No Rest For the Wicked (Problems)

We have made it through our first two weeks of the semester. And for our class, we have made it through one fourth of our time together already. I have already learned a lot about the struggle with wicked problems. Coming into this class, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was not so sure what a wicked problem meant. But already, I have come to understand what this term means for the most part. Our society and world struggles with endless wicked problems, constantly dealing with new obstacles and trying to find a solution. That is the catch with a wicked problem though, there is no easy way to provide a solution (considering there is an adequate solution at all). I learned a lot from watching The 11th Hour. Even though the movie itself is a little outdated, there were still a lot of important factors and points made in the first hour of the movie that we watched. It was brought to my attention that the human population has grown so dramatically over the past decade, that our planet is extremely overwhelmed. It is no secret that Earth is suffering and basically being destroyed by the human race. It is a struggle we have been dealing with for a very long time. Unfortunately, humanity cannot take the steps needed to mend this pain. They discussed the disconnect between humans and nature which really made me think about our priorities. Humans definitely think they are above the natural world even though we are super reliant on it. There is also an issue with being able to make a plan and put it into action. The United States in particular is too brainwashed by economic gain to change policies and begin to fix the mess we are making. Hopefully, our generation can really push for a change. 

Additionally, we had an insightful discussion over our Easter Island reading. I have heard about Easter Island prior to this article, but I did not know very much. I learned a lot about the civilization that was once on the island. While in class, my group decided that the collapse of the civilization of Easter Island was inevitable. We thought this because there was no way they could survive on the limited resources the island provided. Along with the fact that it was a small, secluded island that makes another wide variety of complications. When talking about which of the problems were similar or unique to the ones we face today, one of my group members brought up the problem we currently face with homelessness. This was an interesting point that I hadn’t really thought of and it made me draw a connection to the economic issues we struggle with now that the Easter Island civilizations did not have to deal with. A common issue they faced was the problem of deforestation. As a whole group, we spent a lot of time talking about this particular problem. Like the Easter Islanders, we clear out trees way more than we can afford. Trees are a very important resource to us and we have been wasting it.  

All these problems really make me think about the impact I have on my surroundings and what I can do to make a difference. I feel like everyone needs a wakeup call to really figure out what we can do in order to work towards a solution. I have even talked to my parents about the things I have learned and how scary it is to consider the poor impact humans have created. Wicked problems are very intimidating, especially on such a large scale. At the end of the day, we have to do the best we can to work these problems out and fix them.  

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