The primary cause of that is the burning of coal, natural gas, and petroleum in order to generate electricity and move vehicles around.
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The results of this contradiction are not abstract, as a tour of the rotting, decaying, bankrupt cities of the American Midwest will attest. It is not even confined to those parts of the country left behind by a Washington Consensus that decreed the financialization and deindustrialization of the economy in the interests of efficiency and shareholder value. This paradox is evident even within the Beltway itself, the richest metropolitan area in the nation. Although demographers and urban researchers invariably count Washington as a “world city,” that is not always evident to those who live there. Virtually every time there is a severe summer thunderstorm, tens — or even hundreds — of thousands of residents lose power , often for many days. There are occasional water restrictions over wide areas because water mains, poorly constructed and inadequately maintained, have burst .  The Washington metropolitan area considers it a Herculean task just to build a rail link to its international airport — with luck it may be completed by 2018.