The final week of our wicked problems class has come and gone, and I am feeling both conflicted yet inspired. For our final yes/ no discussion, the discussion centered around whether the government should regulate green energy standards for building, or leave it to the free market to handle. I had to defend the no side, and for the most part, I agreed with the basic message: that regulations would make everyone be held accountable for reducing the footprint that buildings leave. But after hearing the Yes sides argument, I felt a little torn on the subject. When it was explained that currently, emission levels are like poker chips that can be dealt around by companies, I was baffled—it seems like such a corrupt process! But when it was argued that the free market could be in agreement on regulations more than the government can due to political ideals, I thought that the Yes side was right. It is true that the government would argue a long time before they came to any conclusion on regulations for greener buildings. But I also don’t see giant corporations as the type to fight for reducing emissions on their own—wouldn’t they have done so too? After our class discussion, minimal regulations at the state government lever would be a better start than none.
As we wrapped up the class with the second half of the 11th hour, I was once again feeling conflicted. The movie was showing the latest and greatest ideas for a greener future—but then it hit me that this movie was from 2007—ten years ago, and I haven’t heard of any of the ideas discussed become anything big (except perhaps biomimicry). Ten years have passed, and nothing has seemed to change? Perhaps the change has been subtle so far, like trying to follow the Paris Climate Accord (even thought is was recently abandoned by the federal government) or creating hybrid and fuel efficient cars. But I for sure haven’t heard of tree buildings. So as all these wonderful solutions were passing on the screen, I felt a little sad—why were these ideas not being used?
Afterwards, we were quickly informed on the other courses that OSU offers for after this class. The synopsis for each class re-inspired me: it’s said that we should be the change that we want to see. After being enrolled in this class, I still have many questions about what we can do to save our Earth, and what I can do as someone who will impact the environment with my future career. But I think that what I will take away most from this class is a rediscovered interest in being a part of that change.