What We Should Learn from Easter Island

In this weeks reading, we read about the tragedy of Easter Island and how it collapsed. With the decline of their resources due to building homes and boats, the small island was essentially deforesting the entire island with no replanting to help replace it. We see parallels to todays society with the decline of non-renewable resources such as coal and oil. If we can’t find alternative sources of energy, we are bound to be on the same track as the Easter Islanders. Soon, much like them, our population will reach a peak, only for resources to fail us as a sustainable energy source. If this were to happen, our population would rapidly decrease, and much like the people of Easter Island, we would most likely fall into a mass hysteria worldwide.

If we want to avoid this outcome, it would be best if we as a society helped to reverse some of the effects of wicked problems. For example, a wicked problem in the realm of Interior Design is the use of nonbiodegradable chemicals in synthetic fabrics. I have learned about the chemicals involved in this process and how exactly they hurt the environment. If we want to try and alleviate this issue, we could fix it by using more natural materials as opposed to synthetic ones. If push comes to shove, we could even change how synthetic materials are made, changing the chemical composition of the material itself to be more environment-friendly.

While I don’t actively talk about Wicked Problems to my friends outside of class, I have become more aware of how I take care of my spaces around me. I’ve also become more aware of the composition of things I consume/use. I’ve begun to recycle more when I’m able to and I’ve stopped littering like I used to.

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