Matt Gaetz claims migrants are creating US food shortage by destroying monarch butterfly habitats

Republican congressman Matt Gaetz has blamed immigrants in the US for food shortage, because he thinks they are destroying monarch butterfly habitats.

“Our America is not for the illegal aliens who leave our nation, poorer, dirtier and less safe. They have made a mockery of our laws. And illegal aliens have destroyed some of the most critical monarch butterfly habitats in the world. I bet you didn’t know that,” he said on 23 July, according to a video clip that has been widely shared since.

“And before you say that monarch butterflies are not that significant, we need the monarch butterfly to pollinate our fields for the foods that we eat here in our country,” he added.

Netizens were quick to remind him that in fact, due to the threats of the far-right, a Texas butterfly sanctuary on the US-Mexico border was forced to close earlier this year.

They also reminded him that monarch butterflies are “literally migrants” and shared links to the US Forest Service’s Department of Agriculture page which mentions that “the annual migration of North America’s monarch butterfly is a unique and amazing phenomenon”.

“The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates,” it says.

Using environmental cues, the US Forest Services says, the monarchs know when it is time to travel south for the winter. “Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home.”

Mr Gaetz, meanwhile, said in his speech: “[A] lot of people call me dove on foreign policy because I am not trying to start like three wars before lunchtime tomorrow, but I would far rather go to war over the Monarch Butterfly than deciphering what guy in a tracksuit gets to run Crimea oceans away.”

“The case for America’s interests is far more clear with the butterfly and it is not enough,” he added.

What Mr Gaetz did not address in his speech was that the main cause of the monarch butterfly’s habitat loss, as listed by the IUCN, was the “legal and illegal logging and deforestation to make space for agriculture and urban development”.

IUCN also noted that this has “destroyed substantial areas of the butterflies’ winter shelter in Mexico and California, while pesticides and herbicides used in intensive agriculture kill butterflies”.

In fact, in 2020 Homero Gómez González, a butterfly conservationist and manager of El Rosario reserve in Michoacán in Mexico, disappeared and his body was found two weeks later. Local news reported that he had been targeted by criminal gangs and illegal loggers of the butterfly reserve. The incident had raised fears that gangs had targeted Gómez for his advocacy of ecotourism over the felling of trees in this reserve.

According to a 2021 study by the University of Guadalajara (UDG), illegal logging is one of the fastest-growing criminal economies in Mexico, “with 70 per cent of wood cut down between 2017 and 2019 lacking the proper permits”. The study noted that “in 2019, the amount of forest destroyed was equivalent to an area twice the size of ​​Mexico City. In 2020, Mexico lost 127,770 hectares of forest, a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.”

On social media platforms, the Florida Republican received flak for his take.

One user commented: “Yes, Matt Gaetz is very concerned about monarch habitat, which is why the South TX butterfly sanctuary had to sue the Trump administration to not get bulldozed. Also, 3 million migrant farmworkers say ‘excuse me?’ about food shortages. TPUSA [Turning Point USA] is a blight on ‘conservatism’.”

Another user said: “Food shortage from migrants destroying butterfly habitats? So we can no longer find milkweed to eat? Trumper Republicans can literally say any wild ridiculous thing & stupid followers still vote them in. Outvote the stupid. We need every Blue vote! Pro-knowledge.”

Last week, the monarch butterfly was listed on the IUCN’s Red List.

A statement by the conservation agency said: “The migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), known for its spectacular annual journey of up to 4,000 kilometres across the Americas, has entered the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered, threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.”

Recently, the ​​Florida congressman told a crowd at a conference on Saturday that women protesting abortion access are less likely to get pregnant because they aren’t attractive.

“Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?” he said. “Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Source: News