What is this idea of sustainability? And what do I have to do with it? After reading the Easter Island article in class we were asked to discuss possible deeper meanings or reasoning’s behind the extinction of the native people living there as well as the settlers that moved to the land. Before we were even asked that, as I was reading the article I was seeing a direct comparison of how the native people living their day-to-day lives, and how we as humans are living on this planet. The island was the only thing those people had besides each other. They couldn’t just swim to another island and start using their resources just like we can’t go to another planet once we use all our resources here. Maybe they really didn’t understand they had no other means or options of survival, but as humans I believe we all know we need food and water and shelter to live. I can’t imagine someone reading about the history of Easter Island and not thinking the same things I was. Assuming other people had the same thought as me and that is that you’re probably thinking they were pretty dumb. Using all their resources on stones to make them feel more superior to one another instead of using the resources for survival. It baffles and almost makes me kind of angry honestly, just thinking about it. That’s the part that is most upsetting though. I see how they were living and I don’t understand what they are thinking, but we humans live to see our names on signs and billboards desiring fame and a wealthy lifestyle constantly being better and more successful than everyone around us.
While watching the movie the 11th hour, it was actually a pretty depressing movie. As I was watching the movie it showed the huge impacts we’re having on our world like ocean pollution, air pollution, the melting of icebergs, coral reef depletion, deforestation of our rain forests, and the extinction of animals. So why exactly does all this matter? And what is it doing to me to where I feel like I need to do something to make a difference? Honestly, I’m not sure, I live a comfortable life able to go outside breathe fresh air, take a shower with clean water and drive a vehicle to places while burning gas and if we are being honest I can do all this without having a second thought. I see the big impacts that are going on in this world like I talked about earlier, but I think what can I do that will change things like that?
But a simple answer is it’s not just about me like it’s not just about you. We share this planet with billions of other people and animals, and I have the audacity to think what I do or don’t will not make a difference, when that’s the kind of mindset every other person has. The choices I make even the smallest of ones are impacting something somehow whether I choose to acknowledge it or not. If we keep living the way we are living, rapidly burning through our natural resources we’re going to end up like the people on Easter island. They were ignorant to what was going on around them and that led them to their extinction. Maybe if they realized what they were doing earlier they could’ve changed history but they didn’t, if we ignore how we are treating this planet there will be no difference between us and the people of Easter island.
All of these things are examples of wicked problems. The problem partially is getting the information of these obstacles out to people, but the bigger problem is deciding where to start. I, like many other people don’t really know what the answer to that is. I’d like to think there’s one big answer for each of these problems but there’s not. For now, my answer is living a life that’s more economically friendly and having more compassion for other people and animals not just living for myself, but living in a way that’s evidently helping sustain the resources that are available to me today and getting this information out to others.