Nobody Can Understand Why ‘Q&A’ Asked Coal Lover Matt Canavan To Talk About Climate Change

He called the IPCC report into the climate crisis "fear porn".

Matt Canavan Q&A

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

The ABC’s Q&A is in hot water over its decision to bring on climate change naysayer Matt Canavan to talk about the IPCC report into the international climate crisis on Thursday. The Nationals backbencher dubbed the esteemed report “fear porn” while denying its credibility.

The latest episode of Q&A focused on ‘the cost of climate and COVID’, and how the pandemic might have distracted Australians from working on solutions to the climate crisis. It aired after the release of the latest climate change report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which came out on Monday.

In addition to the show giving Canavan a platform, viewers were also concerned about the lack of scientific voices to challenge and debunk his takes. Instead, the panel featured Labor MP Catherine King, media personality Alan Kohler, CEO Paul Zahra, and economist Dr Angela Jackson.

“That doesn’t sound like science to me,” said Canavan, referencing an IPCC author saying he hoped the results scared people into taking action, before calling their work ‘spin’. He then went on to discredit the likely scenarios of global warming if the planet heats up by 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Canavan has previously said that cold snaps mean global warming isn’t real, labelled net zero emission goals both a “distraction” and “mythical target”, and wrote in an opinion piece for the Financial Review that Australia should be fighting China — not climate change.

Q&A is developing a pattern of inviting him on to hear his wayward takes on the environment. Back in June, Canavan was brought on to fluff up the coal industry, and used his time to slam the Paris climate agreement.

Former ABC news and current affairs director Max Uechtritz slammed Q&A for their “serious error” having Canavan on.

“With the public desperate for rational, credible debate/info the program should not pander to fringe lunacy,” he tweeted on Thursday night. “Any counterpose excuse doesn’t pass intellectual muster.”

The LNP’s response to the IPCC’s findings have been underwhelming so far, especially given the confirmation that Australia has already warmed up by 1.4°C between 1910 and 2020 — and it’s slated to get worse.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wouldn’t let regional Australia bear the burden of reducing carbon emissions, responding to the report on Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce — a colleague of Canavan — said he wouldn’t commit to any further targets or climate action without seeing the cost of action. “We’ve been sucked into this one before,”said Joyce earlier this week.