Sustainability and Wicked Problems in Terms of Paradigms, Intergenerational Responsibility, and Industry Issues

I was always taught that sustainability is the act or the ability to preserve natural resources and prevent them from further depletion; However, I believe this exact definition still holds true today. With sustainability, the tern “wicked problems” is often brought into discussion. A wicked problem is a problem, often correlated with sustainability, that cannot be permanently prevented or stopped; A tame problem, however, is a problem that can begin to be reversed, unlike its wicked opposite. Within a wicked problem lie six equally significant characteristics: a vague problem definition, possible solutions, solutions without an end point, solutions that would have irreversible effects on the problem, unique approached that are required by certain solutions, and urgency. In high school, I studied and researched topics relating to sustainability, but I never truly understood what makes a problem wicked and how many wicked problems truly exist until we watched the 11th hour documentary. In addition, I did not realize how many instigators of wicked problems there were that led to environmental crisis, and I did not realize that drought, floods, etc. could be classified as wicked problems. My understanding only grew while reading Rittel and Webber; I learned that wicked problems are unique from one another, can be caused by science, and have only good and bad answers (no right or wrong). When it comes to self-narratives and paradigms, both are important and need consideration due to differing opinions; In addition, paradigms differ from person to person and is how each person sees the world. Moreover, when it comes to intergenerational responsibility, I do believe it is the duty and responsibility of each generation to preserve the world’s health the best it can in order for coming generations to prosper as much as they can. After calculating my carbon footprint, my total carbon footprint ended up being 68 tons of C02 per year, and I have a carbon footprint that is 79% better than the average person. This result significantly shocked me as I believed my carbon footprint would be much worse; However, there is always room for improvement. Personally, I would love to increase sustainable methods and practices and reduce waste in the fashion industry because fast fashion has led to extreme waste which is the opposite of beneficial to the environment.

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