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Premier Scientific Journal Nature Takes on ‘Climate of Fear’ Surrounding Research on Sex and Genr

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From Heartland Daily News

“These articles are using phrases like ‘a person’s sex assigned at birth’. I find that phrase amusing. I don’t think sex is assigned at birth. Biological sex is a fact. It’s not assigned. It’s observed.”

Nature, one of the world’s premier scientific journals, has acknowledged the importance of studying sex and gender differences and officially denounced the “climate of fear and reticence” that is stymying research on the topic.

To that end, the journal in May launched “a collection of opinion articles” on the topic to be published over the coming months to foster honest and courageous discussions on a topic that many scientists shy away from due to fears of professional and personal repercussions.

“Some scientists have been warned off studying sex differences by colleagues. Others, who are already working on sex or gender-related topics, are hesitant to publish their views,” read the editorial introducing the series.

“…In time, we hope this collection will help to shape research, and provide a reference point for moderating often-intemperate debates.”

Headlines that kicked off the series include “Neglecting sex and gender in research is a public-health risk,” “Male–female comparisons are powerful in biomedical research” and “Heed lessons from past studies involving transgender people: first, do no harm.”

What the collection of articles represents and whether it will ease tensions surrounding this area of research remains to be seen.

Jeffrey Mogil, a neuroscientist and pain researcher at Mcgill University, as well as the co-author of one of the articles in Nature’s sex and gender series, told The College Fix there is an effort underway in biological research to do away with or minimize the importance of the concept of sex and sex as a binary variable.

This is problematic, Mogil said in a recent telephone interview, because sex in mammals is “either binary or it rounds to binary and in doing so it always has been useful and continues to be and any conception of it that isn’t binary would then impose practical difficulties on how science is done.”

Moreover, he noted, discarding the notion of binary sex in mammals would set back important advancements in how many biomedical researchers now do their work.

“There are sex differences in all kinds of traits that we’re interested in and where we didn’t know they existed,” Mogil said. “The reason we didn’t know they existed [is] because until extremely recently, essentially all biology pre-clinical experiments were done with males only.”

“Since regulatory agencies, funding agencies, have demanded that people start using both sexes [in research],” he said, “lo and behold, we’re finding sex differences.”

“We’re finding that what we thought was the biology of a thing was only the biology of the thing in males and the female biology is completely different,” he added.

“This is in our minds,” he said, “an incredible scientific advance and that advance is at risk of stopping and reverting if, you know, people start to believe…dividing animals into males and females is inappropriate.”

Although Mogil stated he did not know how Nature made editorial decisions regarding the selection of articles for their sex and gender collection, he said that he felt the article he and his co-authors wrote was intended to defend the status quo against those “advocating…either that gender is much more important than sex or that sex is more complicated than people have made it seem.”

The College Fix reached out to a senior communications manager from Springer Nature in early June regarding the selection process for the series, as well as how sex was presented in some of the other commentaries, but did not receive a response.

Daniel Barbash, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University, was more skeptical than Mogil of Nature’s sex and gender op-ed collection when he spoke to The College Fix in a late-May phone interview.

Although he said he generally held a positive view of the article Mogil co-authored and appreciated that it explicitly stated “there are only two sex categories in mammals,” he noted that he also felt the authors of other commentaries in the series were to some extent “further conflating sex and gender.”

“There’s little things that sometimes give the game away,” he said. “These articles are using phrases like ‘a person’s sex assigned at birth’. I find that phrase amusing. I don’t think sex is assigned at birth. Biological sex is a fact. It’s not assigned. It’s observed.”

“[For] the vast majority of humans, from the moment they’re born,” he said, “there is zero ambiguity whether they’re a male or a female.”

Furthermore, the “overall tone” of the collection, Barbash said, was that “there needs to be more research on gender variation and that there is more complexity to biological sex than a binary.”

According to Barbash, neither of these notions are “universally accepted” among biologists.

