States counterplan text:

The states and municipal governments should increase positive incentives to businesses represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union and local transit unions to increase the availability, extent, quality, and use of alternative energy mass transit in the United States. We reserve the right to clarify.

Hybrid mass transit is coming already

Jordan Schrader, USA Today, 1-22-08, More cities get on board with hybrid buses, http://www.usatoday.com/news/ nation/2008-01-21- masstransithybrids_N.htm

Mass-transit systems across the USA are accelerating orders for diesel-electric hybrid buses, despite an extra cost of more than $100,000 per bus.
Four U.S. cities recently ordered more than 1,700 hybrid buses, General Motors, one of two major manufacturers of hybrid bus systems, plans to announce today. The orders include 950 for Washington, D.C., 480 for Philadelphia and 300 for Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Last month, New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority — which began experimenting with the buses in 1998 — ordered 850 with systems from GM competitor BAE Systems, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said.
Hybrids are becoming the buses of choice for public transit systems trying to improve efficiency and reduce environmental damage, despite the fact that better fuel mileage won't necessarily recoup the extra costs, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
"Hybrids would appear to be what's coming into favor," APTA President William Millar said.


1. Federal subsidies hurt the inner city
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Randal O'Toole, CATO, 1-5-06, A Desire Named Streetcar, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/ pa559.pdf
The nation's transit system is a classic example of how special interests prevail over the needs and interests of voters and taxpayers. Total inflation-adjusted subsidies to transit—local buses and trains—have more than doubled since 1990, yet transit ridership has increased by less than 10 percent. The result is that the average cost to taxpayers for every transit trip has increased by 95 percent, from $1.68 to $3.28 in 2003 dollars. Prior to 1964, when Congress began subsidizing transit, the industry was mostly private, and, though it was losing riders, it operated at an overall profit. Since then, the industry has been almost entirely taken over by state and local governments. Today more than three of every four dollars spent on transit come from taxpayers, not transit riders. The reason localities continue to fund train systems that are surprisingly underused, expensive, and wasteful can be traced directly to federal subsidies for transit. Since mass transit agencies depend on taxpayers rather than users for most of their revenue, they focus on highly visible and expensive services such as light-rail transit to suburban areas. The transit industry's core market consists of people who don't drive and who mostly live in inner cities. To pay for high-cost suburban rail transit routes, transit agencies often raise fares or cut back on services to inner-city areas. The result is that taxpayers often end up paying heavy subsidies for projects that reduce overall transit ridership and often harm transit-dependent families.

2. Suburban transportation isolation only occurs in a handful of the biggest cities in America—clearly not enough to access removing all hyper segregation

3. Mass transit doesn't solve pollution
Thomas A. Rubin, CPA, CMA, CMC, CIA, CGFM, CFM is the former Controller-Treasurer (Chief Financial Officer) of the Southern California Transit District (Los Angeles). He also serves as a key technical advisor to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in its efforts to assure fair access to transit. 2k

Reducing Air Quality Problems Transit is also not very effective at reducing air quality problems. As stated above, when transit's market share is in the low single digit range, there is not much impact that can be measured. Also, trying to clean the air by encouraging choice riders to use transit is a fool's errand – their cars are generally so clean already that the marginal impact to air quality is minimal. In fact, the only demonstrable way that transit can have an impact on air quality is by providing more services to the marginally transit-dependent, in order to lessen the usage of older, very dirty vehicles that emit 100 or even 1,000 times more pollutants than more modern, well-tuned cars.

