Week three in wicked problems proved to be completely new territory to me. This past week, the topic of discussion was whether or not poverty could be to blame for environmental degradation. This was something that I had never through about before because that’s not exactly a traditional cause. After doing some reading and listening to in class discussions, I think poverty is both a cause and effect of environmental degradation.
First of all, this problem goes far beyond the aspect of the environment and its wellbeing, but the wellbeing of humans. The main argument behind poverty causing environmental degradation is the fact that people with lower incomes tend to use resources less wisely and are usually in work in industries such as mining and forestry. On the other hand, with resources being used up, especially in these developing countries with low incomes, there are less resources to serve the basic needs of these people. So, yeah, the environment is taking a major toll sue to poverty but, so are people. The gap between social classes is growing wider and wider and there isn’t a whole lot being done about it.
This week was different for me in the fact that I didn’t feel as bad for the environment as I did for the people. I think maybe that was the point; that people and the environment go hand in hand and if one suffers than so does the other. It was a real light bulb moment for me.