He said he believes the series has “the potential to drive funding agencies and other agencies that are involved in the intersection between politics and research in a particular direction that I don’t think would always be helpful.”

“I don’t think any serious biologist would deny that sex is a hugely important factor in both basic research and in biomedical research,” said Barbash. “Of course, any study on the effect of drugs should be tested separately in males and females, otherwise it’s a hugely confounding factor if you ignore that.”

Yet, he said, “the notion that we need to do the same thing for gender…is really not supported,” and may not be very feasible.

“Half the population is male and half the population is female,” Barbash said. “We see all kinds of estimates for gender nonconforming and transgender individuals but, no doubt, they’re much less frequent than males and females.”

On account of this, he said, even if research questions regarding gender divergence and transgender individuals are worthwhile, “it would be problematic, for example, to necessitate that all NIH studies of humans include males, females and gender nonconforming individuals or transgender individuals.”

However, he said, he feared “this series of articles could have that kind of impact in influencing policy.”

Originally published by The College Fix. Republished with permission.

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Alberta

‘Fireworks’ As Defence Opens Case In Coutts Two Trial

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy 

By Ray McGinnis

Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert are on trial for conspiracy to commit murder and firearms charges in relation to the Coutts Blockade into mid-February 2022. In opening her case before a Lethbridge, AB, jury on July 11, Olienick’s lawyer, Marilyn Burns stated “This is a political, criminal trial that is un Canadian.” She told the jury, “You will be shocked, and at the very least, disappointed with how Canada’s own RCMP conducted themselves during and after the Coutts protest,” as she summarized officers’ testimony during presentation of the Crown’s case. Burns also contended that “the conduct of Alberta’s provincial government and Canada’s federal government are entwined with the RCMP.” The arrests of the Coutts Four on the night of February 13 and noon hour of February 14, were key events in a decision by the Clerk of the Privy Council, Janice Charette, and the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Jody Thomas, to advise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invoke the Emergencies Act. Chief Justice Paul Rouleau, in submitting his Public Order Emergency Commission Report to Parliament on February 17, 2023, also cited events at the Coutts Blockade as key to his conclusion that the government was justified in invoking the Emergencies Act.

Justice David Labrenz cautioned attorney Burns regarding her language, after Crown prosecutor Stephen Johnson objected to some of the language in the opening statement of Olienick’s counsel. Futher discussion about the appropriateness of attorney Burns’ statement to the jury is behind a publication ban, as discussions occurred without the jury present.

Justice Labrenz told the jury on July 12, “I would remind you that the presumption of innocence means that both the accused are cloaked with that presumption, unless the Crown proves beyond a reasonable doubt the essential elements of the charge(s).” He further clarified what should result if the jurors were uncertain about which narrative to believe: the account by the Crown, or the account from the accused lawyers. Labrenz stated that such ambivalence must lead to an acquittal; As such a degree of uncertainty regarding which case to trust in does not meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” threshold for a conviction.”

On July 15, 2024, a Lethbridge jury heard evidence from a former employer of Olienicks’ named Brian Lambert. He stated that he had tasked Olienick run his sandstone quarry and mining business. He was a business partner with Olienick. In that capacity, Olienick made use of what Lambert referred to as “little firecrackers,” to quarry the sandstone and reduce it in size. Reducing the size of the stone renders it manageable to get refined and repurposed so it could be sold to buyers of stone for other uses (building construction, patio stones, etc.) Lambert explained that the “firecrackers” were “explosive devices” packaged within tubing and pipes that could also be used for plumbing. He detailed how “You make them out of ordinary plumbing pipe and use some kind of propellant like shotgun powder…” Lambert explained that the length of the pipe “…depended on how big a hole or how large a piece of stone you were going to crack. The one I saw was about six inches long … maybe an inch in diameter.”

