“On occasion I will be asked in a public lecture, ‘Well, Professor Brower, tell me: What good is the monarch butterfly?’

“Needless to say, I am extremely irritated when anybody asks that question.”

But he had an answer for it, one that involved getting the questioner to ponder what kinds of things we value, and why.

“I’ve seen the Mona Lisa in Paris. What good is the Mona Lisa? Really, it’s just a painting on a piece of paper. But we revere it as part of our culture and part of our tradition.”

“We’re too pragmatic in this country, and I think we need to realize that biological treasures such as the Monarch are just as valuable as the Mona Lisa.”


Lincoln Brower, activist, environmentalist, professor