Will you choose life or death?

When I signed up for the class “Wicked Problems of the Industrial Practice” I didn’t really know what it was going to be about. I thought it’d have something to do with big companies, how they’re corrupted and wasteful, and how I alone am supposed to be the big change in the world. After the first week of class, it ended up being a lot more than that. Sustainability and going green is something that hits closer to home with me, and also happens to be one of the main focuses of this class. A wicked problem is one without a clear solution that works worldwide. Each place is affected differently by a seemingly good solution due to climate, environmental, and cultural factors, to name a few. These problems are considered wicked because they cannot be solved and I think the problems the human race has already caused are irreversible and will cause the downfall of mankind.

I considered myself to be eco-friendly prior to this last week. I always use my reusable bags and try to recycle and minimize wastes but this class showed me that there’s a lot more to it than just that. Every day since watching The 11th Hour, I think about the fact I’m using gasoline every time I drive or using a tree when I’m writing on a piece of paper or adding to landfills each time I eat with a plastic spoon. I, like every other person on the earth, am contributing to the problem, regardless if it’s a bigger or smaller contribution. Reading about Easter Island and their downfall caused me to compare it to our world now. We are doing so many of the same things (excluding cannibalism) in order to expand and “thrive” and it’s out of control by this point.

The discussions this week have brought it more to my attention and honestly it is terrifying to think about where the world is heading. I’ve begun doubting having children because I’ll be bringing them into a dying world. The environment is not our property and it is crying out in response to our daily actions and we continue to choose to ignore it. Many people have the mindset of “It’s only one plastic bag!” but when each and every person thinks that way, it quickly becomes “It’s only billions of plastic bags!”

I think we are rapidly heading downhill yet choose to ignore the major consequences of our actions. Nobody wants to think about it but that’s what it is going to take to make a difference in the world (the difference being life or death). We need to fully acknowledge the severe damage we have done as a whole and hopefully manage to come up with solutions to at least bring the damage to a slow. If we continue down this path of mass destruction, we will end no better than the Easter Islanders and the earth could become as desolate as Mars. Small changes each day by each person can add up and make a difference. So, at the end of the day, the choice is yours: will you choose life or death?

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