The monarch butterfly has joined honeybees and other insects on the path to extinction. Nearly one billion monarchs have been destroyed since 1990 due to an increasing lack of milkweed plants.
Milkweed serves as the monarchs’ nursery, food source, and home. Not surprisingly, farmers’ and homeowners’ use of herbicides is the major cause of the plant’s decline, and a key culprit is Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has budgeted $2 million to help raise awareness about the need for milkweed and to provide free seeds to anyone willing to plant them. The Save Our Monarch Foundation accepts donations, as does the Monarch Joint Venture. Joint Venture’s site is an especially rich resource for learning more about both the monarch and the plant.
For those interested, milkweed grows in zones 3–9. It takes average soil and water and likes plenty of sunshine, though it will tolerate some shade.
A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.
Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.