Just after the first week of Wicked Problems, I have gained so much insight on how we as a society effect the environment. When reading about Easter Island, I realized how similar the fall of the island is to the entire world. The civilians used all of the resources without being mindful of the future. While society cannot flourish without the environment, the environment can flourish without society. We cannot survive after we have used all that we can from the environment without replacing what we use, and at this rate the end of our society is closer than we realize. The people of Easter Island cut down all the trees in order to transport statues across the island until there were no more trees. This resulted in corruption within the society and who gets the small amount of resources left. With the majority of the food gone, the civilians turned to cannibalism. At the peak of the population of Easter Island, the civilians were hopeful thinking that their success as a society was also at its peak. In reality, when the population of Easter Island was at its peak was when the fall of Easter Island began. As the world population continues to increase at an increasingly faster rate, the fall of the world becomes closer and closer.
This idea of world corruption proved itself more prevalent in the film The 11thHour. While I knew that all of my choices made an impact on the environment, I was not aware to what extent. I have a tendency to consume more than I need and then I become aware of that and then throw the items away that I do not need. Through this, I am over consuming and wasting without recycling. Even the small decisions I make on a daily basis like using styrofoam cups rather than reusable cups, leaving the lights on when I am gone, driving myself rather than carpooling, or taking longer showers than I need to. While all of these are minute, when they add up, they become a bigger and more difficult problem which can eventually result in a wicked problem. Some wicked problems that were brought to light in The 11thHour were climate change, deforestation, extensive use of nonrenewable resources, polluting the ocean, and top soil erosion. By using as much of the fossil fuels as we do, the concept of climate change has become a major issue. Through climate change, the problem of global warming has taken charge. Also correlated with climate change are natural disasters like flooding and wildfires, which also erodes top soil. With deforestation we are decreasing our access to oxygen and other resources much like the Easter Island civilians did. Since nonrenewable resources are limited and become more and more limited through humanity’s use of these nonrenewable resources, we need to become more mindful of our use of these nonrenewable resources. Corporations have continuously been polluting the ocean with chemicals as well as people polluting the ocean through littering. There has also been an issue with over fishing and waste through over fishing. The ocean provides society with ample resources and opportunity and we will no longer have access to such resources and opportunities if we continue polluting the ocean as we currently are. The environment is a privilege, not a commodity.
Today’s society has become so materialistic and self-centered with consumption, that we are not even taking into consideration not only the future of our environment, but also the future of our own generations. We over use without taking into account our impact. While we have been made aware of these issues, we continue to make automatic and unconscious decisions to worsen our situation. Through all of these elements, we are destroying ecosystems and the future of our society. We are creating the fall of our own society without even caring to change or stop our actions. In order to change the outcome of our society and environment, we need to be mindful of our consumption and decisions. Even though it has only been a week in Wicked Problems, I have already began evaluating my personal consumption and how to change it.