Wicked and Wasteful

The Earth has been around for quite some time, but during its life span, the planet has changed significantly since its birth, which should be expected. Humans have not been around for as long as the planet. There have in fact been multiple species that have roamed the Earth centuries before us; however, humans have managed to make the greatest impact on the planet’s development. Since we have had more advances in technology, we have had a greater impact on the planet due to the release of chemicals when fossil fuels are in use. The release of these chemicals into our atmosphere have had an effect on our global warming and could be the cause of our demise, so we need to start to find solutions to these issues that are sustainable and will help benefit the Earth. Before we began this class, I had an understanding that sustainability is just a way to do something that is greener and better for the environment, but after learning the definition, I have realized that it is so much more than that. From the definition that was given in class, I now see that sustainability is solving any problem that can be beneficial to the planet. Now there are some problems, I learned, that do not have a solution, which are known as wicked problems. One example of a wicked problem that I think is a big issue is our political system. As I learned from the documentary, “The 11th Hour”, our political leaders are only responsive to money and they are being paid more to be in support of companies that are less sustainable. This can relate to the fashion industry, which is my chosen field of study, because there has been an increased tax for imported and exported goods and therefore, the prices of clothing in retail stores have also increased.

Overall after I watched the documentary, “The 11th Hour”, I thought the film was full of great information that I was not really aware of before. For as long as I can remember, I have always heard about how our world will one day come to an end, but a reoccurring topic in this film was that the Earth will always be here. The issues we are suffering from in the world today are only affecting the environment we live in and will eventually become non-habitual for all species on Earth. But when and what will be the actual cause of our demise? Global warming seems to be what has been affected since the appearance of man. According to the film, this has been caused by the extreme use of fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources in many things, but mainly in gasoline to fuel cars and other types of transportation. When these resources are used, chemicals and gases are typically released into the atmosphere. Global warming is a major concern in the Artic because the ice caps are melting and if the temperature continues to increase, all climate types will no longer be habitual to all species and we will cease to exist.

The six characteristics of wicked problems are vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions that have no end point, solutions that pose irreversible effects, solutions that require unique approaches, and urgent. Vague problem solutions is when you are analyzing a problem, but are having a difficult time finding an exact solution. Variable solutions are kind of similar to vague problem solutions, but it is difficult to even find one definite solution for a problem that would work everywhere and for everyone. Solutions that have no end point is when the end or solution to a problem cannot be determined or is not in sight. Solutions that pose irreversible effects are solutions that cannot be undone and it is difficult to determine how effective the solution would be. Solutions that require unique approaches are solutions that will not work effectively everywhere for everyone due to their culture, politics, social personalities, environment, technology, or economy. Finally, urgent is when a problem failed to be solved and has resulted in permanent harm to humans or to nature.

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