4. TURN: Mass transit programs provides service MORE to urban areas than suburbs
Randal O'Toole, CATO, 1-5-06, A Desire Named Streetcar, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/ pa559.pdf

In 1995 the NAACP sued on behalf of a group named the Bus Riders' Union, charging the transit agency with discrimination because it cut bus service to low-income minority neighborhoods in order to build rail lines into white, middle-class neighborhoods. In a settlement agreement, the agency agreed to restore bus service.32 That led to a 32 percent increase in overall transit ridership— that is, rail and bus ridership combined. But most of that increase was the result of people choosing to use bus service, not train service. After billions were spent on rail lines, rail transit in 2003 carried less than 12 percent of the region's transit trips.33 Low-income groups in San Francisco recently filed a similar lawsuit against the region's Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The commission's transportation plan called for spending billions of dollars on suburban rail lines that, in some cases, were expected to cost $100 for each new ride. Meanwhile, the plan denied funds for improving bus service to a low-income minority neighborhood that was expected to attract new riders at a cost of just 75 cents per trip.34

5. plan doesn't equalize salaries and job opportunities for women—doesn't solve sexism

6. Many barriers prevent mass transit in marginalized areas
Karen Lucas, 2004, Running On Empty
Even in urban areas, people often do not have access to regular bus services. Some deprived neighborhoods have become effective 'no go' areas for public transport services; drivers refuse to operate routes because of fear for their personal safety and they are withdrawn. Using crow-fly distances to public transport is anyway a very crude and flawed measure of accessibility, masking the reality of people's actual experiences. This is because it says nothing about whether the service connects with the right destination or about its frequency, reliability, safety or quality or whether routes match people's needs in terms of coverage and operating times. It also offers no indication of the cost of travel to the individual, both in terms of fares and journey times, or whether vehicles are accessible for people with disabilities, pushchairs, heavy shopping, and so on. Many of the people experiencing or at risk of social exclusion are also over-represented in the section of the population that experience physical difficulties in accessing public transport, for example, older people and women escorting small children. Fear about personal safety can also serve to act as a mobility constraint, particularly for women, older people, and, more surprisingly, teenagers. More generally, fear of accidents and mugging when walking, particularly at night, can serve to make some groups virtual prisoners in their own home (Lucas et al, 2001).

7. TURN: Women are victimized by getting groped in mass transit
Martha Smith, Wichita State University, 2008, Addressing the Security Needs of Women Passengers on Public Transport

Research has usually shown that men are more often crime victims on public transport than are women (see Morgan and Smith, 2006 ). Exceptions to this trend have been noted for some types of crime. For example, women have usually been found to have higher rates of victimization for sex crimes ( Beller et al ., 1980 ; TTC et al ., 1989 ) than men. Sex crimes encompass serious sexual offenses such as rape and sodomy, but also, more often, exposure and the types of sexual touching or rubbing facilitated by crowded conditions. Recent U.K. research on lifetime rates of victimization for less severe sex crimes found, however, that men had higher rates than women ( British Transport Police, 2004 ), which may be due to greater use of public transport by men than women, hence more time at risk of being victimized. Sometimes, studies cluster sexual rubbings or touchings with other forms of harassment so it is not always clear which crimes are occurring most often (e.g., Audits and Surveys Worldwide, 1996 ). Harassment crimes often go unreported either to police or to transit offi cials. Women have also been found to have higher rates of victimization than men for snatch thefts (bag and jewelry snatching – Smith et al ., 1986b ), and, in some places, for the stealth crime of pickpocketing. Smith et al . (1986b) found a higher percentage of women among pickpocketing victims on the New York City subway while Stafford and Pettersson (2004) reported similar rates among men and women in the U.K. on all forms of public transport. These differences may refl ect differing defi nitions of the underlying crimes or differences among the types of persons targeted in New York (women carrying bags) in comparison to London (tourists of both sexes), but they certainly reinforce the importance of doing placeand mode-specifi c research of crime patterns. Gaps in the offi cial recording of crimes make it particularly diffi cult to gain an accurate picture of public transport victimization in terms of the whole journey (see Newton, 2004 (U.K.) and Benjamin et al ., 1994 (U.S.)). Some information is, however, available comparing self-reported victimization in different places along the whole journey, 5 but most of this either does not report the crime fi gures separately for women and men (e.g., Smith et al ., 1986b ) or only reports on women' s crime victimization (e.g., GLC, 1985 ; Lynch and Atkins, 1988 ). A recent exception to this is a study by Loukaitou-Sideris (2005) of male and female victimization on buses and at bus stops in which women were found to be more often victimized than men. A street was found to be the most common place for harassment for women in Southampton, U.K. ( Lynch and Atkins, 1988 ) and for both attacks and threats in London ( GLC, 1985 ), although public transport stops and vehicles (and public parks or open spaces in London) were also the sites of women ' s victimization. Again, the differing patterns in different cities points to the need for place-specifi c analysis of crime patterns. It is unclear from some of the studies that include street incidents which of these occurred as part of a public transport journey. This is also a problem with research on fear of crime and walking (see discussion below). Information about the destination of the journey is important for policy makers who want to include transport providers, and business people who benefi t from public transport use, in the problem-solving process.


