The Importance Of Responsibility In Protecting The Environment

1313 Words 5 Pages
Virtually everyone who has grown up in the United States knows the saying: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” And most of us think that in order to save the environment, we must all play a small role by doing things like buying cars with high gas mileage, or using products that are environmentally friendly in one way or another. These kind of ideas have been repeated to many of us our whole lives, but what most don’t realize is that the burden of responsibility for protecting the environment and enacting change in the way that we as a society treat our environment can’t be justly placed on the individual consumer.
Although it is true that we all play a role in protecting the environment, what shouldn’t be overlooked is who or what is having the biggest
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According to Maniates these corporations are more than happy to push the blame onto individual consumers by basically drilling it into our heads that we all have to do or buy certain things in order to lessen our environmental impact. In reality this is not the case, and unfortunately this type of marketing has been unbelievably successful in the last 20 years. Maniates calls this phenomenon the individualization of responsibility. And he says that “when responsibility for environmental problems is individualized, there is little room to ponder institutions, the nature and exercise of political power, or ways of collectively changing the distribution of power and influence in society—to, in other words, “think …show more content…
For years Volkswagen Auto Group had been touting their high performance and “highly efficient” diesel engined cars. Though not nearly as popular in the US as in Europe due to differing gas prices, VAGs diesel engines were considered some of the best in the industry. This is until September of 2015, when it was discovered by scientists at the University of West Virginia that during regular road use, diesel-engined cars from brands owned by VAG—including Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche emitted Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) at levels up to 40 times the amount legal in the US. The software in the cars could apparently detect when they were being tested for emissions (in an in-doors, closed lab) and would intentionally retard the vehicles performance in these situations in order to boost the engine’s perceived efficiency and pass the test. Since the discovery of Volkswagen’s so-called “defeat device” the EPA has found that 482,000 cars in the US are affected by this, which could lead to the biggest government fine to an automaker in history. VAG later admitted that around 11 million cars sold worldwide have their “defeat device” programming, and have already taken steps to try to minimize the impact of the scandal by

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