Climate scientist says Sky News commentators misrepresented his views on drought

Exclusive: Andy Pitman says ‘misspoken’ statement has been used by Alan Jones, Chris Kenny and Andrew Bolt to dismiss links between climate change and drought

A leading Australian climate scientist has said his views have been misrepresented by conservative media commentators, who have used a “misspoken” statement to dismiss the links between climate change and drought.

Prof Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at the University of New South Wales, has told Guardian Australia there are clear links between human-caused climate change and drought, but these links are indirect.

Related: From Alan Jones to the Daily Mail: the Australian media’s bizarre reactions to the climate strike

Bolt wants me to publish his reply in full. Happy to do so. He calls my email ‘pathetic, deceptive, ill-informed, evasive, pathetic, pathetic and wrong’ and asks if I’m motivated by ‘dishonesty, ignorance or malice’.

Related: Drought-hit farmers ask government to help pay council rates and offer exit packages

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