Hank Pursues a Butterfly crisis

Attached is an investigative report on an early alert about a Monarch Butterfly crisis.

Hank de Carbonel has a way with words.

I can’t help myself, Hank always makes me laugh.

And this is serious stuff. Monarchs migrate through our part of Texas and who doesn’t like a butterfly.

Fascinating things, so fragile and beautiful and yet they migrate all the way to Mexico.

Here’s Hank. Hank is a frequent writer and essayist for the Cal Construction Truck Association, and a vigorous and effective public speaker against nonsense from the environmentalists. I have occasionally asked him to make personal appearances to read my submissions on on enviro issues to CA EPA and California Air Resources Board.

Hanks day job is concrete pumps.

First the alert from the Sacramento Bee, the local lefist enviro MSM Tribune, warning of the Monarch Butterfly situation.

ww.sacbee.com/2014/01/29/6111417/monarch-butterflies-drop-migration.html

Hank’s reaction:

So far I have found she is a very respected professor at Univ of Minn. Monarchs are her life. I have a 11 page paper to read, and the I will let you know.I do now know that Monarchs prefer milkweed which agriculture does not like and does attempt to curb. So far it looks like it’s butterflies vs cows. I also found out she is a Harvard grad, they’re everywhere! If nothing else I will end up knowing more about Monarchs and milkweed than a city boy like me ever wanted to know. I will follow your directions a bit further and report.
I still am going to get a flashlight, compass and good shoes and guide Monarchs across the borders. Hope I don’t come across and drug/ human traffickers out in the barren lands. I aspire to be a Monarch coyote.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02751.x/abstract

I read this report and IF it is the one used by the AP reporter there is something missing. Any reference to GM foods or declining Milkweed. What it does talk about is the possible effects of precipitation and temperature on the Monarchs. It does use the dubious climate modeling but I don’t see any boffo news, certainly nothing about man made global warming, GM agriculture , poisons or rapidly declining milk weed availability.

In fact this report states that Milkweed is unchanging in availability.
You may find it interesting that the two major areas studied were Ohio and Texas, because of a long history of information to draw upon. So the big news is temperature and precipitation combined with the time of arrival is thought to be important to the livelihood of these critters.

The importance of climate here is that Monarchs take several generations to migrate from Mexico to the USA, so annual and short term climate is a factor. Short term as in a few years.

Because the AP gave no reference it is impossible to know where he came up with the notion of GM plants, declining milkweed and the imminent demise of the Monarch. I suspect that the “journalist” was perhaps partaking in weed of another type. It may also be that he is just a trained professional. I did notice that this yarn appeared in a number of newspapers across the USA. Until shown some real science I think the story is bogus, and cherry picked reporting at best.

Did I mention that I was a concrete pump salesman and refused to participate in class from the 7th grade until my release from Berkeley High 63’? My conventional wisdom is highly suspect. My conclusions are perhaps incorrect, but I doubt it.

My best education about butterflies came from a tattoo placed on a wonderful and frisky lady, but that is another report for another time. That will be the knowledge I will try to retain and not this more recent pursuit.

Now I must prepare concoctions and talisman to assure the defeat of the so called Sea Hawks.
Regards,

Hank de Carbonel

9 responses to “Hank Pursues a Butterfly crisis

  1. I live in the rural Midwest, and have, all my life. I’ve seen stupendous Monarch migrations. In my youth, the butterflies would land in such numbers on trees that the branches would bend under their weight. In summertime, a green-leaved tree would look orange.

    The decline of the Monarch butterflies began well before efforts to track their numbers back in 1993.

    It would be nice if there were some real environmentalists who could look at this situation and offer some workable solutions. All the environmentalists have sold out to the anti-GMO, global-warmist etc. stuff. They’re no help at all.

  2. Why do they hate science?

  3. I love monarchs, but species with such a limited menu are especially vulnerable to extinction whether humans are involved or not. If we remove emotionalism and sentimentality from the equation, how much is it really worth to save these “vulnerable species” that seem particularly unable to adapt to the changing world?

    • Milkweed isn’t one plant – but a family of fairly common plants. Not sure if it is a food resourse. When I lived in Iowa – they grew everywhere like weeds. We didn’t remove them from our yard because we liked seeing the caterpillars and the kids would grow them in jars. We did notice the mamma butterflies preferred to lay eggs on newly sprouted milkweeds and when the catapillars grew – they would move to the adult plants.

      It could be that there was a bit of drought somewhere in this cycle causing the baby plants not to flourish. Their populations do fluxuate and this isn’t the first time I have heard of the doom of this butterfly – followed by a few years of large populations. I am sure this is all a natural cycle.

      Oh and the anti Seahawk talisman wasn’t powerful enough.

      • True, there is a wide variety of milkweed, but some butterflies show specific preferences even within that category. According to the US Forest Service, only about ¼ of milkweed species are known to be host plants. Only the larva rely on milkweed so I’m not sure to what extent it would influence the southerly migration. Adults drink nectar like most other butterflies and are much less picky than their larva. The changing extent of milkweed is relevant to the questions of how many eggs are being laid, and how many larva reach maturity.

        Regardless, my question stands. Do we care because loss of the monarch would have long reaching impacts on the delicate and fragile “web of life”, or is it just sentimentality and aesthetics? The only long reaching effect I’ve found linked to the extinction of the dodo is the possible effect on the calvaria tree’s ability to germinate and even that is highly questionable. It would seem the general population of the planet is much more resilient than some would have us believe. What role does the monarch play which could not be filled by another, more competitive species?

        What monarchs eat

        http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/monarchbutterfly/habitat/

        The calvaria tree

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvaria_Tree

  4. The migrations of the monarchs take them through California, which has suffered a horrendous drought of late. Entire cities are running out of water, crops are failing, and migrant farm workers are running out of crops to pick.

  5. It’s time to end Monarchies.

  6. An expert on butterfles answered a question as to the benefit of butterflies (to nature – other than their obviously providing pleasure to humans) – his reply indicated that they are not efficient pollinators and provide only one benefit in his estimation – bird food. As Monarchs are quite distasteful and maybe even poisonous, they are not even beneficial as bird food. I love them, but what do they add?

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