Monarch Extinction press releases.

Woody Woods woody.woods at
Thu Nov 13 19:28:26 EST 2003

Hi Stan and all, 

In teaching undergraduate courses that must necessarily touch on this issue,
I make a distinction between present global warming (no doubt) and
anthropogenic effects (very possible, even probable, but still debatable
because of the "noise" in the data).

Also, I try to get across the difference between science, arising from
disprovable hypotheses, and politics, consisting of advocacy. It has always
surprised me how difficult it is to convey that distinction.

I am no authority on this subject either, but have to convey it fairly, as
best I can, at least once each semester in introductory courses. However, I
don't think it has been overly "political" of me to point out that we are by
far the planet's most successful species, albeit briefly thus far; we are
unique in our ability to modify habitat, and ultimately to steer the future
of the evolutionary process.

A favorite quote that I do not use when teaching: "We do not have very long
to prove that we are not a lethal mutation." --Manfred Eigen.


William A. Woods Jr.
Department of Biology
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125

Lab: 617-287-6642
Fax: 617-287-6650

> From: "Stanley A. Gorodenski" <stan_gorodenski at>
> Reply-To: stan_gorodenski at
> Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 15:42:26 -0800
> To: aa6g at
> Cc: patfoley at, monarch at, leps-l at
> Subject: Re: Monarch Extinction press releases.
> Chuck Vaughn wrote:
>> stated outright that it is human caused. We give ourselves so much
>> credit! The planet has been much warmer and much colder than it is
>> right now. We now find ourselves in a slight warming trend after a
>> cooling tend a few hundred years ago. So What?
> Although there have been periods in geologic history where the planet
> has been colder or just as warm or warmer than now, the difference is
> that the models developed by researchers in this area cannot account for
> the current increase in temperature unless they introduce anthropogenic
> factors as the major, or only, causes. This is where simple correlations
> with the past can be misleading. It is true that their models may be off
> and there are other undiscovered influencing factors (such as the
> recent, I believe, realization of the absorption of CO2 due to the
> uplift and weathering of mountains), but I place more faith in the
> results of their research than simple correlations produced by the
> non-scientist or scientist not researching in this area. I have not yet
> seen a convincing argument (the correlations with geologic past are not
> convincing to me), with the _possible_ exception of sunspot correlations
> Paul produced some time ago (which was, apparently, successfully refuted
> a few years later) on the other side that seriously throws into doubt
> anthropogenic factors as being the major, or only, cause of the current
> global warming.
> I am not preaching and I am not an authority on this subject, just
> stating things as I know them. Does anyone have convincing evidence that
> seriously throws into doubt th athropogenic hypothesis? I would like to
> know because, like most everyone else I would guess, our opinions are in
> part molded by what we believe are credible sources.
> Stan
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