Dave Roberts draws meaning from the story of Hideaki Akaiwa, a Japanese man who reportedly "threw on scuba gear, jumped into a TSUNAMI, dodged debris, found his house & his wife, & saved her":

[I]t's often been said in relation to climate change that it's difficult for people to recognize danger, at a visceral level, when the "foe" is a slow-moving global phenomenon. We're not good at recognizing and acting on those risks. But it's also worth noting the flip side: It's difficult for people to recognize virtue, too, when it looks like one more little incremental thing, one turn of the handle in the "strong and slow boring of hard boards" that is political and social progress. We are excited by, and reward, the dramatic individual act of courage. We too rarely recognize or celebrate the steady, painstaking work of organizing public institutions to produce more humane outcomes.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.