If I am being honest here, when I first heard that I had to take wicked problems, I had no idea that it was going to be about sustainability. When learning what the class was really about, I actually got a little interested. Over the last few semesters, the classes I have been taking have only touched on the subject very little, but they were some of my favorite topics. Even before this course started, a few weeks ago, I did a speech over the sustainability of textiles and how our clothes can be contaminating our food source. I was super passionate about this topic, eventually ranting to not only the class I had to present this to, but my friends as well because I thought it was something they needed to hear. Only few of my friends truly understand how we impact our environment and believe that everyone should be aware of what sustainable living is and how to achieve it.
Now, I am definitely not saying that I am an expert. Watching the first half of the 11th hour kind of shook me to the core. This is because the few topics I have focused on do not come anywhere near the subjects touched on in the first half of this documentary. Before watching, I was completely aware that we are not treating nature as gently as we should and that we should only be doing what we need to do for survival but we are doing so much more. After watching though and actually seeing the effects of climate global warming on our Earth, and hearing what it can possibly come to is what has been on my mind consistently for the last week or so. I think The Lessons of Easter Island reinforced what we learned from the 11th hour and only made what we had seen so real. For some people I know, they think that technological advances will save us from what is coming, but Easter Island is a perfect example that technology is not going to be the one to save us. Easter Island was one of the most advanced and complex societies of its time and came up with many different ways to live in such a limited location. Unfortunately, once they got comfortable, they started using too many of their resources, which were already very limited. Deforestation was the beginning of the death of the island which lead them into a down spiral. After this reading, I immediately applied it to our daily life and where we are now and thought “could this possibly be us?” Which was a tough question for me to answer because there are so many other factors to consider, and that is when I came to the understanding of what a wicked problem truly is.
Since the reading and the documentary, we had a discussion over a TED talk by Paul Gilding called The Earth Is Full. When listening to what Gilding had to say, he mentioned that we need 1.5 Earths to be able to have the resources for all of the people on this Earth. This was really crazy to me and was something that I had never heard before or even considered. Of course, we all know that there so many people on this Earth, but never really know how to put that into perspective due to how large the number is. What we do know is that even though people say “it’s a small world” that it is anything but small and when we hear that 1.5 Earths are needed for all of us, it does put it into perspective. To also hear from the talk that once we hit a population of 10 billion, we will run out of resources and knowing that the numbers are rising rapidly but not knowing when it will happen is really a lot to take in. So much that I also had to rant to family and friends about it to make sure that I was not the only one stressing about it.
Even though I wish that everyone would choose sustainable living as a way of life, it seems impossible for that to actually happen. Personally, my everyday routine is not super sustainable, but I am aware and try to find different ways to achieve the specific task. I think educating our world about these problems is important so that we can be mindful. I cannot say that it will reach everyone’s minds and ears, but hopefully we can make an impact.