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Butterflies And Junk Science

December 16, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 Camille Parmesan

 

Climate scientist, Camille Parmesan, is one of the recipients of President Macron’s largesse in awarding $70 million to US scientists.

I wonder whether the French public realise how much junk science they will be paying for.

 

Parmesan is famous for her studies on butterflies, which she argues are being forced polewards, and even being extinguished, because of climate change.

However, Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University was not convinced by her work, and decided to take a closer look.

Here is his account, as published at WUWT in 2013:

 

 

Guest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

The pioneers of chaos theory coined the term “butterfly effect” to suggest that a hurricane’s formation could be affected by such unpredictable influences as the flap of a distant butterfly’s wings that changed the winds’ direction weeks before. Ironically, it was Dr. Camille Parmesan’s 1996 seminal Edith’s checkerspot butterfly paper titled “Species and Climate Range”1 that became the model for future peer-reviewed papers that blamed climate change for driving species northward and upward and causing species extinctions. Featured on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ website, Parmesan echoed Dr. Jim Hansen’s catastrophic predictions that global warming was already forcing global ecological collapse, “The latest research shows clearly that we face the threat of mass extinctions in coming years,” she says.

“My hope is that we will be able to reduce emissions enough so that assisted colonization efforts can be successful, because at the higher ranges of scientists’ projections of warming trends, frankly, we’re sunk.” For promoting global warming theory, she subsequently earned an invitation to speak at the White House and became one of just four biologists to partake in third global climate assessment by the United Nations’ Nobel-Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). By 2009, Parmesan ranked as the second-most cited author of papers devoted expressly to global warming and climate change.2

 

Euphydryas editha in Olympic National Park Image: Wikipedia

 

Einstein said, “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” and the fanfare given Parmesan drove me hazy. Detailed studies by butterfly experts and conservationists dedicated to saving the butterfly from extinction had all blamed habitat destruction and sought habitat restoration. In contrast Parmesan blamed global warming and argued for reduced carbon emissions. She had blamed “global” warming even though most maximum temperatures in California had not risen significantly.3 More disconcerting the butterflies never migrated northward or upward, as claimed. Yet she now seeks funding to support an ecologist’s worst nightmare, assisted colonization. Parmesan wants to create her own Noah’s ark shuttling animals northwards and upwards so they can escape the supposed rising tide of warmth predicted by models, despite the fact that introducing species into new habitat brings disease and disrupts the established ecological balance.

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To her credit Parmesan had diligently spent four years of extensive and laborious fieldwork revisiting locations where the butterfly had been observed earlier in the century. However after verifying that more populations had gone extinct in the southern extremes and at the lowest elevations of the butterfly’s range, Parmesan enthusiastically claimed her results were consistent with global warming theory. In 2010 she summarized her work: “it was a bloody obvious change. These butterflies were shifting their entire range over the past century northward and upward, which is the simplest possible link you could have with warming. I was expecting some incredibly subtle, sophisticated response to warming, if at all. What I got was 80% of the populations in Mexico and the Southern California populations were extinct, even though their habitats still looked perfectly fine.”2 But as I discovered later Parmesan always knew the butterflies had never migrated further north or to higher elevations.

Hansen’s global warming theory had predicted that the increasing maximum temperatures would push animals northward and upward, however Parmesan failed to mention that most of California’s maximum temperatures had never exceeded the highs of the 1940s as seen in Yosemite National Park. In fact her paper never analyzed local temperatures at all.

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Parmesan relied on the political global warming bias. Parmesan was speaking globally, but butterflies always act locally. Ask any university ecology professor. They would not hesitate to harshly criticize an undergraduate term paper that used a “global average” to explain a local event; yet that was her only climate “evidence”.

Furthermore Parmesan failed to address the fact that higher temperatures enhanced the butterfly’s survival. Warm microclimates are critical for its survival. Caterpillars living in cooler microclimates develop more slowly, while those actively basking in the direct sunlight digest their food more quickly and grow more robustly. Cool rainy years often extirpated local populations.

Since the 1950s, Stanford University’s Paul Ehrlich and his colleagues had made detailed observations throughout the checkerspot’s habitat on the Jasper Ridge Preserve. They determined that the caterpillars must raise their body temperature an additional 18-21°F above ambient air temperatures. To raise their body temperature, caterpillars shuffled across the hillsides seeking life‑giving hotspots.4,5,6 Any global warming, natural or anthropogenic, should have been a benefactor, not an executioner.

