The big issue: Sustainability

A wicked problem is an issue that is difficult, or even impossible to solve. With this definition, one of the main wicked problems people think of is sustainability of our natural resources. Sustainability is more of an issue than I thought it was, and if we don’t take a stand soon, the world won’t be able to support our future generations like we need it to. With that in mind, we need to recognize the problem before trying to solve the issue. There are many different contributions that are leading to the issue of environmental decline. As the issues are worsening, scientists are pinpointing the key reasons for the worsening conditions, such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, and lack of recycling. As talked about in The 11th Hour, humans are the ones who created these issues, but most people aren’t doing anything about it. They take advantage of nature, and act like we are superior to nature, when in reality we are nature. As the movie talked about, there are too many people, using too many resources, too fast. We need to take note from Easter Island on what not to do, because from reading the book A New Green History of the World, I learned that Easter Island came to an end from using all of their resources without thinking of the consequences. The people on this island were too advanced but didn’t have enough resources to keep up with their ideas. They cut down their trees in effort to move their big stone structures across the island, but once they cut down all of their trees, they didn’t think about what would happen next. They weren’t able to escape from the island because they weren’t able to make canoes and their decline went downhill from there. If we take note from their mistakes we can learn how to use our resources without overusing them. If we don’t start changing our habits on Earth, Easter Island is a look into our future. We are the ones who are putting ourselves into this environmental collapse, and we are the only ones who can do anything to change this.

Now that I understand what sustainability is and how big the issue is the next question is: what can I do? You can reduce your carbon footprint just simply by studying your actions and seeing how you can lessen your impact on the earth. Recycling, carpooling, or even turning off lights when you aren’t in the room can help you do your part. I know after reading the book and watching the movie that I need to make a change in my everyday actions, and I hope that the more people learn about sustainability, the more they realize they also need to reevaluate their actions.

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