Oh, What a Wonderful World!

As I have been reflecting on this past week in Wicked Problems, I have been reminded over and over again about just how wonderful and beautiful the world we live in is – and that it should be one of our highest priorities to nurture, protect, and cultivate a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations. 

Going into this week’s in-class discussion over Zoom, I did not really feel fully prepared for what was going to be discussed or for the questions that were going to be asked. I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to current sustainability and environmental issues going on in our society, but it was interesting to listen and hear other people’s input and responses to Dr. Armstrong’s questions. I thought that in the large group discussion, the insight that was shared from other students allowed me to have a deeper understanding of many of the environmental issues that our world is facing. When we broke out in our small groups to discuss the reading about Easter Island, our group had a similar understanding as to what triggered and then ultimately caused the destruction of the Easter Island society. My group all agreed that one of the first triggers to the ultimate destruction of their society was the continual and excessive use of the limited natural resources on Easter Island. We discussed that if we want to protect and preserve our environment for future generations, it is important to consider the fact that because our resources are limited, we need to learn to live in moderation, instead of excess. As we talked about how the clans of Easter Island continued to deforest the land and use up resources, we all agreed that is an issue that is still very relevant today. Because our society is constantly progressing, advancing in new technologies, and continuing to expand cities, there is a continual rise in deforestation – and new problems that have arisen from our continual choice to expand. Our society’s mindset is focused on the future and continuing to build and improve our society, but our group agreed that our society will be harmed if we do not gain a rightful and accurate perspective of our environment and its resources. Resources are limited and we need to be more oriented towards protecting what we have or coming up with creative alternatives to using natural resources. Throughout the rest of the week, something that I wish would have been discussed more in class is how our individual habits and behavior affect the environment that we live in. 

Something I’ve been reflecting on since class is that as a society, we will not be able to improve and protect the environment until we recognize our own behaviors that do not align with the goal to protect the environment. The discussion in class opened my eyes to the entire web of problems that our society faces today with our environment, and it is overwhelming to think about trying to find solutions, but one thing that I felt like I took away from this week is that we need to make wiser decisions as a society when it comes to the environment. A lot of our focus tends to be centered around the economy and our desire to continue to progress our society, If we want to protect our environment, we need to prioritize it above the economy. The world we live in is beautiful and wonderful and that should propel us to make decisions and take action that will benefit our environment.

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