes new ideas! And, This is gonna be easy! As Schendler points out, “Here's a dirty secret: sustainable business is hard to pull off.”
OK, but what makes this book so important to skiers? According to scientific reports, high greenhouse gas emissions could finish skiing in Aspen by 2100, maybe sooner. Already, the snowpacks of May are now in April; the high peaks have ceded a month of winter. Vail’s lodgepole pine forests are no longer cold enough to kill the bark beetle, so the beetle is now killing them. Taos could lose 89 percent of its average April 1 snowpack by 2085. Tahoe nights are already warmer, “cold days are rarer, and more precipitation is falling as rain instead of snow.”
Getting Green Done will hit the shelves February 23. If you want to do skiing and the planet a good turn, have your bookstore pre-order a bunch of copies now. www.gettinggreendone.com
— Jules Older