Smog appeared near the end of October this year and made the lives of the people of Punjab and KPK extremely difficult. In the days that followed, hospitals reported that many patients had developed respiratory problems because of the smog.Not only did smog affect the health of the people, but it also restricted their movement. People had to reschedule the time they went and returned from work. People also had to wear special gas masks to protect themselves from the pollutants that were present in the air.A few days after the initial appearance of smog, the fog also thickened and the combination of the two made things worse. The mornings and the nights became cold. Visibility reduced to nearly zero. This led to many road accidents and the closure of highways. On top of that, the government did absolutely nothing to curtail the movement of large vehicles which move on the roads near midnight, carrying steel rods. The lack of will in curtailing the movement of such vehicles led to the increased risk of fatal road accidents.You may have already read much about the factors that have contributed to the smog situation and I’m going to spare you the details. The only thing I cannot resist mentioning is the lack of any effort by the government and the public to prevent it. Not only have we, the people of this country, turned a blind eye towards the destruction of the environment through developmental projects in the city and lack of control over vehicular emissions, but we have also shaken off any responsibility that rests on our shoulders. We are equally responsible for the worsening environmental conditions.Those who burn their trash and those who use smoke-emitting vehicles are from within us. We cannot disassociate from them to excuse ourselves because, at the end of the day, all of us have to suffer the consequences equally. We cannot run away from our responsibilities because anyone who sees the worsening of environmental problems will blame us the people in general without discriminating between the rich and the poor. It is a pity that although both social classes have their own responsibilities to play, neither of them is willing to own their part.Following the rain today, the sky has cleared. The limited trees that we have in Lahore look more vibrant than they did in the past few weeks. The people look happy. At least my colleagues do because of relief from the problems they had to face in the last few weeks.Despite the relief, the risk of further environmental deterioration still lingers over us. Air quality monitors report that the air is still polluted with PM2.5 particles with an average concentration of 400um/m3. Although it did provide some relief, the rain is not enough to counter this problem. All of us have a role to play to make the environment clean. When the environment speaks to you, it is better to listen. When the environment cries for help, it is better to act. In the words of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.