Nathaniel Rich's history of how the country failed to stop climate change back in the late 1980s took up the entire issue of the New York Times magazine last Sunday.
Now someone like Rich needs to do such an extensive examination of what humanity can do now to save the planet.
As wildfires consume large areas of California - the Mendocino Complex blaze is the largest ever - a distinguished scientific organization has warned that the world might already be on the path to doom from irreversible global warming.
In a Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists report, 16 scientists say that "feedback loops" - continuous global warming occurrences that multiply like cancer cells - could bring the globe to much higher than the 2 degree Celsius threshold adopted by the world's nations several years ago.
Even if human begins meet the goal of 2 degrees above average preindustrial temperatures, the "feedback loops" could be set off, and might already be under way. New York magazine's indispensable environmental writer David Wallace-Wells analyzes the report on the magazine's web site.
Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change treaty pledging the world's nations to take action to meet the 2 degree Celsius goal. Even without Trump's rash action, the world is falling behind on meeting the standards, after initial progress.
The report makes clear that failure to halt global warming could make much of the world uninhabitable.