If we had only 3.5 billion people on the planet instead of 7 billion we may not be having all these problems. But the fact is that population growth drives the economy almost more than anything. And we are slave to “economic growth”. We pursue it at all costs, even though it’s just a measure of all the monetary transactions that occur. So if we spend a lot of money on air filters and breathing equipment because we can’t breathe the economy grows. If we clean up an oil spill, the economy grows from paying all of the cleanup costs. But are we better off? People are starting to question the use of GDP and other measures of the economy and are suggesting we may want to start using ones that reflect our level of well-being instead of just measuring our transactions.