TRC #562: The Earth’s Lungs + The Gay Gene + Canadian Election

Pat looks into a listener’s question about whether the Amazon rainforest is the Earth’s lungs responsible for 20% of the oxygen we breathe. Next, Adam raises concerns about headlines claiming there is no such thing as a “gay gene” according to a new study. Lastly, with the election season upon us, Darren gives us a handy primer on Canada’s election process.

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The Earth’s Lungs

Forbes: The Lungs of the World is Wrong

Scientific American: Amazon Fires Do Not Threaten Earth’s Oxygen

Fact Check – Amazon Doesn’t Produce 20% Of Earth’s Oxygen

ABC News: Amazon Fires

CNN: Amazon Fires

Newsweek: Pray For Amazon Photos

Business Insider: Why Amazon Rainforest Is Important

Yadvinder Malhi: Does The Amazon Provide 20% Of Our Oxygen?

Washington Times: Fake Amazon Photos

The Conversation: Fires Aren’t Depleting Our Oxygen

Mother Jones: Stop Sharing Those Viral Amazon Fire Photos

The Atlantic: Earth Has Plenty Of Oxygen

The Gay Gene

Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior

Study finds no gay gene. Was there one to find? – Medium

TRC #469: Can A Computer Program Tell If Someone Is Gay? + Name That: World’s Largest + Nuclear Myths

The Reality Check #161: Gaydar + Nonsense on Stilts Book Review + Moneybags

Canada’s Election Process

Wikipedia – Fixed Election Dates 

Ottawa Citizen 

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One Response to TRC #562: The Earth’s Lungs + The Gay Gene + Canadian Election

  1. Conrad says:

    Sorry about such a late comment. I’m a few podcasts behind thanks in no small part to our election which has me responding to your summary of Canada’s election.

    A quick primer on Canada’s system might have included the following:

    Canada has three branches of government, two appointed assemblies and one with elected members. The appointed assemblies (Senate and Court) hold a veto over the House with elected representatives.

    Those elected representatives are not free to vote in the interests of their constituents. Elected members of the House must vote as told by the party or face sanctions. Members of the House represent the party, not those who voted for them.

    Sure, sometimes, the needs, wishes, hopes and dreams of the party in power aligns with those who voted but outside of parts of Quebec and Ontario that seems increasingly rare.

    Even if they voted as told by their constituents every bill coming from the Elected House (with party rule for key votes) faces a veto from the appointed Senate. Canadians saw this veto in action when the House tried to legalise cannabis. The Senate vetoed the bill until changes were made that met their approval. Senate changes are veto in action and are not rare.

    Keeping in mind that Canada only has three branches of government, two appointed assemblies with veto and the one with elected members under party rule how likely is it that such a system is a functioning “democracy” (as commonly understood by the modal Canadian)?

    If we were talking about a resource rich African country where elected members must vote as told by their party and any bill they agree to faces veto by the appointed would we consider them a functioning democracy just because they think so?

    Ignoring these fundamental characteristics in a quick primer is, IMO, being less than accurate. Just as suggesting the appointed by the PM (and processes under his control) GG makes independent decisions. Not that GG’s haven’t made decisions contrary to the PM’s wishes but the last significant time was 1926 and that resulted in creation of the Commonwealth and political independence for Canada.

    I’d comment on your latest but this post got a bit long so I’ll just say, great stuff, keep up the good work!

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