When I was told I was going to have to enroll in this class last spring, I was very confused. I thought, “What does wicked problems have to do with apparel merchandising and why do I have to take this?” I thought by the name “wicked problems” that it was going to be some kind of math class. This confused me, because my major doesn’t really have much to do with math. I was happy when I read the description of the class and I realized that it wasn’t a math class and it had to do with sustainability issues. Before this class I was oblivious to all the problems of the world. I knew there were problems but I didn’t realize the extent to the problems.
This week in class we watched the first part of The 11th Hour and I really enjoyed this movie. Well, not so much enjoyed, but I was very interested in it. I was a little ashamed of how uneducated I was on these issues that we have been having for so many years. For example, the issue of climate change I was not aware of it being so serious. In this movie, it shows the ice in Antarctica melting and they talk about how it’ll all be melted soon if global warming keeps going the way that it is right now. I remember when I was younger how many snow days we would have and how much it would snow during the winter and how happy it would make me to see the snow fall. However, the past few winters it has not snowed very much at all. That was always my favorite part of winter and now I hardly ever get to experience it. That is a perfect example of global warming.
For Thursday, we were assigned the Easter Island reading. I had heard of Easter Island before I read it but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was and I hadn’t ever heard the full story. I started reading the story and while I was reading it, I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this is so similar to how the world is right now.” Everything they were doing in the story can be related to what is going on in the world today. When the people got there they didn’t even think about reserving their resources. I don’t know why that wasn’t even a thought in their minds that they need to save their resources and not use them all at once. They used their trees on things like moving the statues which they could’ve done without. The islanders could have saved so many trees if they hadn’t made those statues and used the trees to move them.
Another wicked problem that I was not educated on was deforestation. I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t realize how big of a problem it was. Hundreds of trees are being cut down every day. Do people not realize that we literally cannot survive without trees? I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to cut down our source of oxygen. We will die if we run out of trees, just like the islanders in the story of Easter Island did.
Overall, I am really interested in knowing more about these wicked problems and becoming even more educated week by week. These problems need to be dealt with, but it will take more than just a few people to make a difference. Everyone needs to know about these problems and we all need to pitch in and do our part to keep this world in good condition to live in.