Thursday, May 23, 2024
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2,000 elderly pawns of the eco-nutters


THERE’S just no pleasing some people. The ‘KlimaSeniorinnen’, a group of 2,000 elderly Swiss women who, according to WorldData, are already blessed by living in one of the top five nations for female life expectancy, have won a judgment from Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which would force their government into taking legislative measures supposedly to ensure they live even longer.

The court in its unique wisdom found that as a result of its climate ‘inaction’, the Swiss government has breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the ‘right to respect for private and family life’. Work that one out if you will. It can be interpreted only as ‘Swiss policy is disrespectful, because by its negligence it has caused more hot weather that in turn makes old people die sooner than they might, other things being equal’. Umm.

Needless to say the eco-fanatics were cock-a-hoop at the ruling. The lead lawyer is very proud that after nine years of intensive work, her clients had ‘finally got their due’. 

The court’s ruling rests on a combination of contentious assertions – that there are more heatwaves now than in the past, that they are increasingly deadly, that human emissions are to blame, and that this is a human rights issue to be determined by a supranational court. None of this stands up. On the ‘hot v cold’ triggered deaths question, the balance of the evidence is that severe cold knocks out more old people than heatwaves do. While excessive summer heat can kill, it is extreme cold that causes more fatalities amongst the vulnerable elderly. Roughly twice as many people die from cold in any given year than from heat. 

Then there is the question of whether there are indeed more heatwaves. The Strasbourg court says so but the evidence is otherwise. According to the American physicist Will Happer in the recently released documentary Climate the Movie, records show that high temperatures are almost unchanged while cold temperatures at night, or during the winter, are going up a little bit: ‘Not very much, but you can measure it.’ Steven Koonin, another American theoretical physicist and author of Unsettled, concurs: ‘When the average goes up it’s really more due to the coldest temperatures getting warmer. So the temperature’s getting milder rather than getting hotter.’ That should benefit the vulnerable and their heating bills, not the reverse. You can find the proof (the graphs) in the documentary here

As for CO2 emissions, not only are the Swiss responsible for a minuscule proportion of the world’s output, but as Happer, Koonin and others show, CO2 bears no relation to climate warming or cooling anyway.  

Nor have the Swiss women and their Strasbourg lawyers considered  that sidelining fossil fuels and traditional farming as a climate policy objective is a much more life-threatening outcome, forcing a return to pre-industrial living standards which would leave them more likely to die of cold and starvation. 

Thankfully the Swiss government has refused to be taken hostage and has rejected the ECHR ruling. Nevertheless Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Federation, felt compelled to signal Switzerland’s exemplary (but pointless) reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, insisting that climate policy was a top priority and averring that sustainability, biodiversity and Net Zero were all very important to Switzerland etc, etc. She will however be well aware that when stronger measures to deliver Net Zero were proposed in 2021, voters rebuffed them in a referendum. Then she has Switzerland’s largest political party, the right of centre Swiss People’s Party (SVP), slamming the ECHR decision as ‘scandalous’ and suggesting that Switzerland should withdraw from the Council of Europe, since it is the court’s job to dispense justice, not make policy. 

There’s little doubt that the 2,000 elderly women were the pawns of eco-environmental lobbyists precisely to get a supra-national court to overturn such democratic decisions as the Swiss one. It has been described as sheer ‘activist jurisprudence’. Lawfare, in other words, for a political, ideological, non-democratic end.

The worry is that ECHR rulings are non-appealable; they affect all counties signed up to the HR Convention, and that includes the UK. Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho limply admitted she was ‘concerned’. She should be. It has however prompted other Conservatives to demand Rishi Sunak take Britain straight out of the ECHR. Robert Jenrick says the expansionist doctrine practised by the Strasbourg Court is profoundly undemocratic. Danny Kruger of the New Conservative group of MPs says we should quit the human rights convention altogether: ‘The Strasbourg court is setting itself up as a legislator in place of elected governments. It has been bent out of shape by activists and politicians who want to seem progressive and internationalist by junking both nations and democracy. We should leave.’ He is right.

This ruling underlines the arbitrary and unaccountable system now in place which leaves people without protection from totalitarian climate extremism. And if Greta Thunberg has her way it ‘is only the beginning of climate litigation’. Already 2023 is proving to be a watershed year. How can a court in Strasbourg made up of people who are mostly not qualified ‘be allowed to overrule the wishes of the British electorate?’ as Nigel Farage has asked. ‘It’s playing God!’ he exclaimed. No, Nigel, it’s playing Mephistopheles! 

Unless Britain gets out we will remain vulnerable to such unaccountable and irrational ECHR rulings that the government of the day will be too wet to resist. Nigel, we need you again! To raise the banner and lead the campaign to get Britain shot of this supra-national affront, with another Swiss-style referendum to take back our sovereignty once and for all.

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Janice Davis
Janice Davis
Janice Davis is a grandmother and former girls’ grammar school teacher

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