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Interview With Former British Minister Gordon Brown; Interview With "The Corridors Of Power Director Dror Moreh; Interview With Global Glacier Initiative Founder Garrett Fisher. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 05, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. And welcome to AMANPOUR. Here is what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Poverty is now worse, I think, than it was when I was young.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: From price hikes to nurses strikes, turmoil in the U.K. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown joins me on the crisis here at home and abroad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indifference is a sin. We must do something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The price of inaction. Oscar nominated Israeli director, Dror Moreh explores the hollow pledges of never again, and Americas role
combatting genocide, in his new film, "The Corridors of Power". Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARRETT FISHER, FOUNDER, GLOBAL GLACIER INITIATIVE: By 2100 there could be only two glaciers in Switzerland. Just two. And I believe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A race against time. Garrett Fisher tells Hari Sreenivasan about his quest to photograph glaciers before they are all gone.
Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It is a once in a generation season of discontent here in the U.K., a soaring cost of living creating a giant inequality gap, and welfare unable
to keep up for the most of vulnerable and the poorest. As the mantra goes, many people are literally having to choose whether to eat or heat this
And Britain is on strike. An unprecedented walk out by the Nurses Union, the first time in its 106 years. Chaos because of endless rail strikes.
Male strikes. Paramedic and ambulance strikes. And there are no sunny days ahead. the chancellor warns that the British economy will get worse before,
if, it gets better. Remember, this is an advanced G7 economy. Children in this global financial capital of London are facing hunger, 40 percent of
My first guest tonight knows the states very well. He is Gordon Brown, Chancellor the Exchequer under Tony Blair, and later prime minister
himself. Credited with leading the coordinated global response to the financial crash of 2008. He has also led agreements on a tackling poverty
and climate change. And he is now special U.N. envoy for global education and health.
How does he see the way out of the current global crisis? Gordon Brown join me with answers from his former constituency in Scotland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Gordon Brown, welcome to the program.
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon.
AMANPOUR: So, here we are in the United Kingdom and there is a major humanitarian crisis, if I can just interpret it that way. You, yourself,
wrote an opinion before Christmas saying that, you know, your dream of homelessness being abandoned or abolished by this generation seems remote
at best. A big British charity has said that here in this, you know, wealthy capital of London, you know, 40 percent of children between the
ages of six and 16 are facing food poverty. It means their parents cannot afford, their families cannot afford, to feed them.
I mean, how shameful is this. What can be done about this?
BROWN: Charities in Britain are now running community kitchens, pantries, food banks. We have now got bedding banks, clothes banks. We have now got
baby banks, we got toiletries banks, hygiene banks because charities are having to step in. Because the safety net that governments used to provide
is withering away. And I am now seeing poverty in the constituencies I represented and grew up in 50 years ago, that is greater than I've ever
seen. And we have been through, in these last 50 years, the decline of mining and large mass unemployment. And yet poverty is no worse, I think,
than it was when I was young.
And the reason is, of course, that benefits are so low. That people's heating and food bills are so high. That we are not in a position as a
government to deal with the deprivation that exists in so many different parts of the country. And of course, inequalities are growing and living
standards have not risen for many people for 10 years.
So, we do need a government that pays attention to the fact that we are a more divided country. Poverty is rising. And of course, this is true of
many other parts of the world. And I think we've got to bear in mind that this year is going to be probably more difficult than last year.
More difficult even that the COVID years in terms of poverty, debt, deprivation round the world.
AMANPOUR: And here obviously, that poverty, that -- you know, dropping living standards, is kind of putting Britain on strike. I mean, I'm making
a, you know, a big sort of collective declaration. But Britain seems to be on strike and people seem to be supporting it. Does that surprise you?
BROWN: It doesn't surprise me because this is not a case of industrial action where young -- one trade union is trying to leapfrog over the other.
This is the whole of the country facing a decline in living standards, that is a bigger decline than at any time for 50 years. And its people who are
on the poverty line, understanding that even if they work hard and work all the hours in the day, they're not going to be able to afford to heat their
homes or feed themselves.