Parmesan’s observations of extirpated populations were not new. Conservationists had sounded the extinction alarm years before her “global warming study”. Butterfly populations had diminished so quickly that the checkerspot’s apparent fate was compared to the rapid ruination of the extinct passenger pigeon. Scientists working to prevent extinction had always warned that the suburban sprawl from Los Angeles to San Diego had devoured the butterfly’s critical habitat and extirpated most populations.7,8 When the checkerspot’s southern California Quino subspecies was finally listed as endangered, conservation scientists wrote, “The basis for the listing was habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, recognizing additional negative effects from fire management practice. All factors are the results of intensive human economic development of ever diminishing resources.”60

The conservationists’ detailed studies also reported that most extinctions observed in southern California had already transpired by the 1970s, before any purported CO2 warming had significantly developed and furthermore populations were now recovering. In 2003 researchers wrote, “although we now know that the butterfly likely disappeared from Orange County thirty years ago, it was rediscovered in Riverside County in the early 1990s, and in San Diego County at several formerly occupied sites soon after.”8

Nor were extinctions limited to the southern end of the butterfly’s range. Rapid urban development entirely extirpated the Canadian subspecies (the Taylor checkerspot) from the coldest northern end of the butterfly’s range. But because there was a greater preponderance of extinctions in southern California, the “average statistical center” for the species migrated northward. There was never any evidence of any real migration due to warming. There was never an apocalyptic flight to cooler lands. Parmesan’s climate claim was solely a statistical fairy tale. Still Parmesan’s unscientific climate claim was published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals with one of the highest rejection rates, Nature.

How did Parmesan deal with the multitude of contradictory factors? Instead of a more detailed study, she simply argued, “the predicted effects of climate change will come, not from attempts to analyze all possible confounding variables in single studies such as this one, but from replication of this type of study.”1 In essence, by arguing that confounding factors were no longer important, she suggested we throw out the foundation of good scientific analyses. To demonstrate the negative impacts of climate change, all anyone needed to do was demonstrate that populations were dwindling in the south more than in the north, or dwindling more at lower elevations than at higher elevations. Implausibly, the prestigious journal Nature supported this “new climate science.”

Defying the Experts

The evidence against any CO2 connection was overwhelming, but I was no butterfly expert. Needing a reality check, I talked with my friend Dr. Paul Opler, one of North America’s top butterfly experts. If you have ever spent any time with Paul, you quickly realize that no one has a greater love for butterflies. If there was the smallest threat, he would be the first to speak out. In 1974, he was hired as the first invertebrate specialist for the United States Federal Endangered Species program. Virtually every butterfly species now listed as endangered was listed under his watch. To my great good fortune, he agreed to teach a course, “Butterflies of the Sierra Nevada” (which he still teaches), for my environmental education program each year. When he visited, I expressed my doubts about the legitimacy of Parmesan’s claims and my bewilderment at all the media hype, and I asked if he had seen any supporting evidence.

He carefully stated that from all the data he had perused, he had seen absolutely no evidence that any butterflies had ever moved northwards, nor had they been pushed to higher elevations. He added the checkerspot has now been discovered further south in Baja, Mexico. He too couldn’t understand the public fanfare and echoed my thoughts that “only her statistical averages moved, not the butterflies”. Due to his expertise, Opler had been invited by the Fish and Wildlife Service to comment on the proposed recovery plans for the subspecies in southern California and wrote:

The lengthy space given to Camille Parmesan’s study and the suggestion that newly found colonies are the result of global warming is highly speculative. Her study did not find new northern, or higher populations of the species. Her results were a statistical artifact of the purported loss of low-lying southern populations (emphasis added). Her surveys that showed the absence of butterflies in some population areas could have been carried out in relatively bad years when the species was present only as diapausing larval clusters. (Diapause is a period of dormancy similar to hibernation)

Opler was not the only expert to dissent. Other scientists, armed with detailed studies aimed at insuring the butterfly’s recovery and survival, also disagreed. “Our observation that human impacts were almost always involved in local extirpations in southern California (even for those areas that may seem to still have “suitable habitat”), the role of global warming as the proximate cause of extinction must be carefully evaluated. We suspect that warming is perhaps an exacerbating factor, but that increased extinction rates in southern California are primarily caused by more direct anthropogenic forces.”7

So I decided Parmesan’s landmark climate study needed to be replicated with a more critical eye on the contributing land use factors. However, when I looked for her methods section there was none. Her study had been published as a correspondence, and in Nature, a correspondence doesn’t require a methods section that allows for independent verification. That also explained how her paper survived a gauntlet of disagreement by leading experts. A correspondence is not typically peer reviewed. It is published simply based on the advocacy of Nature’s editors.

