2. The claim that economic growth and prosperity are a cure for environmental degradation is arguable. It is based largely on the "Kuznets curves" observed in some forms of pollution. When the amount of pollution is plotted against per capita GNP, an inverted U curve is produced. As economic activity grows, pollution first increases. Then, presumably because an increased concern for environmental amenities appears when basic needs are satisfied, pollution control is implemented and pollution decreases. Prosperity thus saves the environment. Unfortunately, such Kuznets curves are of limited application. Economic growth has helped to mitigate some kinds of air and water pollution, but production of many of the most important pollutants, among them carbon dioxide, keeps right on rising with prosperity.