And we've now got a big new charity starting up in this country, Warm Spaces, so that people, instead of staying home and not being able to heat
themselves at home are using spaces in libraries, church halls, public buildings to heat themselves during the day. And so, the industrial unrest
is not the product of some, sort of, extremism, it's actually millions of people in this country unable to get by on the incomes that they have. And
the government is cutting the help that's available in 2023 as against 2022.
So, the situation for families is going to get worse over the next few months. There is less help available with the heating bills, rather heating
bills are going up. And as you know, food bills are continuing to rise in every country in the west. Indeed, in every part of the world.
And so, people are increasingly forced into destitution. And I think you will see a lot of discussion about homelessness, about rising destitution
over the next few months as the full effect of the cuts in living standards come through to affect large numbers of families and, of course, putting
people on the streets.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you know, when I listen to you, it really does sound extraordinary to really compute that you are talking about a major G7
country. So, let's go over to Afghanistan and the education crisis and the poverty crisis and the food insecurity crisis there, and your capacity as
special envoy for the U.N. for Global Education. This new edict, by, it appears, the small band of hardliners in Kandahar, the religious
hardliners, against not just girls education but women's ability to work. And particularly NGOs that provide massively needed humanitarian
AMANPOUR: What is that going to do? And what can the U.N. and others do to changes equation?
BROWN: Well, I visited Afghanistan many times and I've been involved in a number different organizations delivering girls education. And we've got to
understand that for 20 years, girls were getting educated in Afghanistan. Women were starting to go to university in big numbers. And this has now
come to an end.
So, girls are being banned from secondary school. Women are being banned from university. Women teachers in university are being thrown out. Women
are being thrown at a public service jobs. They're not allowed to go out on their own without being accompanied by a male. They cannot visit public
parks. And so, you've got this buildup of genuine attack on human rights that the world really has to wake up to.
And the way that I think we can deal with this is persuading the countries that are predominantly Muslim countries that believes that education is
important, understand the importance of girls and women's rights now, that they've got to tell the Taliban and tell the religious leaders in
Afghanistan that this is an affront to Islam. It is not part of any interpretation of that religion. And that girls have got to have the chance
to get educated, or Afghanistan can never recover as an economy, because it is only using half the potential of its people.
And I've seen in the last few days with reports that I've got from people, how girls are taking to the streets and demonstrating. Men have walked out
of university exams. How they -- descent is building up on this. And I don't think the regime can repress people forever. They cannot silence
people all the time.
And now, of course, we're seeing an exodus of girls from Afghanistan into Pakistan because that's the only way they're going to get education. So,
we've got a refugee and displacement crisis that we got to deal with as well. So, I would like to see the Muslim countries and the leaderships that
have said they're against this, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, all not doing more than just words.
Putting pressure on the Islamic leadership in Afghanistan. Saying that they will help any refugee child that comes out of Afghanistan and give him the
education they need.
And making sure that the world wakes up to what is a fundamentally retrograde abuse of human rights, which calls into question whether the
world can ever have the right to education for all people if we continue down this road.
AMANPOUR: I mean, I guess, you -- you've said it and you've written in "The Guardian". You've talked about, led by our Muslim friends, the world
must now plead with him, that is the Taliban spiritual leader, Akhundzada, reminding him of the Islamic texts that justify education for all.
So -- I mean, first of all, you used the word plead. And I assume that means you recognized that there is very little leverage. I mean, what can
Muslim friends, i.e., heads of government or heads of the, you know, Islamic Organization Conference, what can they do? What is the leverage?
BROWN: But I do think we're dealing with a different Afghanistan from 20 years ago. Then, girls and women had never had the chance of education and
the numbers that happened over the last 20 years. And you cannot uneducated a girl who has learned to read and to think independently. So, there is
going to be internal dissent within Afghanistan.
And I do believe that many of the ministry of education itself within Kabul, they do want to see girls at school and girls going to university.
So, I think there is a division within the regime and I think we've got to make sure that the leaders of the Muslim world are in a position to say to
that regime, we will support you if you will stand up and get girls back into education and back to school, in particular. But we will not support
you if you refused to do so.
