Our Wicked Problems on Earth

Walking into wicked problems on the first day and seeing the class layout was a little bizarre. We had bean bag chairs instead of desk. Dr. Armstrong sat next to many students and welcomed us to our new class. The environment was relaxed as we started the class. When I first signed up for this class I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I knew it had to do with sustainability. Leading off with the movie was the perfect way to start this class. It went into depth on topics I already knew were an issue but gave me a better understanding on what wicked problems really were. The reading in the Easter islanders opened my eyes further into realizing what will happen to our society if we don’t slow down on using our depleting resources.

The 11th Hour explained all the wicked problems that we have and how there isn’t a major effort to solve them. The movie started from the beginning of over consumption. The industrial revolution started the environmental crisis with the invention of the steam engine. The industrial revolution began the competition for money between corporations and industries worldwide. When they thought that their natural resources such as fossil fuels were abundant; they didn’t know that their dependence on these resources would start the depletion of them. Watching this movie really improved my knowledge, but also intrigued me. One quote that stood out to me was “separated from nature”, with the technological advances in our society we only see what’s on social media or the internet in general. One of the biggest problems today that I see is that we as humans are worried about material things. We are uneducated on how much we waste on products because we want the next new thing, while we just throw away things that can be reused. As our population continues to increase we use up more resources that are scarce. The 11th hour made me realize how much corporations and the government haven’t done anything to help the environment because they just want to profit. The oil corporations play a major role in the decrease in nonrenewable resources because so many industries use them to gain money and power among competitors. However, they are the leading cause to climate control, deforestation, ocean pollution, etc. Watching this movie then reading about the Easter Islanders showed me what can happen if we continue to ignore these wicked problems. The Easter islanders were so caught up in developing their society that they didn’t realize they were getting rid of all their resources. If we continue to use up what nature has given us, we will end up in the same chaotic society the Easter islanders did. Our population is increasing at a large rate that we will soon be fighting each other for things like food and water that seem so abundant now.

Week one in wicked problems has been interesting and a revelation on topics that I already found important to note. As our world becomes more polluted and global warming continues to become a huge issue, no one is making the effort to change them that has the money or authority to do so. I feel like I do what I can when it comes to controlling my carbon footprint. I recycle and reuse products often, control my plastic purchases, always turn my lights off when I leave the room, and conserve as much water as possible. This class will help me see what other efforts I can do, but also give me a deeper understanding on how to incorporate what I learn to my career in the future.


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