Liberal Senator Jim Molan has come under fire for comments made on last night’s episode of ABC’s Q&A which saw him express doubt that climate change has been exacerbated by humans.
Speaking to an audience predominantly made up of those affected by recent bushfires across Australia, Molan’s comments were met with anger and laughter as his response followed a stark warning offered up by US climatologist Michael E. Mann.
“[For] every scientific institution in the world that’s weighed in on this matter, climate change is real,” Mann explained. “It’s human caused. It’s already leading to disastrous impacts here in Australia and around the rest of the world. And it will get much worse if we don’t act.”
New host Hamish Macdonald followed this up by directly asking Molan whether he agreed with Mann’s scientific view.
“I accept the climate is changing,” Molan responded. “It has changed and it will change. What it’s producing is hotter and drier weather and a hotter and drier country.
“As to whether it is human-induced climate change, my mind is open.”
— ABC Q+A (@QandA) February 4, 2020
Claiming that he receives “a range of information” that indicates there are “other opinions” on the cause of climate change, Molan admitted that he is “not relying on evidence”, leading to widespread laughter from the audience.
“You should keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out,” Mann replied.
“When it comes to this issue, when it comes to human-caused climate change, it’s literally the consensus of the world’s scientists that it’s caused by human activity. Now you sometimes hear the talking points from contrarians from the Murdoch media that it’s natural; natural factors would be pushing us in the opposite direction right now.”
The episode on which this exchange in question appeared on was originally slated to be broadcast from Bega, but was ironically moved to Queanbeyan in response to an ongoing risk of fire.