There are 2 diametrically opposite paths, which can lead humans to happiness.
Market-based economics dictates that the more your desires are, and the more you act on them by increasing your consumption, the happier you will be.
On the other hand, the spiritual path says that the lesser your desires are, the more internal happiness you will gain.
Both these paths have opposing effects on the environment.
The approach of increasing desires, leads to an ever increasing arc of destruction of the Earth’s resources, finally leading to the environmental crisis that we find ourselves in. There is no limit to how much destruction will be caused by this approach, as human desires are limitless.
The alternate path of reducing desires, leads to a progressive minimization of our impact on the environment. As we live closer to Nature fulfilling our basic needs, our environmental footprint can become close to zero. This may appear to be a Utopian ideal for us, but this was the path followed by humans since the dawn of Time.
We have tried out the way of unabashed increase of desires on the path to happiness, with disastrous results for our common home.
Maybe it is time to try out the alternate way to happiness, by reducing our desires.