Brower replies- The most recent ranting about monarch butterfly conservation

Stanley A. Gorodenski stan_gorodenski at
Fri Oct 10 02:49:42 EDT 2003

Paul, you, like Mr. Bordelon, are also missing the point. You may be 
able to make a good _guess_, or even a good _forecast_, based on the 
information you provided that the Monarch will prove to be a successful 
species (measured by its ability to adapt to what will be the greatest 
extent of the destruction of its habitat) with respect to the Mexico 
migration, but you cannot say it is a successful species before the 
event has occurred, i.e., before the ultimate destruction of its habitat 
has occurred.Your points of contention are nothing more than forecasts 
at this point.You, or I, cannot forecast the economy of Mexico with 100% 
accuracy and so you cannot forecast the direction of logging and other 
destructive activities decades or a hundred or more years in the future 
with 100% accuracy no matter what your photographs may show. I am not 
taking sides on this issue, although it may appear that way. What I am 
objecting to are certain conceptual approaches to the problem that I 
think are wrong. The ability to recognize the distinction between a 
forecast and an event is necessary to research the problem and discuss 
it and so it is necessary to recognize that some of  your points of 
contention are forecasts, not fact. Also, when Mr. Bordelon produces 
absurd arguments that because the Sparrow has adapted to human 
habitation, then so will the Monarch, I will object to them as I have. I 
also will object to purposeful misinterpretations and misquotes of 
researchers like Mr. Brower because this creates an environment that 
makes it more difficult to get at the heart of an issue.

It may be that, per Woody's gut feeling, the Monarch is a successful 
weedy species, and perhaps sometime in the future after more discussions 
and research the general consensus will be that it is. Then all current 
points of disagreement will be a moot point because no one will listen 
and Brower will not be able to get 100 mil grants. Until then, there is 
still considerable disagreement among researchers, and while there is I 
will object to things I do not consider to be conducive to resolving the 
issue, again in the context of not taking sides, as well as questioning 
certain things as I have done in the past. But ultimately, I am engaged 
in these discussions because it is fun and there is no reason to become 
enemies over them or start flaming as some have done.

Paul Cherubini wrote:

>Stanley A. Gorodenski wrote:
>>You cannot say the Monarch will
>>be a successful species with regard to the Mexico migration until it has
>>passed its test, which in this case will be adapting to the human
>>destruction of the habitat it is now using or may use in lieu of its
>>current overwintering habitat. This may take many years to be realized.
>Each year, 60-70% of all the monarchs overwintering in Mexico use
>these two habitats:
>Do you see any substantial and worrisome forest "destruction" or
>"degradation" in the photos?  I don't.
>The other mountains in Mexico where the other 30-40% of monarchs
>overwinter look the same except on the Chivati-Huacal mountain
>and Cerro San Andres mountains where forest fires burnt part of
>the forest
>It takes only 30-40 years for the forest to regenerate and return
>to its former stature in this region of Mexico which gets 50-70
>inches of rain a year (the area looks like the forests of Oregon).
>Paul Cherubini
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