I think there's an enormous amount of pressure that can be put on. I know that the U.N. is about to send a special representative to Afghanistan to
try and plead with the Taliban. But of course, the biggest impact would be the Muslim leadership in Indonesia and the Gulf. Coming together and saying
to the Taliban, we will not work with you under circumstances if you cannot sort out this problem. Which is a fundamental abuse of girls and women's
rights. Something that we thought we move beyond. But of course, it's still happening in Iran, as well as in Afghanistan.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about messaging then because I recall very, very - - you know, distinctly that you were very clear during the COVID pandemic that the west had to make it equal, in other words, the treatments, the
vaccines, all the support, and they didn't. I mean, the -- Africa and other parts of the world were certainly, you know, literally second-class
citizens in receiving the aide and the vaccines that they deserved to receive.
And I wonder whether you feel that that is now coming back to really haunt the world when you are trying to message regarding the war in Ukraine.
Because so much of the world seems to not by the western moral imperative about, you know, stopping Putin's illegal war and supporting Ukraine.
BROWN: I think the division between Africa, in particular, and the west arose partly over COVID and the failure to vaccinate quickly enough in
Africa and provide the vaccines. Then it's happened over course of a climate change where Africa feels that the promises that have been made
about climate help have not been delivered.
Now, I feel there is a divide that is coming over debt relief because, clearly, there are a number of African countries who're doing the best.
Ghana is a good example of where they're trying their best but they cannot get by without some form of restructuring of the debt and some debt relief.
And they do not feel that the west is listening.
And I feel that the G20 movement, that, of course happened in -- after 2008 with the global financial crisis, there is not the leadership there that
Africa can respond to and say, well, at least we have a group of governments that are trying to deal with the famine crisis, the debt
crisis, the energy crisis. There will, of, course be some effects on the currencies because of the way the dollar has moved.
And so, all these multiple crises are hitting in on Africa and hitting in on the poorest parts of the world. And they do not feel that the leadership
is there to give them the support that's necessary. And I do feel it's still possible for the G20 countries to come together, even with the
division between America and China. I think it's possible for them to agree as they have, to some extent, on climate change. That's there's going to be
common actions to deal with these problems.
But if the debt problem rises in Africa, and in some of the poorest countries in other parts of the world, then we will see poverty rising,
inequality, of course, widening. And we will see this resentment building up against the west for the failure to make globalization work for them.
So, this is a huge challenge this year, where we have these multiple crises that have got to be dealt with.
AMANPOUR: One of your solutions and recommendations, and you've just put forth a paper about the war in Ukraine, is to create some kind of a
tribunal that starts now to hold Putin and the soldiers on the ground accountable.
Now, you were in government here when that kind of thing was started against Milosevic over the crimes that were committed in Bosnia and in
Kosovo. He was indicted at the height of the Kosovo war by the International Criminal Tribunal. So, from your perspective, do you think it
is a smart idea to further pressure Putin by, you know, by creating this tribunal?
AMANPOUR: Yes, what he's doing now is a war of attrition when he's trying to starve and freeze the Ukrainian people into submission. And it has,
therefore, taken a turn for the worst. And I suspect that he's planning big troop movements in the next few months. I've always understood, because
I've dealt with Putin myself when I was prime minister, that the only thing he understands is strength.
He will exploit any weakness on the part of the west or any other group of countries. And we've got to show strength. And one of the strengths that we
have is to say that this is an international crime. And particularly, the crime of aggression. The International Criminal Court is looking at crimes
against humanity and, of course, you've have to link the actual incidents where people are murdered or people are raped or people are put at risk to
the individual decisions of a leader like Putin.
But the crime of aggression is obvious, a decision on Crimea then a decision to invade other parts of Ukraine. And he could be brought before a
special tribunal, and that could be done very quickly, and he could be indicted and prosecuted in his absence, and so could the cabal around him.
And I see no reason why we should not show that the International Community will not accept the aggression of one country against another, and that
Putin is directly responsible for this crime and his cabal.
