Identify and explain the most surprising bit of information you learned: The most surprising bit of information I learned was the threat to Northwestern forests posed by the Northwest Pacific bark beetle. Previously, I had never heard of the insect and was unaware of its detrimental impacts. The beetle can seriously damage the health of the trees in this area, which in turn can have a large impact on the ecosystem that relies on these trees. Furthermore, the beetles are harmful from an economic standpoint. The beetles damage the wood so that it cannot be used and processed by humans, which has both short and long term impacts on the local economy.
If you had conducted the interview, what unasked and/or unanswered question would you have asked, and why?: If I had conducted the interview, I would have asked David Wallom about the comparisons between economic and environmental risks drawn by environmental lobbyists. It has always been interesting to me how environmental activist groups appeal to those driven by monetary gain. For example, we just discussed how the beetles are harmful to the forests from an economic standpoint. At what point are the economic costs so large that those driven by monetary gain want to help make a change? When will we see this inflection point on a national or even global level? I believe there is going to be a time in which saving the planet will be every organization's priority, but I often fear that time will be too late.
(Link to interview: https://drive.google.com/file/d/107I5zn7f7ahMUa0MV265ijdanXAMbTsA/view?usp=share_link)