8. Many urban groups don't WANT to take mass transit
Karen Lucas, 2004, Running On Empty

Low literacy rates and language difficulties, which have high prevalence among the poorest sectors of the population in both the UK and US, can also reduce people's ability to access information about the transport system, which has an impact on its use. There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that some low-income groups would prefer to carry out their activities within their own neighbourhoods and are reluctant to travel to places further afield. This is not only based on choices about the cost of travel, but also lack of familiarity with the transport system and the wider area, as well as more deep-seated parochial attitudes in some instances (TRaC, 2000).

Wendell Cox, Heritage Foundation, 7-10-07, Mass Transit: Separating Delusion from Reality, http://www.heritage.org/ Research/SmartGrowth/wm1607. cfm
The diversion of federal road user fees to non-highway projects began in 1982; since that time, annual transit expenditures have doubled, after adjusting for inflation. Fair value would have been for transit ridership to double. It hasn't even come close. Today, annual miles of travel by transit are only 25 percent higher than in 1982. This means that, after adjusting for inflation and the increase in ridership, spending on transit by all levels of government is at least $15 billion more per year than in 1982—more than twice the amount being diverted at the federal level from fuel taxes paid by motorists.
The massive diversion of highway money to transit did not reduce traffic congestion or road use. In every one of the nation's urban areas with a population of more than one million (where more than 90 percent of transit ridership occurs), road use increased per capita and by no less than one-third. Even worse, peak-period traffic congestion rose by 250 percent.
Congestion has increased even in urban areas that invested substantial local revenue in transit improvements. Portland is a prime example. Located just a few miles downriver from Congressman DeFazio's district, Portland's leaders have embraced an anti-highway ideology on the assumption that they can get people to ride transit instead. Portland went so far as to cancel a freeway and use the money to build its first light rail line, which opened in 1985.
The results have been dismal. A smaller share of people in Portland take transit to work today than before the light rail line (and the subsequent three other lines) was built. Portland's traffic congestion has increased at a rate well above the average for large urban areas. Few of the nation's largest urban areas have experienced so great an increase in traffic congestion.

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A. Interpretation–The aff must specify the type of incentive they use.

David M Driesen. Spring 98. "Is emissions trading an economic incentive program?: Replacing the command and control/economic incentive dichotomy," Washington and Lee Law review http://findarticles.com/p/ articles/mi_qa3655/is_199804/ ai_n8791954/print [Takumi Murayama]

Any meaningful theory of economic incentives must address several key questions. What precisely does a proposed program provide incentives to do? Who will create the incentives? A theory that focuses on these questions helps analyze claims that emissions trading offers free market-like dynamic advantages - inducement of innovation and continuous environmental improvement - central to its attractiveness. It clarifies the advantages and disadvantages of traditional regulation. It shows that much more useful things can be done with the concept of economic incentives than trade emission reduction obligations. A theory of economic incentives may help create more dynamic and effective environmental law.

B. Violation–The aff fails to specify what type of incentive they use.

C. v oter for fairness and education

1. Ground–Key CP ground is lost; the aff should be able to defend the type of incentive they do in the plan.

2. Limits–The term "alternative energy" is already unlimiting enough we should at least get to know what type of incentive the affirmative is using to limit the topic.

