Physicist Brian Cox confronts and exposes Australia’s most vocal climate change denier on live TV

Malcom Roberts is a newly-elected Australian senator who is also one of the country’s most vocal climate change deniers.

This week, he went toe-to-toe with British physicist Brian Cox on the Australian talk show Q&A in a debate that many saw as a long time coming. Roberts questions the evidence that human activity is driving climate change and has even called for a royal investigation into climate science.

During the segment, Professor Cox attempted to explain the evidence to Roberts, even presenting two graphs with climate data.

“I could sit here and read out figures until I’m blue in the face,” Cox started out.

“2015 and 2016 in particular have seen quite a shocking acceleration in many of the measures, be it surface temperatures, ocean temperatures,” Cox said. “So the first few months of 2016 I noticed have been above the average … now, you can’t read too much into individual years. You have to be careful because you see these graphs and they’re spiky, but there’s a clear rise.”

“There are some shocking predictions, actually, that you see where places in the Middle East, for example, that are already experiencing temperatures sometimes in excess of five degrees — essentially become uninhabitable for certain periods of time,” he continued.

“The absolute, absolute consensus is that human action is leading to an increase in average temperatures,” Cox added, directly addressing Roberts. “Absolute consensus. I know you may try to argue with that, but you can’t.”

Roberts started off his argument with a conspiracy theory, claiming that NASA had “manipulated” the data Cox was presenting and the graph he was holding had “something wrong with it.”

“I’m saying two things. First of all, the data has been corrupted … been manipulated,” Roberts said.

When Cox asked him exactly who was manipulating the data, Roberts responded, “NASA.”

“The Australian sea levels in the last 20 years has moved at an average of 0.3mm per annum,” Roberts asserted. “That equates to about 30mm in a century. That is entirely natural and normal.”

Mathematician and game show host Lily Serna then chimed in, affirming that there is “overwhelming consensus” that humans are responsible for climate change.

“First of all, I cannot believe we’re having this conversation. I feel we should be moving on and discussing how to create mitigation processes, how we’re going to create adaptation processes,” she said.

“I think that as far as I’m concerned, the conversation is over. The second thing I want to say is that there is overwhelming consensus with climate change scientists that this is real.”

Social media users had a field day with Roberts’ comments:

Watch the full Q&A episode in the video below:


Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.

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