There is a modern environmental fable about in the land. Simply put, it is this: that environmental degradation is a silent and inevitable companion of industrialization—a caboose hitched on the train of progress that no one can unshackle. If we want refrigerators, modern medicines, cars, computer chips, and polyester (and who does not?), then the price we pay is in toxic by-products, industrial waste, chemical effluent, environmental degradation, and occasional spectacular disasters. It appears to be a pretty straightforward pairing, a coupling that is somehow simultaneously the responsibility of each and every one of us, and yet the responsibility of none. This train that we’re all on, with its unwanted and unshakable caboose, is fueled only by the press of consumer demand, we are told. The men who run the huge multinational corporations that run the world’s largest three “smokestack industries” (oil, cars, and chemicals) only steer the train, they say; they didn’t lay the rails, and they certainly didn’t hitch up the toxic caboose. No one knows who did.