The Beginning of a New Chapter

In regard to recent topics in class, I definitely feel that I contributed the most in my group discussion about the Easter Island reading. I was intrigued when reading the story and it really got me thinking about issues such as deforestation and lack of resources so we discussed these things and added them to the padlet during class – our group believed that these things were the starting points of the collapse of Easter Island. However, before coming to that conclusion, I first suggested that the starting issue would have been the competition between the clans. As I read about Easter Island and the problems that led to their demise, it stuck out to me that opposing clans would use as much timber as possible in order to make more and more statues. I felt like the initial separation of people could be considered a beginning reason as to what happened to the island – however, as our group further discussed the topic, I realized that the competition between the clans could more easily represent that tipping point in their decline. I think that having different ideas in a group is helpful for learning because different sides can be discussed and evaluated. This discussion definitely helped me think outside the box and I think each member of the group did a great job of sharing their thoughts and opinions, as well as respectfully listening and talking to each other.

When I was asked to explain what our group meant by “competition between clans” on the padlet, I wish that I could have explained myself a little better. When learning about Easter Island, I immediately made a mental connection between the desire for power in the Islanders and the desire for power from big corporations in today’s world. Just as the clans on the island took land and resources to be seen as the “top dogs”, those in power today do the same things. For example, oil and gas is one of the largest enterprises in America, but the environmental cost of their growing power is devastating. Talking on zoom is slightly uncomfortable for me and I am still getting used to it, but I hope that next time I can better explain my thoughts to the class!

Something I wish I could have contributed more to was our first break out room discussion. I have always known that we are dealing with environmental issues, but I have never looked into specific sustainability problems. Because of this, it was difficult for me to contribute much in the conversation about what sustainability issues to add to the padlet on the first day of class. I am excited to continue learning about these topics so that I not only can contribute more in conversations like these, but also so that I am aware of the world we are living in and can change my behaviors to help the environment.

Something that really stuck out to me in class was the idea that even when a “solution” is made to a wicked problem, more problems will arise. It almost sounds scary to me, like we can never do anything to help – however, this is simply the nature of a wicked problem. Another thing that really struck me in these first couple classes was simply the amount of information in the 11Th hour. I always knew that there were issues such as global warming and deforestation, but I wasn’t aware of how serious these things were or how much of a negative impact humans have had on the environment. The documentary seriously opened my eyes and every day since watching it I catch myself thinking about little things I do that could be harming the environment – I am so glad I am taking this class so that I can be aware of my impact on the earth. I can’t wait to start a new, environmentally conscious chapter of my life!

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