Wicked Problems

Sustainability to me was one of those words where I had a vague understanding of but after learning more, sustainability to me means being aware and understanding that what we do has an impact and that we need to be responsible in the way we treat our planet.

This last week I also learned that a wicked problem is a problem where the solution is not known versus 18 problem that does have a solution; like a disease that has a vaccine.

Having this new knowledge helped me to be more open to the film “The 11th hour.” This movie was filled with the disturbing fact that our planet is in danger. This film discusses everything from overpopulation to deforestation. Another thing the film discussed was the pollution of our oceans.

I kept this sad topic floating around in my mind as my class and I visited the OSU Museum of Art’s “Washed Up” exhibit. This exhibit is truly eye-opening, from the moment you step and you were confronted with the tragedy of plastic in our oceans. The artist does an amazing job of putting the viewer on edge and enforcing the person to wake up and make a change. I walked away vowing to take another look at my life and the plastic waste I create.

When looking at the pandemic of plastic in the ocean and compare it to the six characteristics:

1. Vague definitions

2. Variable solutions

3. Solutions have no end point

4. Solutions pose irreversible effects

5. Solutions require unique approaches

6. Urgent

Plastic in the ocean’s need to be addressed and cleaned now. One way I think we could get the vast majority to help clean up the oceans is if we offered a debt or loan forgiveness plan. We could also fine and or boycott companies that continue to harm the ecosystem, whether that be dumping toxic waste into the oceans or making sure that everything produced is recyclable.

What are your thoughts? How do you think we could get people to wake up and actually help?

Best regards,


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