Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
James Baldwin wasn't thinking of climate when he wrote that, but if you think about it, isn't that the logic of climate policy efforts today?
Isn't that the hope, the idea that drives our science – to win the public over with the truth?
And perhaps that's why it's not an easy sell, either. It's a confronting, a look in our eye.
To me it's a tribute to Baldwin's "piercing honesty," that his formulation takes on new life as it ranges across time and space. To Jose Antonio Vargas, who wrote about James Baldwin in a spectacular essay for the Los Angeles Times, it's as if Baldwin's words saved his life.
Vargas's essay was one of a whole series of writings about literary mentors by a spectrum of writers, drawn together with gorgeous sketches by Joseph Ciardiello, that luxuriates in literary remembering.