The debate in Parliament on pollution was a disappointment in that it was politicised to the point that sight was lost of the actual problem. This is also a problem in the larger context – a large number of vested interests stand in the way of understanding and dealing with the looming menace of climate change triggered by human behaviour. While major disruption has been caused to growing global consensus on improving the environment by the stand taken by the US under President Trump, it must not be forgotten that India has stuck by the commitments it has made on the subject. However, it becomes difficult if the goalposts are shifted and long term plans disrupted. India’s is a particularly complex challenge because of the stage at which its economy is and the diversity of its terrain. There cannot be a top down solution without acknowledging this complexity. Every region and every community has to determine what it can do. Technology has to be made available to leapfrog certain steps in the process, but by no means can first world attitudes determine what these would be. While change has to affect everybody, the responsibility has to be taken largely by the top ten percent of the population that has the means and the leisure to act. The remaining ninety percent lack the flexibility in their lifestyles to initiate changes. As in the case of stubble burning farmers, the behavioural change can only come through introduction of the right incentives and disincentives. Even in matters such as littering and proper disposal of waste, which is at the core of the Swachhta Abhiyan, progress has been abysmally slow for this reason. Unfortunately, many of the institutions tasked with overseeing green initiatives adopt an ‘either- or’ approach that lacks nuance and persuasive power. This is particularly so in cases where livelihoods are at stake. After sleeping over problems for decades, agencies wake up overnight and issue draconian and highly disruptive orders. This does not help the cause and, actually, provides the opportunity for less responsible and more populist politicians to grab power. It may be noted how, for instance, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decides her entire agenda based purely on how she thinks the BJP’s popularity would be affected. How would the Government of India get her on board schemes that might affect her votebank? This is why the better-off and influential in Indian society need to identify ways and means to visibly reform their lifestyles so that the general public can take inspiration. The wealthy should invest in schemes and programmes that make a change in rural areas. Those with greater power have to take greater responsibility, just as the developed world must do so globally.