Withholding the Evidence

“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.” -Dr. Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize in Physics

I emailed Dr. Parmesan and asked for the locations of the extinct populations. After months without reply, I called. Caught off guard, she initially refused to share any data, but after more discussion offered the possibility of collaboration. She said she needed to hang up but promised to send some data. More than three years later, I am still waiting. So much for Feynman’s good scientist “trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible.”

Her husband eventually responded to a follow-up email I sent a year later in which I expressed my frustration with their failure to allow independent verification. Her husband, Dr. Michael Singer, is a checkerspot expert who had shared in her research. Singer unintentionally confirmed Opler’s criticisms, “Her study did not find new northern, or higher populations of the species…There are no ‘new’ northern populations in Parmesan’s study. The study consisted entirely of re-examining populations known from past records and assessing which of them was currently extant or extinct. No ‘new’ populations were sought or found (emphasis added).” Trying to discourage my replication efforts Dr. Singer wrote, “But I do remember writing to you to say that E. editha has been increasing through the 2000s and that many of the populations that Camille and I recorded as extinct in the 1990s have been recolonized….So, any new census of Sierra Nevada populations would show a reduced correlation between elevation and population status, perhaps no longer a significant correlation.” Singer and Parmesan illustrate a glaring problem when limiting debate to peer-reviewed journals. Contradictory evidence is simply never published.

So why haven’t they published this good news of the butterfly’s recovery? Why did only her erroneous climate gloom and doom bring worldwide acclaim? Despite a wealth of evidence that contradicted global warming predictions, her faulty “Climate and Species Range” went viral and is now cited by over 580 articles. In contrast just 17 have cited the paper detailing conservationists’ efforts that actually saved the butterfly, “The Endangered Quino Checkerspot Butterfly”. Parmesan wrote subsequent papers blaming extreme weather and climate change for population extinctions and again withheld evidence of the species’ success. Likewise her half-truths were immediately embraced and published by our leading climate scientists and then cited by more than a thousand articles. That deception however requires a future essay.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/14/fabricating-climate-doom-part-1-parmesans-butterfly-effect/

 

This really is a stunning account of malpractice, but it is not the only example that Jim Steele found.

He also identified serious problems with another Parmesan paper in 2000:

 

How the American Meteorological Society Justified Publishing Half-Truths


Background: In 2000, the Bulletin of the Meteorological Society published “Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota" by Camille Parmesan, Terry Root, and Michael Willig. The paper introduced to the peer-reviewed literature analyses by Parmesan that extreme weather events had caused an extinction event in California’s Sierra Nevada and advocated the extreme weather was the mechanism by which global warming was driving animals northward and upward as Parmesan claimed in her first controversial paper discussed here. According to Google Scholar, the BAMS paper has been cited by 324 consensus articles. Thomson Reuter’s Essential Science Indicators  report that by December 2009, Parmesan went on to be ranked #2 among highly cited authors for papers devoted expressly to global warming and climate change.

Below is a map of Parmesan’s study site first published in Singer, M., and C. D. Thomas (1996) Evolutionary responses of a butterfly metapopulation to human and climate-caused environmental variation. American Naturalist, vol. 148, p. S9–S39. I have added call out boxes. Notice how surgically "climate changed" supposedly killed individuals on the annual plant Collinsia (Xs) in the logged clearling while just a few feet away the same species was originally reported to be thriving on its normal host plant in undisturbed habitat. The observations of those thriving populations were later "amputated" from Parmesan’s extinction story that she spun in “Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota

Parmesan et al biased their conclusion by omitting observations that all other individuals in the surrounding natural habitat had survived better than had ever been observed during the same weather events. Only the butterflies that had recently colonized a novel plant species in a highly disturbed logged area had been extirpated. If all observations were honestly presented, it would have been both an example of nature’s resilience and an example of the effect of landscape changes on microclimates. By omitting half of the data, their paper manufactured an illusion of extreme climate catastrophe as discussed here. So I requested an official retraction. It was no more honest than Enron officials leaving half the data off their books.

http://landscapesandcycles.net/American_Meterological_Society_half-truth.html

 

 

Needless to say, the AMS refused to retract.

 

With a track record like this, it is little wonder Parmesan has to go abroad for funding.

