visit to the Monarch reserves (long)

Mark Walker MWalker at
Mon Mar 10 15:38:50 EST 2003

Ron wrote about Paul, his opponents, and the whole long-lived Monarch


> We are all adults here with our own brains.  Thus, I feel I can assess the
> stuff put out by Paul and the stuff put out by Neil and weight the two
> positions myself.   Yes, I may well come to an incorrect conclusion.  But
> so might anyone else.   One perspective I do have is that Paul doesn't do
> this because it makes him popular or rich.  That possibility does exist
> for
> the other side.

I agree with Ron on this one.  I've never met Paul, and based on what we
know about him over the many years of postings, one could easily argue that
Paul needs to "get a life".  He obviously spends a good deal of time
collecting data and staying tuned to the stream of information on the topic.
I, for two, am glad that he chooses to forfeit most of his available free
time to this venture - because it allows me to be informed without requiring
that I devote all of my free time to it.  My free time is precious, and I'm
already devoting most of it to my own passions.  Lord knows, I could easily
be accused of needing to "get a life" myself (and probably have).

I recently heard Dr. Brower (or maybe it was Dr. Taylor?) on an NPR "All
Things Considered" radio broadcast - and the snippets were all too familiar.
I thought that it was too bad that the radio program didn't at least attempt
to get a well rounded view.  Of course, such an idea never occurred to them
- since the reporting of ecological doom is so en vogue (particularly on

I've also never met either Drs. Brower or Taylor, but I'm impressed and
appreciative of the many hours that they have devoted to this issue as well.
They have earned the right to be called experts on Danaus plexippus, and
should certainly be quoted, interviewed, as well as funded.  I agree with
Ron, however, that they NEED and should APPRECIATE accountability, just like
the rest of us, and so I'm glad for Paul's personal quest for truth in
reporting.  Incidentally, I don't recall Paul ever doing any overt
mud-slinging or name calling, which is more than I can say for myself (and
most everyone else for that matter).

So - you don't have to like Paul, agree with his interpretations, or even
his purported "agenda" (though I, like Ron, can't see much evidence that his
postings are driven by a desire for personal gain), but you should certainly
be open to his freedom to share and should probably also appreciate the
balance he brings to the controversy (in fact, in fairness it's probably
only considered a "controversy" because of the persistence of Paul
Cherubini).  Maybe those who oppose him don't like the fact that he's
created a "controversy".  Well, it doesn't bother me - and I'm not sure I
understand why it should bother anyone.  Science loves a good straw man
(oops - there I go name calling again).

By the way - the butterflies of California have been really active during
the past week.  I've personally been able to enjoy them from Santa Clara
County, Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Kern County, Tulare County,
Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and Imperial County.
Specific to this thread, Monarchs were seen in numbers along the Colorado
River near Yuma, as well as near Arroyo Grande in San Luis Obispo County.

Lots of other spring flyers are out and about, and with a little more rain
we could have a bumper year.  We'll keep you posted.

Mark Walker
Oceanside, CA


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