Foreign Policy Blogs


Looking at climate change as much and as often as I do, I have come to have a heightened sense of the danger looming and the urgency of our situation.  Therefore, knowing that snow reflects solar radiation back into space, thus diminishing the radiative forcing on the earth, snow is something that has come to have an even greater positive association for me than it previously did.  Snow has a high albedo and so when I’m in it, I am reassured.

I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors, hiking and skiing, among other things, in the Northeast US.  This was one of the reasons I was so highly motivated to fight acid rain back in the 1980’s – because I had a connection to the mountains, forests, and the waters of the Northeast and didn’t like the idea of their being murdered by acid rain.  I still get out.  We were skiing over Presidents’ Week at Killington.  High-carbon footprint?  Yes.  But Killington, much to my relief, has a pretty thoroughgoing and sound approach to energy and the environment.  They offset, for instance, 100 percent of their electric use through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

We just had a big snowfall this week in NYC.  The calming effect of the snow is palpable.  Here’s a photo of the American Museum of Natural History after the snow with the banner for the big climate change exhibit juxtaposed against the Theodore Roosevelt statue.


Photo Mike Segar/Thomson Reuters



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change