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29 Comments
  1. Adrian permalink
    December 16, 2017 6:44 pm

    Cheesey science all around, as per – sorry I had to say it.

    That aside I’ve learned something today. I had always wondered why we have so few butterflies here in Scotland. Now I know it’s too hot for them. One presumes they exist further south because it is so much colder.

    Good to find out new stuff at my age.

    • HotScot permalink
      December 16, 2017 7:20 pm

      Every day’s a schooldays.

      😁

    • ricksanchez769 permalink
      December 17, 2017 4:40 pm

      How do I get me a job like this – wake up, make some eggs and drink some coffee, pack my sandwiches for lunch, hop in my car, drive to the forest and meadows, look for some butterflies, catalogue said butterflies, or not catalogue said butterflies as there aren’t any, go home and do it all over again – for years and years. Then summarily conclude global warming is causing ‘this’ – though that summary conclusion was made PRIOR to all this cataloguing…

      If this science is settled then why more funding – unless however all this ‘research’ is fallacious

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    December 16, 2017 6:56 pm

    Quelle surprise!
    The truth about butterfly populations is that many vary hugely from year to year in any location, including both resident and migratory species. The reason is simple – many species have a very short emergence period from pupa. If the weather is dreadful during these periods, that year’s stock will be very low. A good year sees the reverse. Those, for example the green hairstreak in the UK, that emerge in the spring are especially subject to such swings as spring weather can vary from what you could call winter, to conditions that you expect in summer. The latter is far more beneficial to butterflies!
    So, you have to be extremely careful in inferring the reasons for significant, long-term changes in butterfly populations, from short-term or occasional studies in limited locations. As so often in these subjects, it’s a lot more complicated than that and it isn’t clear that this cheesy scientist fully understands that.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    December 16, 2017 7:34 pm

    One has to wonder what these butterflies (and other organisms) did during the more than 30 years of cooling after 1940 and before 1975. And then, even if true, what are we supposed to do about it? All this is silly “science” that continues to attract funding. Is that the goal?

  4. Silver Dynamite permalink
    December 16, 2017 7:39 pm

    Bonjour le petit mais generoux Monsieur le President, et merci pour votre beaucoup des Euros.
    J’ai discouvere que les papillons sont très tristess pourquois le atmosphere est trop de chaud dans Nice et Marseilles.
    Je pense que il est necessaire a remové les papillons de le sud de la France a le nord de la France. Consequellement, je desireé encore des Euros et une grand filet pour transporté les papillons.
    Les papillons de Francais sera trés joyeaux en arrival à Dunkirk ou Calais.
    Merck encore pour votre largesse, sans doubté vous etre le noveau Napoleon.
    Bon appetite
    Madame Fromage

    • December 16, 2017 8:58 pm

      Silver Dynamite

      I heard that some one cut the Fromage funding. Apparently the whole issue just stinks to high heaven.

      I also heard that Macron will hold his nose and divert the funds to a personal project. The butterflies will be attached to his nose to remain in place while flapping their wings so as to turbocharge the insertion of the sailboat fuel that he uses for brains.

      Madame Fromage is the first of a new academic discipline in climate science. The title of doctor has been abandoned for this particular field. From now on Madame Fromage will be addressed with the new honorific ..Madame Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Fromage.

      Michael Mann is rumored to be in the running for the next award of the title. He has silos full of fudge that can be applied to data so is well qualified to partake of Macron’s planned dump of French funds. Apparently smearing the brown fudge is projected to be a likely outcome from cutting Fromage.

      Climate science meets French politics. What could go wrong?

      • Silver Dynamite permalink
        December 16, 2017 9:58 pm

        Madame Fromage escrit…

        J’espere que Monsieur Homme, le eminence grise de le baton de hockey aussi accepté les Euros de Macron.

        Quand tous des eminences sont resident de Paris, le monde sera sauvé et les papillons sera trés joyeux comme moi.

      • December 17, 2017 2:47 am

        Ron Arnett, are you telling us that someone cut the cheese?

        That really stinks.

      • December 17, 2017 1:09 pm

        Silver Dynamite

        Unfortunately, while I can’t speak or write French, I can read it reasonably well. That means I will continue to be exposed to his drivel.

        On the other hand it might be such a bad thing really. I stopped ignoring this whole global warming thing when I first encountered the hockey stick graph. When I saw it posted on a wall I looked to see what idiot was spreading such nonsense. Looking at the label on the poster itself I saw that it was being distributed by the Canadian Department of the Environment.

