My sustainability journey was an unexpected one at that. Not realizing how bad our world has gotten was my fault for not listening to all the warnings. Also, I think I avoided listening about wicked problems because I did not want to hear about the problems since it was not my problem. Not my problem that big corporations are taking shortcuts to make more profit for less money even if it causes environmental damage. But after being in this class I have realized that I CAN do something; every little thing counts. So, to anyone reading this, putting your snickers wrapper in the recycling bin can make a difference. We as humans of this Earth must try our hardest to protect the Earth against ourselves…which is sad but accurate. If we do not protect Earth, then our whole planet could be like Easter Island.
Easter Island is a rare occurrence just because it is so cut off from other civilizations. The people of that island were so smart at one time, then with wars and problems sustaining themselves they became more savage and over time the intelligence dwindled to a low point, that they could not remember how their famous statues were built and placed. The natives fought against themselves. And instead of trying to fix the problem, they just decided to ignore the problem. That is what we are doing. Very similar to what we are doing here, fighting, not resolving.
Wicked problems to me are the problems that are caused by small things that snowball into big wickedly complex and messy problems. But instead of addressing the small fixable problems, we ignore it until it is staring us in the face getting ready to destroy something that we love and cherish. Until the problem hits home. Like oil spills aren’t addressed until it damages coastal line and tourist stop showing up to the people of that city then want to fix the problem. But everyone should be trying to help even when the problem is not close to home, my carbon footprint was below average but that does not mean I should not still try to work on doing more to leave less…hmm, I think I just found my next title. There are six characteristics to a Wicked Problem, vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no endpoint, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and they are urgent. I can think of a lot of problems that fall into these categories but just now realizing that they are now defined as Wicked Problems.
The 11th-hour video documentary was actually very interesting. Hearing about all the ways that energy cost and environmental harm could be reduced was fascinating. Makes me want to really knock some sense into all the people who have the money and resources to make the biggest differences. We watch videos that say that our resources are running out….well that was 20 years ago and our resources are only getting smaller and smaller. We cannot be watching these videos thinking that there is still time, the time is now to act and start making a difference. Also, even though the scientists gave a year as to when the resources will run out, we cannot hold that date true. Resources could have been used more than predicted.
In the Ted Talk by Paul Gilding made an excellent point saying how the Earth was full, full of the stuff that humans make, and waste, and we are filling the Earth up with too much waste. Andrew also talked about waste. But how that if humans would save a reuse more than we would not have to buy more. In our day in age, getting something new is too easy and less of a hassle as opposed to keeping the used product and putting it to another use. We waste so much, it is literally so disgusting. There is so much potential to reusing and recycling that it could change our world drastically. Just imagine if everyone recycled or reused bottled water…less plastic, less of it would wind up in the oceans and landfill, and animals would not try to eat it. Humans are just poisoning themselves, we throw away the plastic, animals eat the plastic, we eat the animals. It is like we are trying to slowly kill ourselves. And succeeding at it.
My last point I want to talk about is the paradigm. I had no earthly idea what this was until getting into this class, but I also realized I knew what it was without knowing the word for it. It is where as humans we think Earth owes us something and we see it as a good way to use its resources for our own gain. That humans rule the world, so we use everything and anything to get satisfied, which is usually with money. Thinks of nature as a good money maker rather than a need to sustain our lives for such as breathing and providing food and growth. The only way to change this pattern of thinking is by self-narratives. If we change our self-narratives then we may change how we are living our lives. We just need to rethink it reflect on it and redo.