3. Predictability–It's totally unpredictable what the 1AC becomes in the 2AC after the addition of add-ons; there is already in-round abuse from the 1AC, since the aff strat after the 1AC can change 180°.

spending is in generic

politics shell (first few cards are same as in file)
Obama is winning because he can control the framing on energy
Andrew Ward, 6-22-08
"Energy concerns could swing Ohio result", http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ 235879bc-4098-11dd-bd48- 0000779fd2ac,dwp_uuid= f2b40164-cfea-11dc-9309- 0000779fd2ac.htm[Ian Miller]
The plan dooms Obama. McCain will pounce on a new energy policy to revitalize the GOP brand – it will tip the election
(Theo Caldwell, President of Caldwell Asset Management, Inc/ investment advisor in the United States and Canada, 6-17-08, "Theo Caldwell: If the Republicans promise to cut fuel costs, 2008 could be their year", http://network.nationalpost. com/np/blogs/fullcomment/ archive/2008/06/17/theo- caldwell-if-the-republicans- promise-to-cut-fuel-costs- 2008-could-be-their-year.aspx, [Ian Miller])
McCain will implement National Missile Defenses
John Isaacs, July 01, 2008 News Blaze "McCain vs. Obama on National Security" http://newsblaze.com/story/ 20080701161430tsop.nb/ topstory.html


CAMILLE GRAND, Institut français des Relations internationales (IFRI), Paris. Lecturer, Institut d'études politiques de Paris, and Ecole spéciale militaire, and Adviser for arms control and non-proliferation at the French Ministry of Defense. 01 "NMD and arms control: a European view." http://www.mi.infn.it/~ landnet/NMD/grand.pdf [JWu]

Analysts opposing NMD ... of mass destruction."


Capital-intensive, state directed alternative energy co-opts alternative lifestyles and counterculture possibilities into the corporate mainstream
Leigh Glover, PhD, Assistant Professor and CEEP Policy Fellow; 2006, "From love-ins to logos: charting the demise of renewable energy as a social movement", pp249-270. http://ceep.udel.edu/energy/ publications/2006_es_love-ins_ to_logos.pdf [JWu]

Contemporary renewable energy technologies were researched and developed effectively beginning in that era. Much of the early experimentation with sustainable energy was outside the state and corporate spheres, conducted in personal, communal, and academic contexts. A small amount of post-war experimentation was greatly supplemented by an explosion of activity in the later 1960s. The business sector became involved in the development and manufacture of commercial products toward the latter part of this period, most notably where this involved discrete machinery or components (wind turbines, solar cells, and solar thermal heaters). Renewable energy companies were usually small and independent of conventional energy corporations and utilities. Applications of the technology were isolated, small, privately or communally owned, usually domestic or agricultural, and often "hobbyist" in character. Alternative technologies of greatest interest at the time were amenable to investigation and application with low levels of investment: PV, small wind, small hydro, and bio-digestion. On the other hand, technologies such as tidal power and geothermal energy were in the inaccessible "big science" league.
Alternative energy was effectively a subculture in this period, much of it independent of government and corporate involvement. There was widespread information on these technologies through various outlets, including
magazines (for example, in the U.S., Organic Gardening and Farming, Environment Action Bulletin, and Home Power) and importantly, through the social network of the counter culture. Much individual experimentation
took place and there was great innovation. As with many nascent technologies, amateur curiosity was an initial motivation, and little capital was involved. With the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s, renewable energy garnered
wider attention, and the interest of governments and the scientific establishment validated the potential of this technology as a "solution to the energy crisis." And this same decade essentially marked the end of renewable energy's first phase.
If we allow that technology has social roots (Winner, 1977, 1986; Bijker et al., 1987; McGinn, 1990), and that renewable energy expanded outside obvious corporate and state sponsorship (Butti, 1980), then what social forces and social goals shaped this technology? Renewable energy received its first widespread applications and use in the industrial economies through the followers of alternative lifestyles. Today this phrase invites derision and has
been co-opted to serve a number of political interests, but at the time it meant those wanting to live outside the mainstream. Rejecting the confines of conventional life in the developed world, individuals and groups experi-
mented with a variety of alternative social choices in living arrangements, property ownership, farming, material consumption, entertainment, drugs, marriage, education, transport, health, religion, and a plethora of other dimensions of social life. It was always loose, as social movements are want to be, and difficult to fix in any absolute sense.


