Darron Collins’ lecture gave me quite a bit to think about, specifically in regard to the means he used to protect the taimen fish from sport fishers. To me if sometimes feels like the entire human race is one of the villains from Captain Planet, and we do destructive things to our environment for the joy of watching the world slowly burn. Therefore, I think it’s good for me to be reminded that people are just trying to live out there days and get by and when given the right incentives—as Dr. Collins and his team did with the population of the Onon River—people are very willing to protect the nature around them. It was also interesting to me because I love mixing psychology/sociology into my science classes and it was cool to watch how environmental protection could also be used as an economic engine to increase the wealth and quality of like for the people in this area without drastically impacting the natural resources in it. The point that Dr. Collins made that while the solution wasn’t perfect it was better than doing nothing really struck home for me. I feel like I am living in a time where so many people, especially people in political power, have this all or nothing approach to policies and that if it doesn’t cure every problem it isn’t worth doing at all, so to have someone come up and say that doing something beneficial is better than doing nothing was very inspiring to me.
However, I sadly did come out of the lecture somewhat frustrated and tired. That was due partial to how hopeless our current environmental conservation efforts seemed if we have to find a financial reason to protect our planet, rather than the simple fact that it is the place we inhabit and we should want it to be clean and safe and livable for all the creatures on it. The fact is there will almost always be more economic insentient exploit the resources around us than there will be to conserve them. It was also pointed out to me again that the death of species isn’t as unnatural as I want to pretend it is and that evolution only works when things die, specifically things that aren’t fit enough to survive, which is frankly a depressing thought and makes me think about my own mortality more than I want to. Mostly though I think I was just worn out by the college lecture at the end of it. It probably had more to do with my mind set going into the lecture rather than his content, but I was a bit upset that half of what he talked about was the College of the Atlantic. Having spent the last few months being barbered with college pamphlets, emails, and lectures I was a bit worn out with having people talk about their schools to me. While the work the school was doing sounded incredible it felt too much like he was trying to sell the College of the Atlantic to us more than really talk about the work he/ other students did there. This makes sense seeing as he is the president of the college and is talking to a group of mainly high school juniors and seniors, and hearing about a type of school completely different from the colleges I have been looking at so far was very interesting, but it felt like he spent longer talking about it than he had to.