Who is Walter Hego?
I first met Walter Hego several years after I had graduated from college. Upon moving to northern New Mexico, our paths crossed while I was working at a part-time job focused on sustainable living. He was a young, burgeoning scientific journalist, fresh out of university. At the time, and really still as much nowadays, we were both heavily focused on researching and experimenting with new, cutting-edge ideas and technologies that would safely help make the world a more sustainable place. Sustainability is what Walter wrote his final thesis on in college. My higher education involved dabbling in sustainable living, but I did not really become immersed in it until after graduation. Once I did, I dove in and fully learned to swim.
At that time, many people called Walter a golden boy and model of white privilege, in more of a bad or unwelcome way as far as I could tell. I never really understood that very well then as he was very personable, intelligent, and knowledgeable, and it seemed like his knowledge was also very accurate. He was well-versed in the up-and-coming renewable energy industries, including solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and such. Aside from being an outstanding writer, he was also excellent at math and statistics with amazing overall mental processing speeds. His breadth of knowledge involved a substantially wide array of relevant, balanced subject matter. Like, genuinely balanced in terms of the range and scope of most if not all of the subject matter he knew. All of these solid skills and talents that Walter possessed bled heavily into his everyday life, making him a legitimately interesting person and fun to be around in general. Most of our time together was spent engaged in our mutual work in those early years, although we did occasionally hang out socially, hike now and again, and even sporadically road trip to some pretty cool ancient historical sites.
Anyway, we have been friends, at least in some capacity, ever since.
As time passed, I came to learn why so many people looked at Walter Hego as a golden boy and a perfect example of white privilege. He attended a prestigious college and graduated with honors. He came from money. Deep American wealth. Yet he was not like the typical affluent white American male. He did not really talk about any of it. Did not brag. Was not arrogantly or ignorantly judgmental. He was authentically down-to-earth and had that special ability to truly put himself in someone else’s shoes, anyone else’s shoes, while walking long enough to at least genuinely understand being that specific person in that moment or situation, whatever that moment or situation was, or is. Well, at least he is good at walking in other people’s shoes most times. He is, in fact, human like the rest of us and thus prone to the occasional misfire.
Walter initially took on ghostwriting as a side gig, feeling it out to see how well he would like it. It turns out he liked it better than journalism and was good enough at it to make a solid living. He eventually chose to ghostwrite full-time, quite a few years back now. After his career change, he moved to New York and sort of faded out of my life for a long while. We would email back and forth every now and again, exchanging interesting scientific studies, info on new technologies, or compelling articles. Sometimes we might have a quick discussion or debate. However, we did not see each other or talk for years. That is, until this ghostwriting project came into existence. I mentioned it to him in an email one day, and the rest is history.
Read Walter Hego’s Over Privileged White Guy Book