Can countries such as the United States continue to grow and develop without causing environmental damage?
Yes, it is possible for the United States and other countries to experience economic growth without causing excessive environmental damage. The best way for this to happen is through the development of technologies that use fewer resources. Economic growth typically causes environmental damage because growth runs on energy. But it is certainly possible to create new technologies that use less energy. We are already seeing progress in making cars that get more mileage to the gallon of gas. We are seeing buildings that are more "green."
As more technologies of this sort are developed, we can have economic growth while mitigating its impact on the environment.