        I was incensed to think that my tax dollars were being wasted in such a manner. If ever there was a country that should know about cold, that could stand to warm up a bit, that has experienced fluctuations in temperature over the centuries that are in obvious conflict with the data presented by the graph, it is Canada. I took it as an insult to me personally that the government of Canada would fly in the face of our own history and would present such stupidity to me as being true and spending my money to do it.

        So thanks Michael Mann for being so obviously corrupt that you made me look and as a result I continue to look at your own corruption and that of the people who actively support you and the ridiculous material that you spread.

  5. Chris permalink
    December 16, 2017 8:41 pm

    Professor Parmesan is a professor at the University of Plymouth, – http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/camille-parmesan – and has presumably been benefiting from the generosity of UK taxpayers for some years.

  6. Athelstan permalink
    December 16, 2017 9:31 pm

    Butterflies are tough, very tough and if the pupae don’t like the weather, they don’t turn out – end of conjecture – it’s no effin mystery.

    However, some lepidopterists……….simply cannot change their spots, what hard and inedible synthetic cheese bites – it all is.

  7. December 16, 2017 11:15 pm

    Wasn’t this featured in one of the episodes of Blue Planet 2?

  8. christopher booker permalink
    December 17, 2017 12:03 am

    As a keen observer of Vritish butterflies for more than 70 years, I was delighted to see this. Back in 2012 I began an article in the Spectator with these words:
    “Under such headlines as ‘British butterfly defies doom prediction to thrive in changing climate’, the usual suspects (e.g. the Guardian and the Independent) recently reported on a study claiming that, thanks to global warming, ‘a once-rare British butterfly’, the Brown Argus, ‘is becoming a common sight in the English countryside’. A paper from York University, it was reported, showed that these butterflies have moved so far north that they can now be seen ‘within a few miles’ of York. Not for the first time on reading similar claims, I wondered how it is that their authors seem to know so little about butterflies, My battered copy of the best book on British butterflies I know, published by Edmund Sandars in 1939, confirmed that 70 years ago the Brown Argus was found throughout Britain ‘as far north as Aberdeen’.
    Attempts to use butterflies as evidence of global warming are popular with newspapers because it gives them an excuse to decorate their pages with pictures of our most colourful insects — although in the years when the warming scare was at its height, these more usually accompanied predictions that climate change was threatening them with extinction. Typical was a piece by Louise Gray in the Daily Telegraph in 2008, headed ‘Butterfly species may be lost to Britain through climate change’. Along with other evidence that she knew little about butterflies, this claimed that soaring temperatures could wipe out upland species such as the Mountain Ringlet altogether. But no explanation was offered for why these butterflies might find it any harder to survive than they did in those previous times, such as the early middle ages, when Britain was warmer than it is today”.

    • mothcatcher permalink
      December 17, 2017 9:54 am

      Hi, Christopher.

      As a mere mothcatcher I rarely consider myself competent to comment on butterflies!
      But I do agree it is true that much of what gets published is a result of questionable science and atrocious journalism.

      As you correctly state, the ‘climate change’ claim in response to distribution changes – both positive and negative – is only really supportable if one completely ignores the older histories of these insects, so ably and meticulously detailed by Victorian naturalists (have a look at Comma and Speckled Wood, for instance). Each species responds to subtle changes in so many environmental factors that gross simplifications about climate are rarely at all relevant.

      Just one caveat here, and it is something that is often overlooked. Some northern species , perhaps including Mountain Ringlet, are indeed likely to be under pressure as and when winters become warmer (winter lows more important than summer highs). There are many species of both insects and plants now confined to a few localities in the Highlands which have been reducing in distribution ever since the great ice sheets retreated. They are the ‘relicts’ which now exist in small separate populations with limited gene pools, are now unable to compete outside their tiny niches, are no longer dispersive, and very likely on their way out if climate changes. And perhaps also if it doesn’t..

      The preservation of scarce butterflies is probably only really important to anoraks. For the rest of us it is just an emotion without any fundamental significance. As we become richer we may choose – indeed we do choose – to preserve habitats for species that we favour, butterflies an obvious example. If we do preserve those habitats, the species therein will do just fine. You Somerset locale has been turned over largely to agriculture for a long time now, but in the future we will have the opotion to use that land for wilderness or recreation.

    • December 17, 2017 10:21 am

      The simple answer to your last point, Christopher, is that “everybody knows” that Britain has ‘nevah!’ been warmer than it is today!

