Photos of urban monarch overwintering sites in California

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Fri Jan 12 11:35:46 EST 2001

I think Neil Jones expresses the viewpoint of a large number of knowledgeable
researchers, most of whom simply throw their hands up in disgust when they read
many of the anticonservation rants posted on this list.
Politeness is a virtue in a stable social environment, but our biosphere is under
constant siege by human "development". How dire, how fixable? we can debate.
Admittedly some conservationists exaggerate specific problems. I have not seen
Neil Jones do this. To the extent that Paul Cherubini and others contribute
information and sharpen our minds, they are to be respected. But any facile
acceptance of the "wise use" movement is contemptible on its scientific and
ethical merits. I sometimes hold my breath when I read Neil's postings, but I
agree with most of what he says. The majority of ecologists are just too polite
about Limbaugh, Norton and the wise use movement, and that is no virtue in the
world we presently inhabit.
Patrick Foley
patfoley at
> I think what Mr.Jones is doing is choosing the largest possible ennemy so we
> all think he is large, being cozy across the ocean.
>             I guess it's kneel down jones time for him......
> Martha Rosett Lutz wrote:
> > Oh dear.  It's January, Iowa got hit with record-breaking amounts of snow,
> > and the only insect 'sighting' I have had in months (other than our dear
> > little box elder bugs that overwinter indoors) was a frozen pentatomid in a
> > bag of green peas (brand name on request if you want to try to find one of
> > your own).  But in spite of that, most things were going along cheerfully.
> >
> > Until the 'Monarch photos' thread got rolling.
> >
> > The thread itself has all sorts of interesting aspects that merit
> > discussion.  Someone raised the point that there is a vital difference
> > between species that are transient and dormant, versus those that make
> > their living in the habitat under discussion.  I learn a lot from this sort
> > of interchange of ideas.
> >
> > I sometimes find myself persuaded to adopt new viewpoints, think in new
> > ways, and search for new evidence to learn more about an idea that develops
> > from things I learn via discussions on the list.
> >
> > Now . . . I wish I could find a way to explain to Mr. Neil Jones that,
> > generally, the use of sarcasm, invective, or contumely will more often be
> > counterproductive than persuasive.
> >
> > For example, I try to always be open-minded, listed to evidence, and draw
> > logical conclusions, and I try to be wary of partial data sets that seem to
> > point one way when the entire data set would actually point the other way.
> > HOWEVER, remarks such as:
> >
> > "Perhaps you could all form a nice little club together.
> > I can even suggest a title. How about "Friends of the Vandals"."
> >
> > give me the same feeling I get when I start to peel an orange and suddenly
> > my fingers sink into a mushy area.  (Yuck--I don't want to have anything
> > more to do with this one.)
> >
> > I would like to be able to open notes posted by all members of the list,
> > and to evaluate their comments for myself based on their evidence and my
> > own experience.  When I find that aggressive invective is the predominant
> > component of a particular person's notes, I find myself more and more often
> > deleting that person's notes without even peeking to see if they had
> > something interesting or informative to say.
> >
> > Please, Mr. Jones, if you want to retain credibility with people like
> > myself (some of us only know you through the list), try to restrain
> > contumely; please use documentation, evidence, logic, and the other tools
> > of science.  Your use of comments such as the above has a high probability
> > of reducing your effective audience to those who already agree with you and
> > those who feel that they are being attacked (and therefore want to know
> > what you are saying about them).
> >
> > Perhaps I am wrong in assuming that you would like to persuade people to
> > consider your viewpoints and adopt your ideas.  If I am wrong, then I
> > apologize for this comment on your methodology.  If I am right, however, I
> > beg you to consider the real effect your choice of language may
> > produce--i.e. to alienate some of the people who ought to be part of your
> > target audience.
> >
> > This is not written specifically in defense of Mr. Cherubini, but rather in
> > defense of courtesy as a valuable means of creating attentive audiences for
> > important messages.  I hope it is perceived as such by most members of the
> > leps list!!!
> >
> > Thanks for your time.
> >
> > In Stride,
> > Martha Rosett Lutz
> >
> >
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> >
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> >
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> >
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