Sustainability is a matter that concerns our entire world. In the past, I saw sustainability as limiting ones impact on the earth and on a huge scale, which it can and should be, but it should also be a part of our everyday lives. I now see sustainability as being mindful to prevent our world from being washed up with destruction. Sustainability can start with anyone no matter how small. Sustainability has evolved into a matter of responsibility for all generations past, present, and future. Sustainability incorporates the environment, society, and the economy. Before this class, I only thought of the first part of sustainability as environment, but I now see society and economy are key parts of sustainability. Sustainability works to combat various wicked problems we face today. Our society and economy can prevent or help eliminate our various wicked problems or they can add to them. A wicked problem has no definite solution due to it having no foreseen endpoint, irreversible effects with unknown results, a need for unique approaches, and an urgency to solve the problem. A wicked problem is much more complex compared to a sequential tame problem. A tame problem has more support and along with that they can be solved using traditional solutions. It scares me that tame problems have more support than wicked problems because harder problems need more minds to find solutions, but it makes sense that people are more willing to support less complex ideas. However, we need to fight to solve wicked problems because if not the results could be the end of life as we know it.
Today, we face various major wicked problems, many of which the 11th hour discuss. The 11th hour discussed global warming, our use of unrenewable resources, deforestation, biodiversity loss, air pollution, our ocean crisis, population growth, and other ideas as wicked problems. These issues have disastrous consequences and make me wonder how we can prevent further harm. To understand problems it is often crucial to look at how the problem started and the 11th hour divulges into this question. I was more than intrigued by the ideas presented by the 11th hour about how our wicked problems developed. One thing that stood out to me was the idea that our change of mindset around the industrial revolution may have unintentionally led to our harmful relationship with nature. We loss our connection to nature and our reliance upon nature with the creation of artificial sunlight. Our industrial progression may of led to a mind shift in humans that we are the dominant force, but the 11th hour calls that statement into question. One expert said something along the lines that we, meaning humans, are part of nature and not the other way around. This made me think that we may be dominant right now in our time on Earth, but in the end if we don’t realize we are really a part of nature, nature will prove to be the winner of our struggle. If we don’t change our ways we will run out of resources and or create an unlivable environment for humans, but nature will be able to adapt and outlive mankind much like they did with dinosaurs. I found this compelling and very true when you think about the grand scheme of our world. In the future, mankind along with our trash, as seen in the OSU Washed Up art exhibit, could just become fossils in a newly adapted Earth that is void of human life due to conditions we created. This is a terrifying thought because every day we are hurting the very environment we depend upon and that can and will outlive us and our kids and our grandkids. I wonder if we can truly revive our relationship with nature or if we are to far gone? Change starts with research, thinking critically, and then taking action. I hope we can change our mindset and taking this class shows the possibility of change for the better.
The art exhibit at the OSU Museum of Art also shows a possibility of change. They say a picture says a thousand words, well I say the Washed Up Art Exhibit says a million words and inspires change. I found the art exhibit a powerful and unique exhibition on how we are effecting our environment and we may be creating a wave of change towards the worse as seen by the on ground photo collage. We can find means to change our past and present into a better future. Our impact is precious and holds more value than some people realize because as stated earlier nature has endured a lot more then mankind and can most likely adapt better then we can in the end. Our impact, much like the porcelain fossils the artists created out of everyday objects and garbage, is fragile and we must be careful or all we will be able to leave behind is a negative impact at the micro and macro level. As seen with the telescope images of ocean organisms and creatures, our world can be broken down to micro levels. Human waste and garbage can and will alter the lives of the tiniest organisms on Earth which then creates a chain reaction. This chain of events thus effects our lives and Earth’s whole system on a macro level that could lead to the demise of mankind and other life. Our impact is crucial to all lives on Earth not just mankind’s and seeing our effect on the grand scheme and at the microscopic level inspires change for the betterment of all life. We must and can do more, no matter how small, to leave and live in a world that is better for mankind, all that live with us, and nature.