Taxing toxicity

Letter December 07, 2021
Taxing toxicity


Owing to the taxing toxicity in the atmosphere, humanity is facing an existential threat. The outbreak of deadly diseases like Covid-19, Ebola and dengue fever coupled with rising temperatures, global warming, seismic earthquakes, heatwaves, floods, and smog can all be directly linked to the deteriorating climatic conditions.

Research has revealed that even though developed countries are most responsible for atmospheric pollution, these countries do not have to bear the brunt of the ecological crisis. Countries and cities near the equator seem to be the most vulnerable. Their situation is made much worse when toxic smoke from factories, brick kilns, crop burning and vehicular traffic is released into the atmosphere, exacting a heavy toll on the health of the people. But this issue has been given little attention. To address the matter, conferences are convened and decisions are made but no concrete measures are adopted. Mere lip service will not be sufficient if the signed documents are not implemented in letter and spirit. At the moment, the prevalence of smog in Lahore has brought life to a standstill. Schools have been shut down and only 50% of staff members are allowed to visit offices. Such stopgap steps are not going to produce tangible results. Mindless cutting of trees for commercial purposes is another major cause contributing to the poor air quality. People are falling prey to various respiratory diseases owing to the inhaling of unhealthy particles hanging in the atmosphere.

Reforestation is the need of the hour. At the individual level, people must plant trees to fight atmospheric adulteration. We must be aware of policies related to climate change and push our local councillors and political representatives to enforce them properly. Maintaining a healthy environment is everyone’s responsibility and we must all work together to tackle the crisis.

Muhammad Fayyaz Nawrha


Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2021.

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