The Wicked Nature Of Wicked Problems

Wicked problems truly do live up to their name, don’t they? They’re quite disagreeable in the fact that they cannot be solved without creating new and/or worse problems in the future. It’s teasing, in a way, to believe you’ve found the perfect solution for it to only be laughed upon by the numerous troubles and complications your solution would cause the world in the end. The talk of wicked problems, such as the melting of the polar ice caps, deforestation, and overconsumption of limited resources has sparked a sort of realization in me. Throughout my life, I never noticed how poorly we treated the earth. Sure, I saw the flaws within the industry, but it never registered just how severely damaging our species has become. It’s terrifying in a sense, to me at least. Our way of life in the modern day is completely taken over my thoughtless consumption, almost to the point where it is uncontrollable, and we thrive off such an idea. We have jobs and make money solely due to how humans consume goods and services. 

On our second day of class, after we broke out into our rooms and discussed the topic of Easter Island, my group started to discuss wicked problems as a whole. I mentioned that even if we go the route of using the earth’s unlimited resources such as wind, solar, and hydropower, we’ll still be creating more problems. For example, birds and fish will be affected by wind and hydropower. Birds often fly into the windmills that are found across the countryside, and fish can get caught in hydraulic machines. These technologies, even though they’re better for the environment, are still hurting the ecosystem by unintentionally killing off animals. It was an extremely enlightening discussion in my eyes, and I wished it could’ve also been presented to the class as a whole. A lot of people believe that using the earth’s unlimited resources holds no flaws, but that is simply not true. Using these methods will still cause similar problems when it comes to animals, just be a different source. 

There was really no proper point in class where this topic could have been mentioned and brought into the light, though I would have loved to discuss it with other classmates and hear their own opinions on the matter as well. Everyone is quite well-versed on these topics and it’s nice to hear the different opinions of others and debate them. This class so far has been extremely eye-opening to me, especially after watching The 11th Hour. It’s amazing how so much is hidden from us by the media, and to be found, it must be dug up from underneath the layers of wraps that corporations and factories have put over it. It would be amazing to be able to come up with solutions that would cause the least amount of problems in the end, but that’s the teasing way of a wicked problem: to fool you into believing you have an easy solution without realizing the other flaws it could create in the end.

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