When coming into “Sustainability and Wicked Problems”, I had little to zero clue what sustainability truly was, nor did I know the world would be inhabitable for our world’s population within the next couple years. Although this is a terrifying thought, you will be like everyone else and just brush it off and or act as if it weren’t in our near future. Through assumption, I had created the idea that sustainability was defined as the ability in which someone or something can keep another thing going successfully and comfortably. This is partially correct, however I did not know this one word could change our world completely and ultimately save the planet in which all of humanity relies upon, which (in case you were curious) includes you. Inhabitants of our today directly affect the future generations to come, for that is only if we allow them to get that far. Changing the way in which the world’s population lives their everyday lives can be difficult, thus creating a wicked problem.
A wicked problem is a problem which becomes impossible or very hard to solve due to incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements. There are six total characteristics which can make a problem a wicked problem. These characteristics include vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions which have no end point, solutions which pose irreversible effects, solutions which require unique approaches, and urgency. Each of these make it much more difficult to solve the problem at hand. Thinking back, this is why sustainability is a wicked problem. People do not know about it, there are irreversible effects which are beginning to show themselves, there are not many unique approaches to this problem, and much more.
Our planet is just becoming the history of Easter Island. When reading “The Lessons of Easter Island” I learned that Easter Island used to be an island which thrived, but now only has a couple hundred people whom are barely able to survive upon its uninhabitable land. Before the population of Easter Island increased to a level which the land couldn’t provide for, it was a booming civilization, although it had difficulties gaining enough supplies which they had not gathered or created on their own.
The worst part about this is that I am just like everyone else. I do not want to change my ways because my way is easy and much more convenient. My carbon footprint unfortunately proves this. My household creates an average of 52 tons of carbon dioxide every year. Although, according to the website, I am two percent better than average, until that number is zero tons I am just adding to the already trash covered Earth. Without a change being made, the world as we know it will slowly become uninhabitable.