Before this class, I did not know what to expect, given that the course name had the word “wicked” in it. This word struck me, giving off an evil feeling, but as soon as we completed our first class, I understood the meaning and use of the word. Wicked problems are the ecological and environmental problems the world is facing — such as population growth, resource demand, deforestation, and climate change. In high school, I took environmental systems which covered most of these topics and even went into depth on them. This class opened my eyes to the never-ending problems our society is and has been facing. Once I realized that this class was going to be very similar to my environmental systems class, I began to get excited. Now I know you are thinking that I am crazy given that I am eager to learn about the wicked ways of the world, but I promise you that is not the case – It is the complete opposite. I have always loved learning about the Earth and seeing the new inventions that were made to help protect it. As I grew older and learned of all the awful things that were happening broke my heart. Sadly, the only way to fix a problem is to have a problem in the first place, and I think we can all agree that the way our world is now is one ginormous problem. Now, all we have to do is fix that ginormous problem. Sounds easy right? Wrong.
One main take away from our first week of classes was that everything has a chain reaction. The Collapse of Easter Island, an article we read as an activity, is the perfect example to back up my claim. Once the citizens took over the island and settled, they began to prioritize things that were not a necessity for survival, such as, their practice of religion. As we debated in class whether or not this was a necessity, I still believe that it is not one. Yes, worshiping their Gods may have been how they lived before Easter Island, but they had more resources there than they did on Easter Island. So overall, practicing the religion and using two times the supplies to celebrate that religion was one of the many factors that killed the citizens. Each decision that the islanders made had a chain reaction just like our decisions. Reading this article made me realize that I need to be more conscious of my choices, no matter how big or small.
To further explain all the wicked problems within our world our class watched a short film called The 11th Hour. In this film, scientists told sustainability as well as how humanity is the Earths biggest enemy. After finishing the movie, I was reminded of the smaller problems, which then led to more significant issues. For example, when you choose not to recycle a plastic bottle, you think it is just one bottle that is not being recycled when in reality millions of other people could have made the same decision resulting into millions of plastic bottles that were not recycled. So far, this class has opened my mind to think harder and longer on all the wicked problems we are facing right now. Looking further into these stories and films has made me increase my social awareness, and I look forward to learning more throughout the next few weeks.