History Always Repeats Itself

Today, I have entered a state of reflection to consider the weight of a “wicked problem”, and how this concept is displayed through the film “The 11th Hour”, and an article about the collapse of the Easter Island civilization. During my time watching and reading these two sources, I was able to further my knowledge on environmental issues and how us humans as a species are contributing to it. Looking back, I noticed how enraged I became when I heard how awful we have been treating our own home, our earth. I had not realized this until “The 11th hour” discussed our negative footprint on our environment, starting with the Industrial Revolution in the early to middle 1880s, and into the modern age, with things such as the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.

I, as well as my peers, contributed to the collective learning community by discussing our perspectives and opinions with one another on the topic of a critical analysis of “The 11th Hour”, and the collapse of Easter Island. What I brought to the conversation that potentially led to more thoughts was my opinion that the inhabitants of Easter Island brought their own fate on by themselves. I believed that this was the case because considering that Easter Island is small enough to cross from one side to another in one day, the inhabitants were aware of the resources that they had. They had to have known that if they were to run out, it would be quite some time before they would be able to possess more. I extended insights by laying out my thought process to my peers about why I felt as though overuse of limited resources was detrimental to the collapse of the civilization on Easter Island. As my team’s conversation furthered, I carefully took in the latter opinions of my groupmates. I made it a point to be introspective and think on what information they were presenting. I found it insightful when one of my peers stated that we still struggle with every problem that the islanders did, but now we struggle with them on a much larger and modernized scale. This statement provided much prospective to our group as a whole. We all want environmental change, but no one wants to change anything drastically enough to actually lead to change. After all of this, I was left reflecting on how utterly doomed we are as a species. We are all in the same situation as the islanders were. It is truly only a matter of time now.

What I took away was how detrimental some things are to our environment that I had overlooked in the past. One thing that comes to the forefront of my mind is deforestation. I had always known that deforestation was an issue, but had never been presented with such prevalent information. One quote in particular from “The 11th Hour” that stuck out to me in an incredible way was “The fact that nature dos so much for us naturally, at no cost, and that it is all dissipating. We cannot replicate what nature does freely.” I feel much guilt, being someone who has contributed to this dissipation of natural resources through car use, purchase of plastic items, clothing, etc. What will I have to say about this in fifty years? What will my children say about the condition of our forests? What will my grandchildren say about the quality of the air they breathe? Will animals that I grew up seeing in zoo exhibits be taught to children as dinosaurs were to us? It is true, we cannot replicate what nature does for us so freely. One day, nature will no longer be capable of this. Applying this to my life, I surely will not be taking for granted the privilege of bountiful resources that nature still gives us.

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