      The first battle is to overcome that mindset, received wisdom, call it what you like.

      I commented a couple of weeks ago on a similar piece of nonsense from the RSPB who were claiming, inter alia, that the chiffchaff was becoming resident rather than migrating. My 25-year-old Collins Birds of Britain and Europe shows it as resident and breeding throughout the UK south of the Great Glen.

      Any old tale will do to serve the cause if you can get the sheeple to swallow it!

  9. December 17, 2017 3:44 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. December 17, 2017 6:54 am

    My wife takes part in the butterfly survey run every year by ‘Butterfly Conservation’. Like all such charities, they have to conform to climate alarmism in order to survive. Their latest report says this:

    “The minority of UK butterflies that have fared well since the 1970s have increased their distributions, most likely as a response to climate change. However, the latest research into UK butterfly responses to climate change suggests that we should no longer assume that southerly-distributed species will necessarily benefit in the future. Species’ responses are much more variable than previously realised and the increasing frequency of extreme climatic events, predicted in many climate change scenarios, may have serious implications for butterfly populations.”

    No hard facts there then – just use of words like “most likely”, “suggests” and “may have”. Having blamed climate change they do however say:

    “The destruction and deterioration of habitats as a result of land-use change (e.g. intensification of agriculture, changing woodland management) are still considered the prime causes of long-term decline among habitat specialist butterflies in the UK. However, the factors responsible for the decreases of wider countryside species are not well understood.”

    An article they wrote about a symposium held in April 2014 says:
    “A major theme was climate warming and the massive impacts it has already had on butterfly populations. Professor Chris Thomas, one of the world’s top climate ecologists, explained the world has already warmed by an average of 2ºC and most animal groups had moved north in the UK, some of them even more than butterflies” and
    “Camille Parmesan, another eminent climate scientist from the USA, then showed us that the Purple Emperor had moved north in Europe by over 600km, now hurtling up through Finland.”

  11. Bitter&twisted permalink
    December 17, 2017 9:27 am

    Parmesan looks like a socialist, rather than a scientist.
    Writes like one too.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      December 17, 2017 9:10 pm

      And writing a statement like that makes you look like an arrogant idiot.

      Judge people by their works not their looks.

  12. December 17, 2017 2:12 pm

    I have long wondered about the French. Comte de Rochambeau and Marquis de Lafayette both served as Generals in the American Revolution and showed exemplary sense and fortitude. Lafayette was a personal friend of George Washington. The DAR chapter is France is Rochambeau Chapter.

    What happened? Could it be that the French Revolution–so different in outlook, theory and conduct from the American Revolution–killed off so many who had brains and good sense that they are left with the offspring of those lacking such skills?

    It makes more sense than Ms. Parmesan’s butterfly theories.

  13. December 17, 2017 4:32 pm

    ‘The optimum body temperature for a butterfly to fly is between 82°-102°F.’
    http://www.obsessionwithbutterflies.com/butterflies.html

    So the idea that an increase in mean seasonal temperature in any given region of 2-3°F, if it were to happen, would be a big drama is pushing it quite a lot.

  14. mikewaite permalink
    December 17, 2017 4:40 pm

    Although I was rather scornful at first of this scheme I have been having second thoughts .
    France , you see, is synonymous with wine. Wine is notoriously sensitive to changes in climate in spring and at vendage time , and to the amount of sun during ripening . All these effects , which could be indicators of climate change, will be evident in the quality of the resultant vintage. Of course one would have to sample several decades of vintages, and different grape varieties to be sure of finding a trend.
    I imagine the chateaus of Burgundy and the exporters’ “caves” in Bordeaux will have at least 40 years of wines for study, and think of the benefit to France and the world.
    Is it too late to apply for a scholarship?

  15. clipe permalink
    December 18, 2017 1:34 am

    Something I posted more than a few days ago.

    Camille Parmesan

    • clipe permalink
      December 18, 2017 1:38 am

      Forget where tho’.

  16. gallopingcamel permalink
    December 20, 2017 6:11 am

    Thanks are due to Macron for removing this bloodsucking parasite. While a saving of $70 million is not much in the grand scheme of things it is a start. Now we need to look for more parasites who will be welcomed by the EU.

    • hivemind permalink
      December 21, 2017 12:03 pm

      I prefer the term “Oxygen thief”.

    • clipe permalink
      December 23, 2017 2:21 am

      sorry, missed the reply to myself button.

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