If you haven’t heard of Malcolm Roberts yet, I’m both jealous that you’ve managed to stay so blissfully ignorant and away from last night’s Q&A episode, and also very sorry that I now have to inform you of his existence. Roberts is one of four new One Nation senators to enter Australia’s parliament, and while his counterparts are off worrying about squat toilets destroying Australia or whether they’ll even be able to serve on the senate due to larceny charges, Malcolm has decided to bravely take on the global climate change conspiracy.
Last night on Q&A, the ABC in its frustratingly self-flagellating programming choices invited both senator Malcolm Roberts and world-famous (I’d like to detect his-) particle physicist Prof. Brian Cox, to spar on that semi-circular sound stage that we all know nothing good can ever come out of.
While many important issues, such as indigenous incarceration and the racial discrimination act were (also somewhat frustratingly) discussed last night, one of the highlights was when Roberts refused to believe the scientific consensus of human impact on climate change, going so far as to accuse NASA and other international climate-monitoring meteorological organisations of covering up or skewing the data on this phenomenon. Not even Brian “I never age because I built a secret time machine just for me” Cox holding up a graph to prove his point could change his mind.
Malcolm Roberts kept insisting on seeing ‘empirical evidence’ before he could be swayed, as if the evidence gathered by a number of international organisations was somehow moot, or doesn’t exist. How do you convince someone that bacteria exist if they refuse to look down a microscope?
If we lived in the Harry Potter-verse, Malcolm Roberts would be the muggle that refused to believe in magic even after he accidentally stumbled upon a Quidditch World Cup match, because it would mean that the world is actually a far more beautiful and fragile place than you give it credit for.
The back and forth between him and Prof. Cox was like trying to tell someone they’ve got egg on their face by showing them pictures of egg on their face, but they refuse to believe you by using sciencey words like ‘empirical evidence’, ‘scientific consensus’ and ‘prove that that’s an egg’ because hey, who wants to admit they’ve got egg on their face?
So if Malcolm Roberts can’t be convinced by the overwhelming amount of data that says climate change is real, what might it take to convince him otherwise? Given his love for ‘real world evidence’ and ‘models that haven’t been discredited even though 97% of scientists are pretty happy with them already’, here are some things that may actually be able to convince him once and for all:
The sun becomes a sentient being and comes down to earth to tell him it’s real
I mean, if the sun actually did that we’d all be dead anyway but at least Malcolm Roberts’ melted face would finally accept the truth.
The UN kidnaps him to confide that they have actually been covering up climate change but only to cover up the bigger conspiracy of reports that the sun is sentient
This would make perfect sense to Roberts.
We buy him a beach house on Tuvalu that he is legally obliged to live in whenever senate is not in session
I wonder if he’ll start to put in a lot more over-time.
Brian Cox draws him another graph, this time depicting the directly proportional relationship between the number of times Roberts uses the word ‘empirical data’ and the number of STEM students who become climate scientists
Maybe that will finally shut him up?
The earth, finally a hellscape of extreme weather events, offers no shelter to Malcolm or his descendants and they are forced to live, along with the rest of humanity, in a dystopian nightmare
Yeah, that just * might * do the trick.
The Feed's Mark Humphries also has a few things to say about Malcolm Roberts: