The physicist appeared with Malcolm Roberts, a far-right politician and climate change sceptic, on the ABC panel show Q&A.
He became frustrated when the senator repeatedly said there was no “empirical evidence” for climate change.
Cox told Roberts the “absolute, absolute consensus” was that human actions had caused the world’s average temperature to increase. “I know you may try to argue with that but you can’t,” he concluded.
But it seemed Roberts - an elected senator and member of Australia’s One Nation party - could argue with it.
He said he was “stunned” at Cox’s argument which had no “evidence” behind it, and that he believes there has been a pause in global warming for two decades.
So Cox decided to pull out a graph - the Global-Land Ocean Temperature Index - to show that Roberts was wrong.
”Can I just say, I’ve brought the graph,” he said, holding up the diagram to whoops and applause from the audience.
But Roberts continued to disagree, saying that the data on climate change had been “corrupted” and “manipulated” by Nasa, leading to exasperated sounds from the audience.
Can I just say, I’ve brought the graph Brian Cox
Roberts claimed that the 1930s and 1940s were “warmer than the current decades”.
Cox demonstrated on the graph that no, they weren’t.
Cox later pulled out a graph showing the increase of carbon dioxide in the air, which he said was the highest it has been for 650,000 years.
But still, Roberts would not be swayed.
“I’ve heard consensus which is not science,” Roberts said, “I’ve heard appeals to authority, which is not science, I’ve heard various illusions...”
“You’ve seen a graph!” said Cox, before throwing his pile of graphs across the panel table to Roberts. “Look at the evidence,” he said, to more applause.
It seems some people won’t be convinced, no matter how much evidence you - quite literally - throw at them.
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