One of Olienick’s charges is “unlawful possession of an explosive device for a dangerous purpose.” The principal evidence offered up by RCMP to the Crown is what the officers depicted as “pipe bombs” which they obtained at the residence of Anthony Olienick in Claresholm, Alberta, about a two-hour drive from Coutts. Officers entered his home after he was arrested the night of February 13, 2022. Lambert’s testimony offers a plausible common use for the “firecrackers” the RCMP referred to as “pipe bombs.” Lambert added, these “firecrackers” have a firecracker fuse, and in the world of “explosive” they are “no big deal.”

Fellow accused, Chris Carbert, is does not face the additional charge of unlawful possession of explosives for a dangerous purpose. This is the first full week of the case for the defence. The trial began on June 6 when the Crown began presenting its case.

Ray McGinnis is a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy who recently attended several days of testimony at the Coutts Two trial.

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Cowering before carbon

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Elizabeth Nickson

Despite turning this back this spring, South Dakota continues to be under attack by a freshly born green corporation, Summit Carbon Solutions, funded by China’s Belt and Road initiative, and you, through the Green New Deal provisions buried in the last debt ceiling deal, to pipe “carbon,” from the oil fields to some obscure part of the Dakotas and bury it. The “people” may “rise up” and demand it be shuttered, and all they do is crawl away and try again.

There can be no more stupid waste of money than this. But even some of our bravest politicians, including Kristi Noem, Pierre Poilivere and Danielle Smith in Canada cower before the almighty (anti-)carbon lobby and rabbit on about sequestering it. It is an industry into which thieves flood because it means you loot the public purse at the beginning through Green New Deal giveaways, and then for all perpetuity because of the tax advantage. People have been so scarified by the word, they do not know what it means anymore, they nod enthusiastically.

So let’s refresh: carbon = carbon dioxide. Plant food. Your outbreath. The thing that makes life on earth habitable. The thing they are trying to introduce into Mars to make it habitable. In order to terraform Mars, you need carbon dioxide.

A policy researcher friend tried to track down the annual billions, trillions over the last thirty years, that the U.N. and its various satellites have given of your money to “climate change” mitigation outfits in the Global South. The money vanishes, nothing happens, it’s stolen. She google-earthed one heavily PR’ed outfit, only to discover that it didn’t exist, just a pile of sand. These projects are payoffs to an army of activists placed at every weak point in the system. If the projects exist, they don’t work. Both the Guardian and Harper’s have done extensive work on the fraud of “climate mitigation.” Carbon sequestration is a scam meant to steal public money.

Yeah, this oughta work.

This time, Kristi Noem is facing down an activated people who are fit to be tied, protesting and signing petitions. This is generally taken as “the people’s voice” in the enviro business and must be obeyed. But not, apparently, when you are fighting “green.” This time, Summit Corporation is barreling through people’s farms, breaking into their barns, threatening ranchers with armed guards, and generally behaving like the WEFer army Trudeau sent to brutalize the truckers. This is a new iteration from the One World Government, anonymous Kevlar-coated mercenaries in the heartland.

So it is that the carbon dioxide pipeline in North Dakota is receiving rapid approvals and aggressive eminent domain clearing overturning the years, even decades it takes to clear a pipeline. The first thing Biden did was cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. It was protested by the activist army that moves into any hot spot, the leaders of which are paid well to lead the chaos. But in this instance, the carbon pipeline is being protested by actual residents fearing actual harm. Co2 is an unstable gas, unlike oil and natural gas. Co2 pipelines explode and kill people. They blow up in part because the technology is not sorted out, unlike petroleum engineering. But never mind! It’s virtuous. It’s fabulous, it must be done, whether you like it or not.

I know! Let’s overturn democracy. Writes Pipeline contributor Steven F. Hayward in the Claremont Review of Books:

The most overwrought, assertive climate change activists have a “transformative” agenda to halt and reverse global warming. The problem is that there’s no evidence voting majorities in any modern democracy are willing to be transformed by Green New Deals or other, even wilder schemes. And if the people reject the climate agenda? There must be ways to enact it despite them. There may even be ways to insist that this thwarting of the popular will is, in fact, a more noble rendering of democracy than mere government by consent of the governed.

