If there's a silver lining in the cloud of pollution hanging over the valley, it's that it becomes impossible to deny the toxins we're putting into the atmosphere — not just in January and February when we can physically taste them, but continuously throughout the year. For me, days of inversion also provide an unsettling object lesson. I find myself changing my routine from things I'd naturally do as a way of compensating for the poisonous surroundings. I can easily see how our living planet could be struggling to do the same. Our way out is to take personal responsibility to pollute less, to support scientists and entrepreneurs in their exploration of clean energy and to demand the same from elected leadership.