To untangle the question of how to approach the conundrum of limited pollution offset credits for fossil-fueled power plants in Los Angeles, it\u2019s useful to consider some of the factors examined in the book Limits to Growth. Population: The population of greater Los Angeles has doubled since the Limits to Growth was published, from about 9 to 18 million people. Progress in cleaning up the air has been remarkable against this backdrop of population growth, a tribute largely to technological progress and the new source review program itself. But as the limit on new sources of air pollution hits, it raises the question of whether the region can withstand as much ongoing growth in the future, or at least how it can be accommodated without worsening air quality. Resources: The region\u2019s population growth and spread into hot desert areas has been fueled by relatively cheap energy. Cheap gas has allowed just about anyone willing to commute long distances in an auto to own a small manor. Cheap electricity also has contributed to this by making it affordable to run air conditioning systems in desert homes and shopping malls. However, the growing use of energy in Los Angeles and countless other cities--while producing less smog-forming pollution due to cleaner burning power plants and cars--has played a role in spiking prices enough to damage the global economy and cause outright energy shortages in poor nations. It also has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions. Pollution: Fine particles produced by burning fossil fuel constitute the most pernicious pollutant emitted by our industrial economy, penetrating right through lung tissue to cause cancer, heart disease, asthma, and a wide range of ailments that kill about 4,000 people a year prematurely in greater Los Angeles, according to epidemiological studies. Greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuel are playing havoc with the climate. For instance, scientists say warming is causing a water shortage in California. In response to the drought, farmers just announced they plan to grow less food in California, meaning that more is likely to be imported at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, resulting in a torrent of diesel exhaust that will make it harder to achieve healthful air. Technology: Cleaner cars, power turbines, and industry have cleaned up smog in the Los Angeles area to a large extent, but not fully. New emissions-free renewable energy technologies exist--solar, wind, geothermal, and electric cars. They could clean up the air and take pressure off of dwindling resources. Yet, the regional air quality regulators still seek to clear the way for more fossil-fueled power plants. Human organization: Could it be that the primary reason the new source review program has hit the wall in Los Angeles lies not so much with population, resources, or technology, but with cultural, political, and economic organization? Solutions appear to be at hand, yet the region\u2019s air quality regulators seem oblivious, stuck in a fossil-fuel paradigm. Even as they profess their commitment to clean up air pollution and end global warming, Los Angeles air quality officials complain that failing to build more fossil fuel power plants to support ever more car dependent suburbs in hot inland areas will undercut economic growth. After all, they say, wind, solar, and electric cars are promising, but still somewhat futuristic.