Pyrgus centaureae wyandot

Mark Walker MWalker at
Thu May 18 09:32:43 EDT 2000

Neil Jones wrote:

> No Mark, the point is not that simple.

Yikes, Neil, it was my point to begin with.  It's as simple as I want it to
be.  Take my word for it - the point is simple.

> Yes Mark, you are a responsible caring person who understands the need
> for conservation. That is obvious. I do not maintain a collection of 
> butterflies. I do occasionally kill insect specimens to study them
>  get them identified etc. I do not want my study banned, but 
> I am deeply
> worried when the study of insects is defended by arguments that are so
> transparently false. This "windshields" argument does a great 
> disservice
> to entomology.

I am not using my argument to defend entomology.  I am using my argument as
a reflection back in the face of self-righteousness.  "Those without guilt
throw the first stone", and other stories.  We're sprawling, Neil - and
every day that you and I take another breath, we're contributing to habitat
destruction.  Painting the picture that "men in fields carrying nets" are
the principal enemy while those carrying camera bags are some how purer and
environmentally friendly is simply wrong.  One of the binocular ads in
"American Butterflies" just slays me.  It depicts a gorilla trying to mate a
geekoid butterfly collector wearing a pith helmet.  The image is clear -
good guys wear white and carry a lens.  Bad guys carry a net.  All of the
folks behind propagating this image suck - in my humble opinion.

BTW, the windshield argument is not transparent (especially with all of the
splattered bugs all over it).  You certainly would agree that road kill is
an issue with larger animals - why do you want to ignore roadkill when it
comes to butterflies?

> People do target the rare. They target the rare photograph 
> and the rare
> experience. I as a photographer have photographs of the Palos 
> Verdes Blue
> and the Quino and Bay Checkerspots. You will know just how 
> rare these are.

Hold on to your hat:  We agree.  People target the rare.  It's not in the
best interest of the rare - for sure.
> As for our lifestyles causing the distruction of habitat. 
> Well of course
> there are social factors. The strange thing is that eating 
> "Muckburgers":-) or
> having a video player etc. does not necessarily help in 
> making people happy.
> I don't eat at burger bars since I want to stay healthy as a matter of
> personal choice. I don't have a video player either or a car. 
> (I used to have a
> car but now I find I can save the expense.) The fact is that 
> we can have
> a good happy lifestyle and save the environment.

We can be environmentally conscious.  We should not be deluded into thinking
that "we" are saving the environment.  Especially those of us who are
enjoying a good and happy lifestyle.  A good and happy lifestyle is
characterized by plastic, the flush toilet, and refuse collection.  We are
not environmentally friendly.

Mark Walker

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