The monarch butterfly cab use our help to stay alive

Re: June 27 Article, ‘Monarch butterfly Texas license plates on sale’

Monarchs can certainly use help. Kudos to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for creating a license plate.

There has been a steep decline in its population. The eastern North American population fell from 384 million per acre in 1996 to 14 million in 2013 . There was a slight uptick in 2019 , but still perilously low.

Their great migratory story is beautiful. During their eastern migration from Canada to Mexico, they pass through Texas. Inspired by the prominent climate scientist James Hansen, I planted milkweed. It was an amazing experience to see monarchs in my front yard. However, my milkweed plants died during the winter storm in February.

Scientists warn that the black and orange monarch butterflies are on the verge of extinction, and their disappearance is linked to climate change, pesticides and reduction of milkweed .

Plant milkweed, which is a main source of food for monarch caterpillars. Welcome monarchs to Texas and help conservation.

Kalpana Sutaria

Austin American-Statesman

June 2, 2021

The need to employ science with urgency

As I sat trapped in my house during an unprecedented Arctic freeze, I hoped my power wouldn’t fail.

I jumped each time an ice-laden branch from my heritage oaks fell onto my roof or in my eerily frozen yard. I worried about my wife driving home from her commute on slick roads in an ice storm. I watched as my resident wild birds– with no choice but to endure during this extreme cold–clustered around my feeders, dependent upon my refilling them.

And I wondered whether a nationally renewed validation of science can help facilitate an understanding how arctic warming actually sends polar weather to Texas, with potentially devastating effects. We will certainly need to employ science with a COVID-level sense of urgency if we are going to make even the slightest headway in coping with the truly existential climate crisis we are still facing.

Martin Byhower

Austin American-Statesman

February 27, 2021

Dishonest arguments overflow in op-ed

Re: Feb. 13 commentary, “Carbon neutral not net neutral.”

This op-ed was full of intellectually dishonest arguments – too many to address here. It transparently implies non-fossil energy alternatives will have net negative environmental impact (more than fossil fuels?) and “the left” are the people supporting them.

The author asks, “Should carbon neutral be the singular measure of planetary health?” No, and I’ve never heard anyone in the environmental protection community make such a ridiculous claim. There is no “singular” measure of planetary health other than this: Are we improving the long-term health of this planet and all the living creatures upon it?

The answer is a “singular” response: No, we are not. Let’s try another path.

Mark Warren

Austin American-Statesman

February 18, 2021