Write a well-developed paragraph in response to each of the four


1Both Charles Montgomery and Rachel Carson outline “wicked problems” in their writings. What are the “wicked problems” in each, and why is systems thinking required to solve them? In addressing systems thinking you must make specific reference to each article.

2According to Anielski, what’s wrong with conventional ways of measuring progress or prosperity? Discuss an alternative approach.

3Discuss how the four pillars of sustainability are reflected (or not reflected) in EITHER Aldo Leopold’s “Thinking Like a Mountain” 

4How is “outrospection” relevant to sustainability? Make reference to at least one reading/video/guest speaker (besides Roman Krznaric’s “The Power of Outrospection” video).

example. Write a well-developed paragraph in response to each of the four questions. You must use complete sentences, not point form. Maximum word count for each response is 400 words.  When referring to specific readings, acknowledge your sources (e.g. “Andrew Howell said . . .” or “Anielski talks about . . . “ ) and provide page numbers (if possible),  but try to use your own words (that is, paraphrase) as much as possible (as opposed to using direct quotation). We’re interested in your understanding of, your interpretation of, the readings/videos/guest lectures.


How is growth a problematic concept for sustainability? Discuss in relation to the Caradonna reading and at least one other reading/video/guest speaker.


Caradonna points out that the physicist Alfred A. Bartlett has suggested that “sustainable growth” is something of an oxymoron (11). Caradonna means that “growth” implies an endless ability to expand, while we live on a finite planet with limited resources and space. Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that growth can’t go on forever. Caradonna explains how the Club of Rome’s 1972 book The Limits to Growth and system theorists like Donella and Dennis Meadows showed the folly of conventional economic assumptions about endless growth (14). More recently, Anielski has argued that there is a disconnect between economic growth and genuine well-being (29). For too long, we’ve bought into the myth that economic growth, “more production and more consumption” (29) alone will make us happy. Anielski recalls how, after 9/11, President Bush asked Americans to go shopping as way to ensure economic growth in a time crisis, but Anielski points out that such an emphasis on economic growth did not–could not–improve people’s overall well-being (28). In the context of sustainability, it might make more sense to think of, and strive for, growth on personal, relationship, or communal levels, rather than only an economic one. It may be that we need a more holistic way of thinking about growth, seeing it not just as a line on a GDP graph but as striving for a harmonious balance of all four pillars of sustainability. (236 words)

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