There is no Plan(et) B

            At this moment, I believe industrialization is something that humans and society collectively should be proud of entirely. Hand in hand with globalization, the world as we know it has never been more connected in an instant. If we desire any product or item, a few presses of a button will bring that good in faster than was possible before. We exist in what people of past times dreamed would be true one day. But for all those dreams, did society ever consider what it would take to get there? The damage and deuteriation the environment faces has heightened in the last few hundred years since a particular historical event. The Industrial Revolution marks a feat in human record, for it brought bountiful innovation the world necessitated. Globalization in its present splendor would not have been possible without the revolution. However, there are questions I and many other people. The question is not whether it was worth it or why humans do not treat their resources sustainably. The question is why we always answer to greed. The Earth gives and gives, and humans keep taking. We love free things, like at a college organization fair with dozens of free t-shirts, stickers, and tote bags. Take more than you give and someone or something ends up unbalanced.

            Wicked problems remain a showcase of society’s wrongs. Before this course, I gave little care to the environment. However, I only regarded the current situation of the climate sterilely. Much of what students learn about the environment in early American education remains taught scientifically. By scientifically, I mean as if surgery were taking place. I have never had surgery or witnessed it. But in movies and films, surgery is taken very seriously. There is no room for error, and everyone must remain in rhythm, like an orchestra where one wrong note whines louder than anything else. Elementary to high school classes do not generally focus on the current effects of industrial practice. Education states that recycling is fundamental, but I remember my high school littered with trash through the parking lots, waste stinking up the campus. In 2021, I went to New York City on a road trip. While I walked through the different city boroughs, something continued throughout the place. The tall buildings are gorgeous and go on forever. Despite that, there was something much more intense than that. Though rich with industrialism and showered with money, ample amounts of trash remain in the streets. The smell seeps into your nose and sticks on your clothes. Walking in open-toed shoes is a mistake. Cities like New York are beautiful, but I have learned that concrete is perfect for trash to fester upon like rotting bodies.

            In my first year of community college, I did a research project based on fashion and sustainability. The focal point was fast fashion’s impact on the environment and possibly what would solve that problem. I remember scrolling through websites and research papers, searching for sources. I was likely inadequate at finding information-packed sources. As memory serves, much of my works cited page were sources that genuinely had unthorough information. I established enough to finish my project, but it was not the best quality either. Matter of fact is that the foundation of my knowledge of wicked problems in the industry originated per that project. I may have recounted this before, but the beginning scenes of the 11th Hour still haunt me each time I think about them. I felt pained and almost paralyzed with pain. Most of my epiphanies in life come from watching movies and films. My life is filled with first-world problems, and I have been lucky enough that some tragedy has not struck me blind. When I see catastrophes online, I observe them as if watching a movie. There is a comfort in watching crazy, uncommon phenomena on screens because everything is fake. Even if things are insane, they are not real. However, the disasters we saw on that first day of class were reality. 

            Reality can be so shocking when you see it in physical existence. I was dumbfounded by those shots, enough that I wanted to throw up. In honesty, even though the film shocked me, I was not ready to care about wicked problems in any way. The course is only half a semester, so my brain decided I did not have to care so considerably. I spent the first month of school now giving too much care for anything. I kept myself occupied with organizing meetings and did my schoolwork, but never thought too much about the content. At some point, I did start caring. Maybe I have the timeline mixed up but reading the Easter Island assignment was what brought my attention. I had heard of the island before due to the mysterious head statues that served as mystic guardians of the island. However, I did not know about what brought about the lack of native human population. I had not even known the ecosystem of the island had been decimated to the point it was unsustainable for life. The waste of such life and culture is extremely sad. It reminds me of the loss people suffered in the time when the Library of Alexandria was burned to dust. All that knowledge burned to nothing led to our technology being behind. There must have been so much education in all that lost information. Easter Island’s loss of environment and knowledge is no more or less important than the loss of the Library of Alexandria. They were civilized, educated, and strong, and unsustainability being the reason for their loss is very much sad. The sensation of only knowing what we had when we lose it is one of the worst sensations in creature experience.

            From these collective experiences, I have come to a point where wicked problems have personally become a topic of great interest. I will likely not forget this course because many topics and dialogues are essential to the fashion industry in general. This course was brief, but I will go on forward and keep acquaintance on the subject. I have learned much about wicked problems these past eight weeks. I wish I could have had the chance to learn more related material in my earlier years of schooling. As a DHM major and an individual who lives in this world, it’s a priority to support sustainability rather than ruination. Industrialism is a good thing that has helped bring society into the power it has today. Like all powers, there are good and bad sides to it. We celebrate the good and benefit from the bad. There is an unbalance of preference towards the adverse side. I believe it is due to the money that is the product of it. Money is a force that functions as supremacy in the world. Politics, industrialism, and other important industries and fields in society hunger for money. It allows for change and growth, or the destruction of things we need to live. I believe the world will come to end because of money. Humans hunger for more and more of anything. As someone who is concerned, I will do my best to fight against the wicked problems of the industry. I do not have much power to do so now, but the fight must proceed.

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