‘I am not finished!’ Guyana president destroys BBC reporter trying to shame him over oil reserves

Guyana’s president was having none of a journalist’s green propaganda during a drilling debate turned lecture: “Because this is a hypocrisy that exists in the world.”

Recently, Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, chairman of the intergovernmental organization Caribbean Community (CARICOM), sat down for an interview with BBC journalist and host of “Hard Talk” Stephen Sackur.

In one viral exchange that slammed a low-information look at the “big picture” from a climate zealot’s point of view, Ali patiently waited to push back until even he had had enough of the agenda-driving premise.

“Let’s take a big picture look at what’s going on here. Over the next decade, two decades, it is expected that there will be $150 billion worth of oil and gas extracted off your coast,” said Sackur of the president permitting drilling that would benefit the South American nation’s economy. “It’s an extraordinary figure. But think of it in practical terms. That means, according to many experts, more than 2 billion tons of carbon emissions will come from your seabed from those reserves and be released into the atmosphere.”

As the host attempted to push the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, Ali interjected before the reporter could further peddle his point, “Let me stop you right there. Let me stop you right there. Do you know that Guyana has a forest, forever, that is the size of England and Scotland combined? The forest stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon, a forest that we have kept alive, a forest that we have kept alive.”

Attempting to regain the moral high ground, Sackur challenged, “Does that give you the right to release all of this carbon?”

Continuing to refuse the premise, Ali countered, “Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change? I am going to lecture you on climate change because we have kept this forest alive that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon that you enjoy, that the world enjoys, that you don’t pay us for, that you don’t value, that you don’t see a value in, that the people of Guyana has kept alive.”

“Guess what? We have the lowest deforestation rate in the world. And guess what? Even with our greatest exploration of the oil and gas resource we have now, we will still be net zero, Guyana will still be net zero will all our exploration,” he added.

When Sackur attempted to get a word in, the president shut the journalist down again and remarked, “I am just not finished as yet. Because this is a hypocrisy that exists in the world. We, the world in the last 50 years, has lost 65% of all its biodiversity. We have kept our biodiversity. Are you valuing it? Are you ready to pay for it? When is the developed world going to pay for it? Or are you in the pockets, are you in the pockets of those who have damaged the environment? Are you and your system in the pockets of those who destroyed the environment through the Industrial Revolution and now lecturing us? Are you in their pockets? Are you paid by them?”

Later in the interview, Sackur was also accused of using opposition party rhetoric to frame ethnic divisions as he referred to Ali’s party as primarily Indo-Guyanan. The president contended his party was the only national party and added, “The ethnic division of this country was instigated by external forces. You are aware of this? It was instigated by external forces, you have to accept that. This is part of your legacy.”

Meanwhile, social media users cheered at seeing the green agenda get smacked down in a display that was “freaking glorious to watch.”

Kevin Haggerty

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