The Wickedness of Wicked Problems

When first asked, I thought sustainability was maintaining what we already have, and not making it worse or better. The actual definition is not very different far from my original thought. A wicked problem is an impossible problem that cannot be fixed in a hurry, or maybe even at all. Wicked problems take time to try and find solutions for because they are so complex and difficult. Compared to a wicked problem, a tame problem seems like nothing. A tame problem is a smaller problem, like vaccines. They can be figured out easier and eventually come to a solution. There are six characteristics of wicked problems, and they explain why these problems are so wicked. Wicked problems are unique, irreversible, urgent, they have a vague problem definition, an undefined solution, and they have no endpoint. The reason wicked problems are unique is because there is not one single problem that is the same. The reason it is irreversible is because you cannot undo what gets done. It is urgent because if we do not do anything about them then they will take over the world and life as we know it will be over, and by then it will be too late. The remaining characteristics are pretty self explanatory.

In the earth is full ted talk, the speaker talks about well, the earth being full. It is so full that it is past the point of fixing. The economy is no longer sustainable and we need to do something about it before we have no more economy. The native American perspective on sustainability is a great perspective in my opinion. They do not just take, take, take from the earth. They believe in preservation, and saving, and being kind to the earth. They will only pick every seventh flower when picking flowers as to not pick too many, and when they pick berries and other foods they do not take all the berries from one bush so they will have something to come back to. In our society today we do not do anything close to that. People try to grab as much as they can without regards to the consequences. Like the Easter island people, we are going to wipe ourselves out if we keep going on like we have been. People need to start thinking of all the wicked problems of our land before they destroy it all. We need to take responsibility and try to help as much as we can. Because if we don’t do it, who will? It starts with one person taking the self narrative and doing whatever they can to help, and others will follow. With everyone taking a little more self narrative we could better the world. My carbon footprint is 35 tons of CO2 a year. Although it is 19% lower than average I am taking the self narrative to do everything I can to lower it. I am going to explore the wicked problem of excess building demolition. Too many people tear the buildings down and throw away the materials. They could do many different things than simply tear down the building. They could start by seeing if there is anything to salvage for other projects, seeing if they can flip the house instead of tear it down, and asking themselves if it is absolutely necessary to tear the building down.

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