He quotes Ross Mittiga, the author of “Political Legitimacy, Authoritarianism, and Climate Change,” asking whether we must sacrifice democracy to save the planet:

Satisfying this standard may entail elevating the status or power of experts in the political process by, for instance, affording them a salient consultatory role or even some kind of veto power over legislation…. One can imagine a “Supreme Court of Climate Experts,” tasked with evaluating, modifying, or striking down legislation to the extent it exacerbates the climate crisis or contributes to other grave forms of environmental destruction.

Observes Steve: “This hardly differs from the parade of authoritarian horrors offered elsewhere in the article.”

Oops.

Alas, all over the U.S., activists are attempting to override both political and judicial process placing their judgment above democratic process, and their pet judges agree. Usually local farmers, ranchers, rural businessmen and women are rolled flat by out-of-state lawyers and money from movie stars, but this time, the victims have constitutional lawyers. The South Dakota Freedom Caucus is fighting back and Gov. Noem is caught. Approving this pipeline will mean money for her coffers from Summit, jobs, albeit temporary; no doubt, federal funds will be held back until she approves it. You can read the Caucus’ extensive legal argument here.

Even the Sierra Club thinks carbon capture is fraudulent:

The fact that the 45Q tax break for carbon capture and sequestration specifically states that enhanced oil recovery [EOR] counts as sequestration means that these companies could get paid twice for the same carbon— first, via the tax break for capturing and shipping it, and again when they sell it for EOR. “The bottom line,” says [Richard] Kuprewicz, “is if you’re trying to get CO2 in the atmosphere to reduce global warming, but you’ve created this huge market incentive to drive and generate more oil recovery, that may be in conflict with getting rid of CO2 in the atmosphere… We’re getting ahead of ourselves on pipelines,” he says. “For billions of dollars you can make smart people do incredibly stupid things.”

Carbon capture is a gold rush, the gold being public money. Exxon Mobil just bought a carbon capture company.  Certainly it knows of the dangers and inefficacy, but such virtue signaling makes them look good. Summit Corporation is another dishonest outfit prospecting for free public money.

Opposition mounts. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has announced it will hold hearings on their pipeline in September. Three days ago, Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze asked why Noem was dragging her heels about calling a special session of the legislature to deal with the “carbon-capture” threat.

This problem has been festering for quite some time, it’s just that the governor thought she’d be able to quietly skate by enabling Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2 to do the dirty work while not overtly endorsing their project. Noem’s reluctance to call a session comes on the heels of her refusal to support the existing bill in the regular session. The governor is pretending like this issue is just beginning and that lawmakers need to send some new legislation for her to review. But she is very familiar with House Bill 1133, introduced by Rep. Karla Lems. There’s nothing to review; it’s a one-paragraph bill. It simply makes it clear that eminent domain can only be used for a pipeline that actually produces a public good, not merely captures carbon. Done.

Can’t we just box it and ship it?

In Illinois, through which carbon pipelines are planned to flow, a state senator has proposed a moratorium on carbon capture pipelines to address safety concerns.

McClure said the pipeline issue was first brought to his attention by some of those who live along the path of Heartland Greenway. He said he was concerned about the potential for a pipeline rupture similar to one that happened in Satartia, Mississippi in early 2020, when 45 people were hospitalized and 200 were evacuated. The carbon dioxide sucked the air out of the surrounding area and caused gas-using vehicles to fail, according to reports.

“When you have a pipeline that’s that big [and] that will stretch across so much rural area, how on earth would emergency folks be able to get to a rupture in time to help people?,” McClure said.

We have to stop throwing our future into the great green maw.

Elizabeth Nickson is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Follow her on Substack here.

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