The gasoline-powered automobile was introduced in the 1880s, but by the time it reached its first century, it had already become implicated in a range of environmental problems. As the largest, most complex consumer good, the consumption of automobility is also often one of the areas of greatest impact of personal consumption patterns in industrialized nations. Initially, industry saw the environmental debate as yet another temporary fad that could be addressed by technology and then quietly forgotten about. However, increasingly people realized that the environment was not some external entity deserving of our benevolent protection. Instead, at issue was our own living environment—mankind's ability to live on a planet that could survive perfectly well without us. As this realization spread, and with it social ...

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