Parasites and Monarchs

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Thu Apr 7 20:23:19 EDT 2005


Are you saying that humans are a part of nature, therefore natural laws 
are operating and we have no responsibility? Is this what you tell your 

Whether or not we are part of nature (ande I'd say we are), we do get 
some say in how we change the world. Let's change it for the better. 
Sometimes "better" is hard to guess. Other times it is pretty obvious. 
I'm sure you don't see indefinite global warming or massive species 
extinction as "better". So let's not take up the Devil's work. Leave 
that for those who get paid to do 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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