The Tuesday evening edition of Amanpour & Co., which airs on tax-supported PBS, was enthusiastically on board with the latest trendy Euro-radicalism: “Climate grannies” in Switzerland, attempting to game the European Court of Human Rights to rule that women suffer inordinately under global-warming-caused heat waves, in part because women…sweat less than men.
Amanpour didn’t just humor the odd birds but signed on to their strange case insisting their definition of a “healthy environment” was a human right:
“Human rights lawyer” Jessica Simor explained in suspiciously traditional gender terms that “elderly women are particularly and severely affected by heat.”
Statistics from the CDC suggest more deaths are caused in the United States by extreme cold than extreme heat. So by lawyer Simor’s standards, shouldn’t we be allowing temperatures to rise?
This is also an example of political ideology conveniently trumping gender ideology, as Amanpour is able to define what a woman is when it suits the cause of the day, e.g., abortion.
Plaintiff Stern said that she did not take heat well and harkened to some gendered science:
Rather thin grounds for an international lawsuit, one may think.
Amanpour actually unwittingly stepped on her own case when she praised the group for being “anti-nuclear as well,” an anti-science and ultimately anti-environment position, since nuclear energy can be produced virtually without pollutants, unlike fossil fuels.
After Simor said “fingers crossed” for a favorable ruling, Amanpour showed her full support for the radicals by repeating the sentiment:
So without either fossil fuels or non-carbon producing nuclear power, where is the power to come from to fuel the future? These are among the many unasked questions when PBS brings on radical leftist guests.
Amanpour & Co.
AMANPOUR: Turning now to an urgent problem facing the whole world, hardly a day passes without dire signs of climate change. From a major glacier melting in Greenland, which could signal even faster rising sea levels to a severe heat wave that’s sweeping Asia, with Bangkok and Thailand and the whole of Vietnam and Laos recording their highest ever temperatures over this past weekend.
Now, the Senior Women for Climate Protection, Switzerland, are saying enough is enough. That’s the name given to the so-called climate grannies who’ve taken their groundbreaking case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. They say the Swiss climate policies are putting their health and their human rights, at risk. And they are demanding that their leaders do more to protect citizens from this threat. Jessica Simor, here in the studio with me, is one of the lawyers representing this group of more than 2,000 Swiss women, like Elisabeth Stern, who’s joining me now from Zurich. Welcome to both of you.
Can I start with you, Elisabeth Stern? You, I believe, are in your 70s, and I only say that because you have to be a certain age to be in this group. What pushed you over the edge, Elisabeth Stern, to take this all the way to the high court in Europe?
ELISABETH STERN, CLIMATE ACTIVIST AND PLAINTIFF: Well, hello. Good evening. Yes. What was enough was that our three national courts actually dismissed us on very, I say, hollow reasons. You can only end up in Strasbourg when you have actually gone through the national courts. In our case, there are three different ones, and they all dismissed stuff on similar and also different reasons. And because, for us, it’s very clear that a healthy environment should be and it is, actually, a human right. That’s why we took our case to Strasbourg, hoping that we get there a neutral verdict, one that is free from party ideologies, and that’s what we are waiting for.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me just ask you about what the actual Swiss government has been saying. I’ll find it in a second.
AMANPOUR: In any event, let me ask you, Jessica Simon, what legally can climate senior citizens, achieve, legally? How can they prove that the Swiss government policies are directly impacting their quality of life and their human rights?
JESSICA SIMOR, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AND REPRESENTS THE SENIOR WOMEN FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION: So, it was actually accepted by the Swiss government that elderly women are particularly and severely affected by heat. And we can see from the five greatest heat wave that happened in the last eight years that a very high — that was both very mortality and very high morbidity, and that affected older people much more than younger people. 90 percent of people who died were over 75, and these were premature deaths. So, there was an acceptance that those older people were affected, and women are particularly affected for some reason.
AMANPOUR: Do you feel that you have a good case? Is there a precedent or are you seeking to create a precedent?
SIMOR: There is precedent. It’s very interesting, really, because the Dutch Supreme Court following the Strasbourg jurisprudence held that the right to life and the right to well-being, which is, right, family life, private life, were both affected by the failure of the Dutch government to take sufficient measures to reduce their emissions. And they did that following the Strasbourg jurisprudence. So, now, Strasbourg, faced with the first case on human rights and climate change, has to ask itself effectively whether the Dutch Supreme Court correctly understood its case on environment and pollution.
AMANPOUR: So, Elisabeth, I mean, it is extraordinary and obviously very energizing for all those who want to see some kind of change and who are frustrated with the failure to reach, you know, the U.N. goals, the Paris climate goals and all the rest of it. The Swiss government, though, says this is all manifestly ill-founded and it says it’s committed to bringing down emissions by half by 2030, committed to becoming net zero by 2050. In — what health issues have you, yourself, experienced? What’s your personal story in this?
