What now, So What?

When I found out that I needed to take a “Wicked Problems” course, I didn’t think much of it. Yeah, yeah, global warming caused by industrial practices—I’ve heard it before. I assumed we would learn the same stuff we’ve been told since elementary school. Once we got down to the basics of the class (the beanbag chairs confused me as to whether or not it would be intense or fun), I realized that wicked problems are… difficult. Difficult is an understatement. The problems we will talk about—climate change, overpopulation, resource depletion—they are in a way, unsolvable. And that just made me sink: to know that we were going to talk about these things for four weeks and achieve nothing. The movie, The Eleventh Hour, even further cemented this idea into my head. Scientists have warned the public about the future for years, and we’ve been ignoring it for just as long.

Not gonna lie, I was not excited for the second day, but it was much better than I expected. We had read an article about the history of Easter Island, and I learned that those big wonderful stone heads were built at a terrible price. Through our notes and discussion, it became clear that this wasn’t some ancient myth— it was a lesson for all future generations—our earth can be destroyed, and the threads of our survival can be so quickly unraveled.

Before this, I always blamed climate change on big money making corporations and payed-off politicians. But Easter Island showed me that whatever the powerful people of today are doing is something that seems to be a part of our very species: the idea of egocentric superiority over everything, including ourselves. The islanders were so obsessed with being in the best clan, they wiped themselves out doing so. Companies are so obsessed with money that they destroy nature to the point of no return. Even I can admit to supporting companies that add fuel to this fire. It seems that we’re all contributing. So what way is there to stop this, and save our earth and ourselves? I’m really hoping this class will show me some clarity on this very confusing topic, because it seems to me that there will never be a solution for both nature and us.

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