Q&A has returned for 2020 with a new look and a new host, but the show’s trademark heckling will stick around as long as climate deniers fill out the panel. That was proven by last night’s response to Liberal Senator Jim Molan, who used the bushfire-centric show to dispute the fact climate change is driven by human industry – and proudly advocate the fact he doesn’t rely on evidence to make up his mind.

When pushed by new host Hamish Macdonald on the circumstances leading to this horrific fire season, Molan said “I accept that the climate is changing, it has changed and it will change. What it’s producing is hotter and drier weather and a hotter and drier country.”

So far, so normal. But Molan, flanked by local and international experts, then admitted “As to whether it is human-induced climate change, my mind is open.”

Cue the heckling. Molan explained the openness of his mind – a gap, a maw, a giant cavity, if you will – was caused by the fact that “every day across my desk comes enough information that there are other opinions.”

In a display that’d make Tony Jones proud, Macdonald pressured Molan on what evidence, specifically, caused him to hold that viewpoint. Molan straight-up admitted he had NFI about the entire field, saying “I’m not relying on evidence, Hamish.”

American climatologist Michael E. Mann, seated next to Molan, hit back with the statement “You should keep your mind open, but not so open that your brain falls out.”

You have to wonder what kind of information actually comes across Molan’s desk for him to keep his mind that ‘open’, and I’d wager he sees a fair few deep-fried Facebook conspiracy theories nestled between his Candy Crush sessions.

The fact climate deniers still have platform on Q&A is an issue we can argue about endlessly. I’m notching this one as a Pyrrhic victory, though: like it or not, the new-look Q&A demonstrated some of the nation’s leaders will remain unmoved by the science, no matter how calmly and comprehensively it is laid before them.

You can catch the exchange below, right around the 56:30 mark: