It is a difficult thing to do and many of us remain hide-bound in our positions long after they have become untenable.
So Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for International Trade, should be applauded after apparently changing her mind about climate change.
She has gone through a similar process that many of us will have experienced over the years, if somewhat belatedly, given she was still railing against “global warming fanatics” and claiming “global warming isn’t actually happening” as late as 2012, according to tweets resurfaced by Labour.
Boris Johnson elegantly defended her by pointing out “if you were to excavate some of my articles from 20 years ago you might find some comments I made... about climate change that weren't entirely supportive of the current struggle. But the facts change and people change their minds and change their views.”
Some may wish Trevelyan had spoken more about the reasons behind her ‘road to Damascus’ moment as this could perhaps help others see the light.
Those who still believe climate change is the greatest hoax in human history, perpetrated by scientists in numerous different fields all over the world for reasons unknown, may hope that she remains a fellow traveller.
And sceptics might wonder if Trevelyan’s conversion is heart-felt or just cold political calculation.
But cynicism is seldom a good substitute for wisdom so, at the risk of sounding naive, we congratulate Trevelyan for having the courage to admit her error, a judgement we will most-assuredly change in the event it proves unwarranted.