IN T H E EARLY 1 8 0 0 S , England's industrial revolution seemed to be in danger of losing momentum as coal supplies dwindled, but rapid growth continued
over the subsequent century. In developing countries, many poor cities that have grown at a fast pace have simultaneously experienced rapid growth in air pollution, yet air quality in the large cities of the Western world has improved in recent decades. Does growth lead to faster depletion of resources, or does it create the resources to clean up the environment? History, recent or otherwise, shows many possible interactions between growth and scarcity of resources.