“I Am Going to Lecture You on Climate Change”: BBC Reporter Gets Schooled for Hypocrisy

On March 28, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of the South American country of Guyana became an instant hero to many as he refused to take lectures on climate change from a BBC reporter during an interview. In a two-minute video clip that went viral on X (formerly Twitter) and other social media, President Ali turned the tables on the BBC’s Stephen Sackur when the reporter accused Guyana of worsening the “climate crisis” by allowing the exploitation of its newly found oil and gas reserves.

“Over the next decade or two, it’s expected that there will be $150 billion worth of oil and gas extracted off your coast,” Sackur told the president. “It’s an extraordinary figure. But think of it in practical terms. That means – according to many experts – two billion tons of carbon emissions will come from your seabed from those reserves and released into the atmosphere.” Guyana’s head of state quickly rebutted: “Let me stop you right there. Did you know that Guyana has a forest that is the size of England and Scotland combined, a forest that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon, a forest that we have kept alive?”

When the reporter asked President Ali whether the rainforest gave him the “right” to release the carbon, the Guyanese leader retorted: “Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change? I’m going to lecture you on climate change.” Being lectured by the BBC on climate change is not a new development; it’s what the state-supported media service often does, and in hectoring tones. But is the BBC correct in its proclamations about what the “climate science” says?

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