Over the past week, I read through the article “Does the Market Work Better Than Government at Transition Sustainability.” It was a debate between two people, Paul Krugman and Leigh K. Fletcher, who did a better job at transitioning the world into sustainability. Paul Krugman believed that the market did a better job at the transition than the government and Leigh K. Fletcher believed the opposite side. The article I read was mainly focused on Krugman’s point, but there was a small section that showed Fletcher’s side of the argument. Krugman. Made points about the Clean Air Act and trade sulfur dioxide (permitted in the 1990s) and how it will help fix the acid rain problem. Acid rain comes from power plants that emit coal fumes into the air, which does not mix well with the elements. This has become a big problem, which has caused many to find a solution. Krugman believes that the clean air act will help reduce/fix the problem. He also made sure to point out his strong beliefs on how the United States should show a cap and trade approach to the world. At the start of this article, I was not aware of the argument between both sides. However, after reading Krugman’s thoughts on the topic, I can see why he believes that the markets work better for the sustainable transition. However, with the small part of the article that discussed Fletcher’s side of the debate, it is easy to understand why he believes the opposite. He mentioned facts like how buildings take 65% of electricity consumption and argue that local, state, and national levels need to enforce the construction industry levels. He also believes that if the government levels have stronger management, then there will be a significant decline in the energy demand that happens during building life cycles.
After reading through this debate, I realized that there are other wicked problems that I don’t know much about. Deciding to google wicked problems led me to wickedproblems.com, a website that explains what wicked problems are and the projects that others are working on to help fix them. Upon entering this website is defined what a wicked problem is. “A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems” (Wicked Problems 1). After that, there is a table of contents that allows one to read more on understanding social entrepreneurship and many other topics. There are many chapters through each topic that will explain and discuss different wicked problems. Once I read through the website, I learned many things. However, the one thing that stuck the most was the solutions to the problems and how they take form in a nonprofit business or non-government organization. Both solutions take form in one of two ways; working with one person and making a difference in their life or working with a large group attempt and a top-down approach. Although there is an excellent thought in mind, there are always problems that follow. In the end, the website made me realize how much I wanted to grow my knowledge on the other wicked problems this world is facing.
Brands like Patagonia understand that there are wicked problems and are actively trying to help make the change. With the motto “We are in business to save our home planet,” it is easy to see how passionate they are. They support many organizations that “take action to protect people and the planet” (Patagonia 1). The company helps fight for the world. They also give their customers tools to help fight alongside them. Once entering the website and clicking on the activism tab, there is an option to join their fight to save the environment. After putting in your location, it will bring up environmental groups nearby as well as different events. This one page provides its viewer with many resources to learn, join and give back. Aside from its noticeable giveback and use of sustainable materials in their new designs, they also have a program that allows you to return and buy used gear. Patagonia is an excellent example of how brands in the fashion industry are moving forward sustainably.
Taking inspiration from everything that I was taught, I plan to move forward and live a sustainable life. I have already made the switch to recycle, limit my paper use and use reusable products. However, I would like to be more actively involved. Going forward, I plan to look into being more actively involved in helping better the world. I have recently been looking into participating in the fight to regrow the coral reef. As well as help slow the growth of the great pacific garbage patch. I hope to move forward with building a sustainable life.
“Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving”. wickedproblems.com n.d. web. https://www.wickedproblems.com/1_existing_approaches_to_social_entrepreneurship.php“Patagonia”. Patagonia.com n.d. Web. https://www.wickedproblems.com/1_existing_approaches_to_social_entrepreneurship.php