STERN: Yes. What is my personal story? I am now just at the beginning of that age group that is actually going to have health problems, and mine started last summer. I do not take the heat well. I really have great problems. And I’m now 75 and a half. And whatever is said in general about how women suffered, some of it is definitely true. So far, I haven’t had a real heatstroke. But heat crams then dehydration problems, because you drink, but it — I don’t know where it goes. Evidently, women sweat less — or I should say it the other way around, men sweat more and then, they can put out — put away heat away from their body better than women can. And last summer, when we had five days in a row of temperatures well above 30 and I was traveling, I was in a train and it was terribly hot, and I had a real breakdown. And I thought, oh, my god, is this the beginning of what? It really felt like this is the end of it. And so, what I had to do afterwards is when it’s really hot, like when it goes to 34, 35 degrees, which we are just not used here, I have to stay home. I have to close the shop, because I still had shop on my house. I make sure that the sun stays out and I’m inside. Make sure I don’t turn on the light, because that also makes it warm. And you are limited and you are — you think twice about when do you go shopping.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you’re painting a very, very vivid picture. I wonder if you take any — you’re obviously on a pretty unprecedented route into this court and legal system.
AMANPOUR: But we also read that youngsters — I mean, you’re on the older side, you’re the seniors. But also, there are the youngsters in the United States, for instance, in the State of Montana, 16-year-olds are taking a case, pretty much like yours, it’s about their human rights and their right to decent and, you know, livable life. Do you see a kind of coalition growing around this?
AMANPOUR: I’m going to get back to you in a second. So, do you see a sort of a legal coalition that could be patched together, the Swiss case or the Strasbourg case that we’re talking about, the Montana case? We know that in — I think it’s Vanuatu, they won a historic vote. At the U.N., calling on the ICJ to provide advisory opinion. And you mentioned the Netherlands and other such things.
SIMOR: Well, there’s certainly a legal momentum.
SIMOR: And it’s all based around the fundamental and central question in climate change, which is that there is a finite remaining budget of carbon emissions that can go into the atmosphere before we cross the threshold, the temperature threshold. And that budget has to be shared out between countries. And if Switzerland took its entitlement solely on a per capita basis, then on its current trajectory it would use up all its emissions entitlements by 2033. But if you do it more fairly, based on historic emissions or wealth or various other elements of equity, Switzerland is already using other country’s carbon. So, there is this remaining finite budget that has to be shared out, and that’s the central question in all the cases.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it’s really fascinating. Elisabeth, how have you been treated in your own country? What have, I don’t know, government officials or people on the streets who have got to know of your case?
STERN: Well, it has changed. The narrative has actually changed to the positive. Like at the beginning, 2016, when KlimaSeniorinnen actually were founded, it was more in the foreground, all these funny old women and why are they not quiet? And within 10 years they are under the ground anyway. And what are they complaining? It’s the boomer’s generation. They created the problem in the first place. So, just, don’t complain. And this has changed. This has changed when people figured out that, first of all, many of these women were active all their lives. They were not just suddenly coming out of nowhere complaining because, oh, it’s too hot, they were active all along and we were invited to so many presentations, talks, and they learned that we are not grannies as — well, many of us are grannies, but not in sort of the traditional sense of sitting in a rocking chair and just making something. These are women — they might be frail, some of us are frail in our bodies, but God, I tell, you so thick in their head and in their commitment, which is really has become known. So, people have changed their attitude, vis-a- vis, us. Very definitely. It’s now 2023, and this is just six, seven years and it has changed.
AMANPOUR: Well, we are looking —
STERN: More respect.
AMANPOUR: We are looking — more respect. That’s really great to hear. We are looking at some pictures which looks like you and your sort of group heading up towards — to Strasbourg. So, that was, you know, March 29th. What will happen, Elisabeth, if you are not successful?
STERN: Well, I’ll tell you, if we are not successful, I mean, it would just be terrible because that would mean, its sanctions actually they are not doing enough in terms of protecting the people, the citizens, us, climate change. I mean, that would be, for me, the worst. Because it would say that having a healthy environment, no, no, no, it’s not a human right, and, yes, it would cement that. Certainly, for the moment. So that would — I would feel really bad about that because it’s also true that, yes, legally we do complain, first of all, because of us, because we are affected, and you can only take your government to court when you are personally affected. Yes, that’s true. But then, we also have to desire to build on a platform that has some benefit for the next generation. So, it’s not just — we are not just identifying with me, right now, but also, with the next generation. So, if we would lose, it would really mean a tremendous loss for me in terms of
STERN: — cementing the status quo.
AMANPOUR: So, let me just give the last word —
STERN: And —
AMANPOUR: — to you, in terms of, if you lose. Do you think you will lose? And if you do, is there another recourse? Do you keep fighting this and taking it further up?
SIMOR: So, first, I would just say that these women are incredibly inspirational women.
SIMOR: They were the activists. You know, they were the generation of bra burning, they got the vote in Switzerland, because, of course, it came very late in Switzerland. Very inspirational.
AMANPOUR: And anti-nuclear as well.
SIMOR: Anti-nuclear. Just an inspiring, powerful, and incredibly eclectic group of women. I was heartened by the fact that the court sent the case to the grand chamber. So, that’s the biggest chamber, they have 17 judges. And there were nine questions, which is very rare, and all of those questions showed that those judges had actually read the papers and understood the detail of the case. Now, all of that was heartening. So, fingers crossed.
AMANPOUR: Fingers crossed. Well, so many people will be watching. Jessica Simor and Elisabeth Stern, many people will be in your camp. And it’s an amazing story. Thank you so much.