What do esteemed physicist Brian Cox, Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling and Monty Python comedy legend Eric Idle all have in common? Besides being some of our favorite Brits, they all share disdain for climate denial, particularly that espoused by far-right Aussie Senator Malcolm Roberts.
(L-R) Brian Cox, J.K. Rowling and Eric Idle and share disdain for climate denial.
It all started on the Australian TV show Q&A, which features a panel of six guests who answer questions. Prof. Brian Cox was asked to explain climate change to the senator in denial and did so with graphs showing rising temperatures and CO2 emissions. True to denier form, Roberts rejected the evidence presented, citing blogger Steven Goddard (who is so misleading even Watts Up With That? rejects him) to claim that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has manipulated the data. It’s worth noting that this happened on Monday evening, the day before NASA announced that July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded.
Roberts didn’t get any better from there. In fact, he was mocked not only by the audience’s laughter and the other panelists, but before long Twitter picked up on the episode. So NASA’s Gavin Schmidt went on a bit of a tweeting tirade (warranted, given his team was accused of fraud) about how deniers claim there’s manipulation, but the records are publicly available for anyone to test and verify themselves.
Some thoughts on climate deniers (no other word suffices in this case), who accuse my team of fraud. 1/nhttps://t.co/CcCJnlPd3b
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) August 15, 2016
And Schmidt was far from the only one to take notice. None other than Monty Python legend Eric Idle asked where deniers like Roberts come from and how they get elected, adding that their denial of climate change is a danger to us all. (Not a particularly funny tweet, but spot on).
Picking up on Schmidt’s tweet and then adding her own commentary was Princeton-educated-astrophysicist Katie Mack, who was rewarded for her tweet with the standard abuse launched by denier twits. One of them even challenged Mack to “learn some actual SCIENCE.” To which she responded: “I dunno, man, I already went and got a PhD in astrophysics. Seems like more than that would be overkill at this point.”
This magical exchange was then elevated to the ranks of Twitter legend when none other than J.K. Rowling said it had “forever validated” the existence of Twitter.
In honor of the now-global lambasting of denial, we leave you with this joke: A physicist, a wizard and a python walk into a bar. On TV, an Australian senator is arguing that climate change isn’t real. The physicist chuckles saying, “Obviously he’s an Aussie, he’s got the whole situation upside down!” The wizard scoffs, “All the world’s climate scientists successfully perpetrating a hoax of this scale? Even I don’t believe in magic that powerful!” But the snake is notably angry.
It hisses “I may be an Egyptian snake, but this is awful. I can’t stand De Nile!”
“You can’t stand at all,” muttered the physicist in response.