An examination of the major underlying causes of environmental problems, a number of possible remedies, and the evolution of many such problems. The causes are found to be of two types — those that result from increasing demands on the environment and those that cause inefficient management of such demands by society. The evolution of environmental problems is traced in terms of various stages in their political solution. These generalities are then applied to the specific case of photochemical air pollution in Southern California. The evolution of the problem is traced and the major impediments to its solution analyzed at each major stage. It is concluded that more research and planning would have been and still might be useful, and that one of the major problems has been undue concern for the technological feasibility of proposed solutions.