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Curbing Overconsumption : Challenge For Ethically Responsible Engineering Essay

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In “Curbing Overconsumption: Challenge for Ethically Responsible Engineering,” professor E.J. Woodhouse discusses the causes of the modern environmental crisis, particularly how engineers should be responsible for aiding the environment. At one point, he asks, ’if it is technically feasible to arrange consumption far more efficiently, as Paul Hawken, William McDonough, and an increasing variety of others claim, does that imply that the engineers who help arrange the wasteful approaches are violating certain ethical standards?’ (Woodhouse 24) Woodhouse claims that it is the ethical role of engineers to use their positions and resources to decrease the waste production of American overconsumption. Meanwhile, in “Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?” environmental professor Michael Maniates discusses the modern environmentalist movement, and in particular discusses its individualized aspects. Maniates’ argument revolves around evaluating the various failures of what he refers to as individualization of responsibility, which ‘embraces the notion that knotty issues of consumption, consumerism, power and responsibility can be resolved neatly and cleanly through enlightened, uncoordinated consumer choice.’ (Maniates 33). In the specific context of environmentalism, individualization of responsibility manifests as buying eco-friendly products instead of practicing some other form of environmentalism. Instead, Maniates believes that environmental issues stem
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