Have you ever thought about the world and the problems that occur each day? How sustainability could do so much for these problems if we all try and help? After looking back on my views of sustainability before this class, I realized I was only looking at surface problems, I would think of sustainability as just recycling within your communities and using metal straws rather than plastic to save sea life. Through classes I’ve taken before in DHM I’ve heard about sustainability in a broader aspect, but it wasn’t until this class that I actually got the knowledge of what sustainability was and how much our world truly needs it. I’ve seen on the internet certain things about the world and how it’s slowly dying, but actually seeing true videos of what is happening is truly terrifying. My whole perception of sustainability was changed from just the few classes we’ve had within this class and how I want to help make the change of using less and less natural resources and how we as a human race can complete that, sustainability is already becoming more and more known and how much our world needs it, but we (humans) need to make that change NOW and help our home.
Our earth needs us to help it and quickly, there are so many wicked problems, that by now, may be irreversible, but we need to help try and prevent them from growing. A wicked problem meaning a complex issue that has a resistance to a resolution (no final solution). The difference between a wicked problem and a tame problem is a tame problem has more people on board and there is some type of final solution, for example an outbreak disease among a country would be a tame problem because the solution would be to vaccinate everyone to cure the disease (smallpox). There are six characteristics of a wicked problem, first being a “vague problem,” it is hard to pinpoint what the problem actually is because it is so diverse. Second would be a wicked problem has variable solutions, meaning solutions for the wicked problem are not right or wrong, some are just better than others. The third, fourth, and fifth coincide with the fact that the solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, and solutions require unique approaches, with all three, if you put forth a solution you must go at it analytically and creatively together, because there is always some type of consequence for that solution and it’s never ending. The last characteristic is that wicked problems are urgent, if we don’t take action now, it will result in harm to natural systems and humans. For example, with the Easter Island reading, as we read we saw how the humans were using all the natural resources at an increased rate and didn’t realize they didn’t have much to begin with, with the amount of people that were on the island, which poses two wicked problems already, population growth and using up too many natural resources. This relates to our world today because although this was a smaller island with less resources than we have now, our population right now is growing at an extremely high rate, and our natural life cannot keep up because we use too many natural resources that we think will be there forever, but as we saw with Easter Island, eventually all our resources will not be able to withhold the amount of people on the earth and eventually we will die out.
With our population growing so much women may need to actually be taking contraceptives to prevent population growth, not just in the United States, but all over the world. Either that or with the population growing we need to realize we are not separated from nature as it states in the 11thHour, we need to stop using so many natural resources and thinking its all for us because our earth needs these resources. We as humans compete with nature by burning fossil fuels which causes climate change within our earth and just thinking of a “few degrees” hotter on earth is nothing is actually a really big deal when you think about how we need to live.
After learning all this in class I now realize that we need to make a change to our daily lives and not just wait for others to do it, WE need to make the change NOW. We as people need to be in the now and think about everything we do wholeistically. One of the quotes that has really stuck with me and should stick with everyone is, “is your mind full or are you mindful?”