Labor MP Hijacks Barnaby’s Press Conference To Kick Off Climate Shitfight On Live TV

Australia accelerated its arc of climate doom this morning as Shadow Agriculture and Resources Minister Joel Fitzgibbon interrupted the press conference of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, resulting in a verbal altercation and not much else of note.

After eyeing Joyce chatting to journalists in the halls of Parliament House, Fitzgibbon sidled up to his opponent to defend the Labor Party’s new pledge to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

“Well, this is rubbish,” Fitzgibbon said.

Joyce, a longtime renewable energy skeptic and supporter of coal-fired power, challenged Fitzgibbon to defend his party’s new stance and explain how, exactly, Australia’s resource and agriculture sectors will ditch carbon emissions without shedding tens of thousands of jobs.

Fitzgibbon said major industrial players are already working on culling their carbon output, but Joyce wasn’t having it. “No coal miner is going to lose their job – do you believe that?” Joyce asked the journos still watching the shitfight.

You can cop the spat below:

The argument spilled over on Sunrise, where both belligerents were invited to continue their petty point-making. Stunningly, it was there that Fitzgibbon and Joyce actually faced some pushback on their pronouncements.

Over the weekend, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Australia would likely continue exporting thermal coal despite the net zero goal, which is a pretty gnarly loophole. Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr jumped on that double-standard, forcing Fitzgibbon to lean on Australia’s signing of the 2016 Paris Agreement, which experts believe is becoming obsolete with every passing day.

Joyce chirped up, saying Labor’s policy would “smash” regions reliant on the agriculture and mining industries. Of course, all of this belies the fact the Coalition continues to cling to exceedingly limp climate policies, and the overarching fact that without a serious and immediate restructuring of the economy, there won’t be an agriculture or mining industry to operate.

Also worth noting: Fitzgibbon is on the Parliamentary Friends of Coal Exports group convened by Liberal MP Craig Kelly, the guy who allowed himself to be torched on British breakfast television for his rejection of climate science. Oh, Joyce also said God is the only one who can sort out the climate. 

If you feel like suplexing your remaining brain cells watching these two coal-cuddlers duke it out some more, you can do so here.