In a clip from this week’s episode, Cosmos host Neil DeGrasse Tyson debunks climate change denial by simply taking a walk on the beach with a dog, Mother Jones reported.
“Weather is hard to predict, like my friend here,” Tyson explains, with the dog at his side. “But Climate is predictable. Climate has changed many times over the long history of the Earth. But always in response to a global force. The strongest force driving climate change right now is the increase in CO2 and the burning of fossil fuels, which is trapping more heat from the sun. All that additional energy has to go somewhere. Some of it warms the air. Most of it ends up in the oceans. All over the world, the oceans are getting warmer.”
The dog, DeGrasse Tyson says, represents weather’s frequent fluctuations because he darts around as they walk on the beach. But while he’s not able to predict what will catch his canine companion’s attention next, he said, he can predict the range of his “meandering” by holding the dog on a leash.
“We can’t observe climate directly; all we see is the weather,” DeGrasse Tyson says. “The average weather over the course of years reveals a pattern. I represent that long-term trend, which is climate. Keep your eye on the man, not the dog.”
The chaotic nature of weather, DeGrasse Tyson says, makes it impossible to predict, despite complaints by naysayers about the chances of a “global cooling.”
“That’s why those 10-day weather forecasts are useless,” DeGrasse Tyson says. “A butterfly flaps its wings in Bali, and six weeks later, your outdoor wedding in Maine is ruined.”
Mother Jones reported that the episode has more “powerful refutations” of arguments against climate change, including a segment in which DeGrasse Tyson discusses global warming’s effects in the Arctic. The series has already come under fire from creationists due to its emphasis on science over religious dogma.
Watch the video, as posted online on Wednesday, below.