Cause and Effects

Sustainability is something that can be useful and long lasting with ever purpose. Wicked problems are problems that are occurring with little solutions. With these solutions, there are other problems that may arise. So, at the end of the day, it may just be a continuous cycle of wicked problems.

Both sustainability and wicked problems are seen throughout much of what we have covered in class so far. The Easter Island was an isolated island, that had a little amount of resources. When travelers arrived, they had to find ways to make a living. Eventually Polynesians settled and were able to establish a recognized and growing community. The Polynesians were known to eat chickens, pigs, dogs, and the Polynesian rat, along with their main crops which were, yams, taros, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts, and sweet potatoes. When they arrived to Easter Island though, not all of these things would survive or make living there. The food the Polynesians were left with were chickens and sweet potatoes. Running off only two sources for food to feed a full community was challenging enough, and eventually it started to grow. After sometime they started to share rituals and ceremonies. Doing so, they used more resources. After sometime, years later, they eventually ran out of their resources. Here sustainability was seen with their food sources. The wicked problem arose when they started to grow their community but not their food.

Another example were both sustainability and wicked problems were seen is in “11th Hour”. The problems that the movie experiences and explains, is all of what we are experiencing today in modern time. It discusses global warming and what is expected to come if we continue at the rate we are. The film was published in 2007 so there are some seen changes that have gone on since the film. It continued to say that the changes from our day-to-day actions are already being seen and have been seen. Most of what we have seen, has been through tragic weather incidents. These incidents can range from minor to major, such as a small flood to anything as large as a level 5 hurricane. Recently in 2018, we have seen an increase in the amount of outbreaks. There have been a mass number of floods, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Most of these haven’t been minor either. Most have been detrimental and have had a major impact on the location or area along with living.

Wicked problems involve a wide number of issues. Vague problems are diverse and include multiple parts. Variable solutions are challenging due to an indecisive matter of “right” vs “wrong”. Solutions that have no end points are difficult to resolve because you never know what is to come. Cascading effects is hard because the small things we do that we may not think make a difference, but can actually cause a larger effect. Solutions pose irreversible effects when the problem/solution cannot be verified. Solutions require unique approaches because not every solution fixes every problem. Problems can be urgent due to a quick factor of unexpectedness.

My carbon dioxide footprint was estimated to be about 10,693 tons. If I were to start recycling newspaper and magazines I could knock it down to about 9,500 to 10,000. I’m unsure of the accuracy due to my living situation and the way I see my bills and usage. I believe that I probably use about 12,000 tons carbon dioxide. While living in Stillwater, I don’t hardly ever drive my car so I estimated my weekly mileage to be about 15 miles, but when I go home on the breaks I live in Tulsa. So, the use of my vehicle is increased significantly which is why I think mine would actually be higher. The average use of carbon dioxide wasn’t far off from mine, which I was surprised by. I honestly thought I did well with my use of gases because I am a fan of saving the world.

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