Parasites and Monarchs

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Thu Apr 7 20:12:26 EDT 2005


The paper is just a clean scientific study. It is not propaganda. Read it.


Ron Gatrelle wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Stanley A. Gorodenski <mailto:stan_gorodenski at>
> Subject: Parasites and Monarchs
> snip
> This was speculated to account for the difference in parasite burden 
> between populations that migrate and those that do not, and that 
> habitat destruction and climate change will increase the prevalence of 
> parasites.
> Stan
> ***************
> First, this is political propaganda not science.   Parasite, migrate, 
> habitat, climate... SPECULATED... WILL.   Always fascinating how 
> speculation turns into an absolute - X specualtion becomes WILL in the 
> same sentence.  The sky has been falling ever since Silent Spring 
> shouted fire in the theater.  I don't know if it is possible to know 
> the truth of these things any more because all the valid science in so 
> interwoven with purely activist "studies" and "data".   Highly 
> educated and skilled people can conduct a study to produce whatever 
> convincing data they want.   "A recent study shows..."  Millions of 
> them on everything imaginable, and so many in direct conflict with 
> others.    Law of Study: for every study there is an equal but 
> opposite conclusion.
> Second, even if true it is simply just part of nature = natural process. 
> Climate change is neutral, its functions work just as much against a 
> disease / parasite / plant / animal etc. as it can for it.   Let's 
> also not forget that many Lepidoptera are "insect pests".  Just like a 
> weed is defined as being any plant growing where _humans_ don't want 
> it, a "pest" organism is anything humans don't want in there sphere of 
> existence.  If Monarchs fed on corn and not milkweed, the USDA would 
> be looking FOR natural enemies (like parasites) to help _us_ control 
> them.   And the Mexican gov. would cut down the forest to save their 
> farmer's crops.  And if we found that some cancer was caused by a 
> chemical in Monarch wing scales falling off was they fly - we would 
> have the Monarch Eradication Cancer Campaign of the Americas (MECCA).
> Another perspective is this.  People who are parasite hobbyists/ 
> watchers/ collectors don't want to see their favorite organisms harmed 
> or plotted against for eradication.  "Save the parasites",  "Save the 
> ticks", is just as pragmatically valuable as "Save the whales".  In 
> fact without disease, parasites, vultures, roaches, mosquitoes, 
> mold and on and on the world would be a very imbalanced unhealthy and 
> dying thing.   We'd have to go to the pet store to by the garin to 
> feed our mice and mice to feed our snakes and snakes to feed our owels 
> -- and monarchs to feed our parasites so we could grow more grain to 
> feed our mice.... 
> At this point someone always chimes in that "humans" are the problem 
> because we are bringing about _unnatural_ changes.  This is the 
> silliest thing anyone can say because it renders humans as not being a 
> part of nature - puts us outside nature = natural process.  We are 
> just as natural as any other organism and we can do things that shift 
> the ecological balance just like anything else - from volcanoes to 
> rain forests to meteors to milk.
> Ron Gatrelle

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