How Wicked is a Wicked Problem?

When people think of something wicked they often think of a single person. One person causing destruction and chaos. A single person making things difficult and unreasonable. In today’s society, many are the single wicked person. Not with any intent to be so, but by misinformation and not being fully education about the world around them. In today’s world everyone is effected in some way by this ongoing wicked problem known as pollution. Everyone, even without knowing, is apart of this issue. Whether you live on the East Coast, or a small town in the middle of the midwest there is an issue that involves everyone, and hopefully a solution.

Coming into this class I had no idea what a wicked problem was. After my first day of class I realized that a wicked problem stemmed so much further than just me, but everyone. I was asked the question of sustainability. To be honest I don’t think I ever gave that word much thought. Watching the 11th hour and going to the museum; I finally realized what sustainability was, and that wicked problems played a huge role. Sustainability to me is defined as just getting by. You’re living the day to day sustained. Nothing changing, nothing moving; it stays as a constant. This is a problem in the world of wicked issues. When we watched the 11th hour I realized that that is how humans are living. We are not fully seeing the effect of what we are doing to our world, so we remain constant. In the 11th hour, they explained that humans have solved so many things, but we have overlooked our ability to protect and preserve the things we did not create. Everyone wants to protect their livelihood, but when it comes to preserving our earth no one really thinks about it. We have become so comfortable with plastic bottles, cars running on gasoline, and creating a powerful human race, that we have overlooked what should really matter. We’ve become so consumed with our success that we have forgotten the basic needs. We need trees that not only provide the number one basic necessity to survive, oxygen, but also their ability to store water from floods. We need to protect our oceans because when we put fish on our food chain, we are also putting the plastic particles they consume on the chain as well. Watching the 11th hour was such an eye opener and it truly showed that if humanity does not act Earth will not be able to sustain our race forever.

While the 11th hour was an amazing documentary to watch; it was even more eye opening to physically see the wrong we’ve done to our earth. Going to the museum was almost sickening. It was so hard to wrap my mind around just how bad we have let this issue go on, and how we truly have not done enough to fix it. When I was informed that most of the pictures that had been taken, or even the relics that had been put on display had been from Oklahoma and surrounding states it truly made my heart hurt. Being from Oklahoma I never really put any thought into pollution. I always saw it as a costal problem. No longer do I have that mind set. It is an issue anywhere within the United States. Humans, along with every organism that lives in water, needs clean water. All I could think about while being at the museum was, “what if someone dumped their trash in my bed room?” Yet that is exactly what we are doing to the thousands of organisms that live in the water we are polluting. We are discarding what we no longer want into somethings else’s home. Before going to the museum I never once thought of what kind of fossils humans will leave behind. Being able to see the odds and ends of what we will leave was very surreal. In both the movie and the museum it demonstrated the same question: “What are we leaving behind?”

Both experiences were an eye opening adventure. I sit and write this and think of what exactly I can do to help solve the issue. Whether it be go and recycle or even take it a step further and see how can my career change the path we are going down. The 11th Hour confronted me with the cold hard true as to what we are doing to our planet and if we don’t do anything to change it we are not going to like the world we will be living in. The museum visit showed me head on that things need to change. I realized that museums should have art and beauty. While it was an amazing exhibit and I learned so much from it, it is a little concerning that someone had to create an exhibit to show the world we are heading towards. I hurts to know that what we are doing now, if it goes unchecked, is the life we are leaving behind for future generations. We should be striving to leave a better beginning for the future. I believe with a mindset to create a better future than the one we entered in is whats going to truly solve our sustainability and create something worth living in.

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