This massively consumerist alternative energy divides environmentalists, slows environmental gains, and props up exploitative capitalism
Leigh Glover, PhD, Assistant Professor and CEEP Policy Fellow; 2006, "From love-ins to logos: charting the demise of renewable energy as a social movement", pp249-270. http://ceep.udel.edu/energy/ publications/2006_es_love-ins_ to_logos.pdf [JWu]

Environmentalists divided over this development according to their ideologies. Pragmatists, for example, welcome the support that the renewablesbased economy would receive from giant energy corporations, taking these
developments as proof of the efficacy of the renewable energy cause (Flavin and Lenssen, 1994; Brown et al, 1991; Brown, 2004). On the other hand, skeptics have doubted that corporations will genuinely promote a renewablesbased economy, and speculate that the corporate elite may even use their influence to slow its arrival (Scheer, 2002). All environmentalists accept that corporations are responding to the profit motive in their industry investments. Caution by both parties may be necessary at this stage, for although the energy giants have made considerable expenditures on renewable energy, these amounts are minor in their overall budgets and operations.7
More than the actual scale of corporate investment, at stake is what to make of a renewable energy future steered by corporate strategy and state policy. It is offered here that this development represents the "ecological modernization" of renewable energy.8 While the state has dabbled in renewable technologies for quite some time, these efforts have been highly publicized and generally of little significance. Almost no national energy system in the developed world has managed to get beyond a couple of percent of its energy supplies or meet any significant portion of its major energy service needs from renewable sources. Yet, with the entry of large energy corporations into the field, the responsibility of the state is changed and its provider role for the interests of "capital-in-general" is evoked. Now the state will work more assiduously to provide the regulatory, policy, and political settings that will assist the development of the renewables-based economy. Doubtless the state's task of easing the way for renewable energy is made politically gentler if the conventional energy corporations also own the renewable energy enterprises.

Ontological damnation; extinction
Michael Zimmerman Prof Philosophy at University of Tulane 93 Contesting Earth's Future: Radical Ecology and Postmodernity, Pg. 119-120

Heidegger asserted that human self assertion, combined with the eclipse of being, threatens the relation between being and human Dasein. Loss of this relation would be even more dangerous than a nuclear war that might "bring about the complete annihilation of humanity and the destruction of the earth." This controversial claim is comparable to the Christian teaching that it is better to forfeit the world than to lose one's soul by losing ones relation to God. Heidegger apparently thought along these lines: it is possible that after a nuclear war, life might once again emerge, but it is far less likely that there will ever again occur in an ontological clearing through which life could manifest itself. Further, since modernity's one dimensional disclosure to entities virtually denies that any "being" at all, the loss of humanity's openness for being is already occurring. Modernity's background mood is horror in the face of nihilism, which is consistent with the aim of providing material happiness" for everyone by reducing nature into pure energy. The unleashing of vast quantities of energy in a nuclear war would be equivalent to modernity's slow destruction of nature: unbounded destruction would equal limitless consumption. If humanity avoided a nuclear war only to survive as contended clever animals, Heidegger believed we would exist in a state of ontological damnation: hell on earth, masquerading as material paradise. Deep ecologists might agree that a world of material human comfort purchased at the price of everything wild would not be a world worth living in, for in killing wild nature, people would be as good as dead.

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The aff's framing of new technologies as clean and renewable alternatives overwhelms the basic question of consumption. Rather than basing our plan on support for alternative energy, we advocate alternatives to energy.

