Originally, I thought that sustainability only had to deal with the earth, and by being sustainable one was trying to make the world better. For example, instead of using plastic or Styrofoam cups and drinking out of a metal water bottle instead. The dictionary states that sustainability is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level. So really, the word sustainable can mean having a sustainable economy, or being sustainable socially, so many things can be sustainable. Another term that we previously learned about, and is the title of our class, is a wicked problem. A wicked problem is something that is difficult or impossible to solve. This is different from a tame problem, because in a tame problem there is a definitive solution. Another interesting thing about a wicked problem is that the problem has six characteristics. The characteristics that make a wicked problem difficult to solve are: vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions that have no end point, solutions that pose irreversible effects, solutions that require unique approaches, and urgent.
With those characteristics in mind we were told to participate in Activity 1, which had the 6 characteristics along with the earth’s wicked problems, like climate change and deforestation. I learned that most of the wicked problems on earth are irreversible and urgent, and if we as a human race don’t do something to slow down the damage we are causing, everything on the planet could be at risk of extinction. If you look back at what happened to the people of Easter Island and even to the ecosystem of Easter Island, we are doing the same thing that they did. They cut down all of their trees, as we are doing now. The story of Easter Island is not shared enough, and maybe it hasn’t been talked about because it might scare us, but personally I think we all need a wakeup call. The beginning of the 11thHour did give viewers a wakeup call. We didn’t even finish the movie and I was already thinking of ways that I could make a positive impact on the earth. The 11thHour was made 11 years ago, and I personally think things have gotten worse. Hopefully things will be improving 11 years from now.