leps-list not dead, but sleeping

Paul Cherubini monarch at saber.net
Sat Jul 12 17:35:42 EDT 2003

Stan wrote:

> The common lay person does not read Science and other
> scientific journals to get information on global warming.
> The media fills this gap, but because it is fulfilling a 
> function for which it was designed, it would be inappropriate 
> to therefore say that the media is responsible for 'crying wolf'
> or spreading hysteria, so to speak.

Stan, I think it is easy to find examples of scientists, environmentalists
and the media spreading hysteria about environmental issues.  Take 
the public perception of the status
of the monarch butterfly.  For nearly two decades the monarch 
overwintering populations in Mexico have been censused each year
and the population trend has been one of stability:

But thanks to some scientists and environmentalists who exaggerate
and reporters who like to build upon their exaggerations,
the common lay person thinks the monarch populations in Mexico
are in serious decline.   Here are four examples of recent posts from 
hobby type butterfly enthusiast discussion lists:

1. Patti wrote on gardenwithbutterflies-l  7-12-03:  

"I am in Minnesota, southern half. Does anyone know where I can find
milkweed seeds and monarch eggs for purchase? I am aware that
most of last year's western population was annihilated by disease 
and logger intrusion onto the Mexican wintering grounds."

2. Richard James wrote on gardenwithbutterflies-l  7-12-03:  

"Paul are those [pictures of] cornfields of the genetically altered corn? 
Alot of the Monarchs are dying out in the cornbelt due to this."

3.  Kathleen Garness wrote on dplex-l  6-29-03

"Does anyone know the status of the trees on the preserves in Mexico
and what shape they're in this year, or whether logging and poaching 
have seriously impacted the monarch population there? What can we 
do about this? And what about the impact from eco-tourism?"

4. Pera Gorson wrote on dplex-l  6-29-03:

"Kathy G. In answer to your query, the condition of the Oyamel forests 
where the Monarchs overwinter are deteriorating at a fast pace for
many reasons, adversely impacting the Monarch population."

Paul Cherubini


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