Michael Maniates, Professor Poli Sci, Environ Sci; B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, M.A. & PhD Energy and Resources, Director of Allegheny Energy and Society prgrm, Inst. for Study of World Politics Fellow, Aug 2001 "Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?" Global Environmental Politics; Vol. 1 Issue 3, p31-52 [JWu]

But then the tone changes. Having introduced ideas of "consumption limits" and "manufactured needs," Speth dispenses with them. It is better to reflect upon the patterns of consumption, he says—that is, the mix of products made in environmentally destructive ways compared to those that are manufactured in environmentally "sustainable" ways—than on absolute levels of consumption itself. For those troubled by consumption, he argues, the best mix of policies are those that expand the economic production of the poor and maintain it for the rich while reducing overall environmental impact through the dissemination of environmentally benign technologies. One solves the consumption problem, in other words, by getting rich consumers and poor alike to demand eco-technologies. Remarkably, after promising to help forge "consumption patterns that are more environmentally friendly," it takes the Human Development Report just five paragraphs to establish its disdain for any discussion of overall limits to consumption, paths to more fulfilling, lower-consuming lifestyles, or the insidious dynamics of consumerism and manufactured needs. Indeed, the critical importance of challenging consumerism, which Speth alludes to in his forward, is never again broached in the remaining 228 pages of the document. The Human Development Report can be a splendid resource for those wrestling with the complexities of international economic development. I criticize it to show how inquiry into consumption quickly bumps up against tough issues: consumerism, "manufactured needs," limits, global inequity, the specter of coercion, competing and sometimes conflicting understandings of human happiness. Dealing with these topics demands a practiced capacity to talk about power, privilege, prosperity, and larger possibilities. IPAT, despite it usefulness, at best fails to foster this ability; at worst, it actively undermines it. When accomplished anthropologist Clifford Geertz remarked that we are still "far more comfortable talking about technology than talking about power,"33 he likely had conceptual frameworks like IPAT squarely in mind. Proponents of a consumption angle on environmental degradation must cultivate alternatives to IPAT and conventional development models that focus on, rather than divert attention from, politically charged elements of commercial relations. Formulas like IPAT are handy in that they focus attention on key elements of a problem. In that spirit, then, I propose a variation: "IWAC," which is environmental Impact = quality of Work X meaningful consumption Alternatives X political Creativity. If ideas have power, and if acronyms package ideas, then alternative formulations like IWAC could prove useful in shaking the environmentally- inclined out of their slumber of individualization. And this could only be good for those who worry about consumption. Take "work" for example. IPAT systematically ignores work while IWAC embraces it. As The Atlantic Monthly senior editor Jack Beatty notes, "radical talk" about work—questions about job security, worker satisfaction, downsizing, overtime, and corporate responsibility—is coming back strong into public discourse. 34 People who might otherwise imagine themselves as apolitical care about the state of work, and they do talk about it. IWAC taps into this concern, linking it to larger concerns about environmental degradation by suggesting that consumeristic impulses are linked to the routinization of work and, more generally, to the degree of worker powerlessness within the workplace. The more powerless one feels at work, the more one is inclined to assert power as a consumer. The "W" in IWAC provides a conceptual space for asking difficult questions about consumption and affluence. It holds out the possibility of going beyond a critique of the "cultivation of needs" by advertisers to ask about social forces (like the deadening quality of the workplace) that make citizens so susceptible to this "cultivation."35 Tying together two issues that matter to mass publics—the nature of work and the quality of the environment—via something like IWAC could help revitalize public debate and challenge the political timidity of mainstream environmentalism. Likewise, the "A" in IWAC, "alternatives," expands IPAT's "T" in new directions by suggesting that the public's failure to embrace sustainable technologies has more to do with institutional structures that restrict the aggressive development and wide dissemination of sustainable technologies than with errant consumer choice. The marketplace, for instance, presents us with red cars and blue ones, and calls this consumer choice, when what sustainability truly demands is a choice between automobiles and mass transit systems that enjoy a level of government support and subsidy that is presently showered upon the automotive industry.36 With "alternatives," spirited conversation can coalesce around questions like: Do consumers confront real, or merely cosmetic choice? Is absence of choice the consequence of an autonomous and distant set of market mechanisms? Or is the self-interested exercise of political and economic power at work? And how would one begin to find out? In raising these
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uncomfortable questions, IWAC focuses attention on claims that the direction and pace of technological development is far from autonomous and is almost always political.37 Breaking down the widely held belief (which is reinforced by IPAT) that technical choice is "neutral" and "autonomous" could open the floodgates to full and vigorous debate over the nature and design of technological choice. Once the veil of neutrality is lifted, rich local discourse can, and sometimes does, follow.38 And then there is the issue of public imagination and collective creativity, represented by the "C" in IWAC. "Imagination" is not a word one often sees in reflections on environmental politics; it lies among such terms as love, caring, kindness, and meaning that raise eyebrows when introduced into political discourse and policy analysis.39 This despite the work of scholars like political scientist Karen Litfin that readily shows how ideas, images, categories, phrases and examples structure our collective imagination about what is proper and what is possible. Ideas and images, in other words, and those who package and broker them, wield considerable power.40 Susan Griffin, an environmental philosopher, argues the same point from a different disciplinary vantage point when she writes that: Like artistic and literary movements, social movements are driven by imagination. . . . Every important social movement reconfigures the world in the imagination. What was obscure comes forward, lies are revealed, memory shaken, new delineations drawn over the old maps: it is from this new way of seeing the present that hope emerges for the future . . . Let us begin to imagine the worlds we would like to inhabit, the long lives we will share, and the many futures in our hands.41 Griffin is no new-age spiritualist. She is closer to rough-and-tumble neighborhood activist Saul Alinsky than ecopsychologists like Roszak, Gomes, and Kanner.42 She is concerned with the political implications of our collective sense of limited possibility and daunting complexity. She dismissed claims so prevalent in the environmental movement that a "healed mind" and "individual ecological living" will spawn an ecological revolution. Her argument, like Litfin's, bears restating: ideas and the images that convey them have power; and though subtle, such can and is exercised to channel ideas into separate tracks labeled "realistic" and "idealistic." Once labeled, what is taken to be impossible or impractical—" idealistic," in other words—can no longer serve as a staging ground for struggle. Conclusion IWAC is more illustrative than prescriptive. It draws into sharp relief the fact that prevailing conceptualizations of the "environmental crisis" drive us towards an individualization of responsibility that legitimizes existing dynamics of consumption and production. The recent globalization of environmental problems— dominated by natural-science diagnoses of global environmental threats that ignore critical elements of power and institutions—accelerates this individualization, which has deep roots in American political culture. To the extent that common-place language and handy conceptual frameworks have power, in that they shape our view of the world and tag some policy measures as proper and others as far-fetched, IWAC stands as an example of how one might go about propagating an alternative understanding of why we have environmental ills, and what we ought to be doing about them. A proverbial fork in the road looms large for those who would seek to cement consumption into the environmental agenda. One path of easy walking leads to a future where "consumption" in its environmentally undesirable forms—"overconsumption," "commodification," and "consumerism"—has found a place in environmental debates. Environmental groups will work hard to "educate" the citizenry about the need to buy green and consume less and, by accident or design, the pronounced asymmetry of responsibility for and power over environmental problems will remain obscure. Consumption, ironically, could continue to expand as the privatization of the environmental crisis encourages upwardly spiraling consumption, so long as this consumption is "green."43 This is the path of business-as-usual. The other road, a rocky one, winds towards a future where environmentally concerned citizens come to understand, by virtue of spirited debate and animated conversation, the "consumption problem." They would see that their individual consumption choices are environmentally important, but that their control over these choices is constrained, shaped, and framed by institutions and political forces that can be remade only through collective citizen action, as opposed to individual consumer behavior. This future world will not be easy to reach. Getting there means challenging the dominant view—the production, technological, efficiency-oriented perspective that infuses contemporary definitions of progress—and requires linking explorations of consumption to politically charged issues that challenge the political imagination. Walking this path means becoming attentive to the underlying forces that narrow our understanding of the possible.