And I believe that pressure is now building up. We see Netherlands, France, the European Union responding to the Ukraine government, asking for this
special tribunal. And I know one -- the United Kingdom and the United States of America to join that group.
And I believe that over the next few weeks, we will see pressure building up from the legal community, from the diplomatic community and others, who
understand that if you do not show strength and if you do not make it absolutely clear that this crime of aggression cannot happen with impunity,
then we will see a repeat of what has happened over the last few months over the next two months.
And this is one way that the west, that particularly those countries around Ukraine can give support to the people of Ukraine who have asked us,
specifically, to bring the special tribunal for the crime of aggression.
AMANPOUR: Really interesting. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, thank you so much for your experience and your views there.
BROWN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is a dark world and the human being is a horrible beast. Those are the words, that's the conclusion of my next guest. After spending
nearly 10 years prowling the corridors of power to explore the dilemma between government policy that is based on the moral imperative or based on
the pragmatic's, some might say, cynical matter of real quality.
The Israeli director, Dror Moreh's revealing new film, puts the decision making of world leaders under the microscope. In particular, America's
response to genocide and crimes against humanity around the world. He had access to almost everyone who is in the room making these decisions. Here's
a clip from the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Genocide has occurred, much too frequently.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are always people that will argue, what does it matter to us? Why should we care?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guess who the world calls for whenever there is a mugging?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want justice or peace? You cannot have both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The film is called "The Corridors of Power" and it is the latest from the Oscar nominated director who is joining me now from Berlin.
Dror Moreh, Drumroll, welcome to the program. You know, I want to start by asking you to respond to that last soundbite in the trailer, you can either
have justice or peace but not both. Do you believe that?
DROR MOREH, DIRECTOR, "THE CORRIDORS OF POWER": I believe the -- well, the person that was speaking about that -- we were speaking about Omar al-
Bashir, who was still in power in Sudan. And it's very hard to put into justice someone that is in power.
And as your previous guest spoke about bringing Putin into justice, about what's going on in the -- in Ukraine, I mean, it's a nice idea, but I don't
see Putin coming to the International Criminal Court, sitting there, and waiting charges for the crimes that he's committing.
So, in -- when you are dealing with an active head of state who has the power to stay in power, and doesn't want to be indicted, then it gets much
more complicated to have justice and peace. But as we have seen in Bosnia, Milosevic, who was in power and then was not in power, he was brought into
justice. And other perpetrators that were behind him came to justice as well.
MOREH: Bashar al-Assad didn't. He's still in power. So, the question of justice versus peace is a tough question to answer.
AMANPOUR: Yes, I just was -- you know, kind of talking, actually thinking about the fact that for many, you can't actually have real peace without
justice. But we'll explore that as we discuss because you're, you know, documentary is massively powerful, really revealing. And I want to start by
asking you how you started and ended it?
You started by showing not a whole story of but very important images from the holocaust that showed that the International Community knew from
imagery where the crematoria were, where the gas chambers were, where the people were being lined up to be heard it into them and never, ever took
any position and any bombing of those railways or anything. And you end with after the war, 48, the Genocide Convention being taken up at the U.N.
So, first, tell me why you bookend this story with those two.
MOREH: Because, look, we, in the world, believe that after the exposure of what happened in the second world war, especially, the holocaust, and they
say that -- people kind of started to say, never again. And it became a phrase that was taking all around the world. Never again we'll allow these
kinds of atrocities and crimes to repeat it themselves again.
And then, the excuse was until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War. So, we couldn't deal with the crimes against humanity or mass murder or
genocide because there were these struggles between America and Russia. And then, all of a sudden, the Berlin Wall fell, and Americas stood as the only
global superpower. It could do what it wanted. It had the power to be the only global power and to conduct what it wanted in the world.
And when we see after that, you know, genocide that happened in Bosnia, in Rwanda, in Kosovo. I came to ask myself, what is going on in those
decision-making room? How do they decide to intervene in one place and not in the other? And the vow and the promise of never again, why is it not
And that's what led me into this basically a journey of almost eight years which started with the interview with late former secretary of state,
Madeleine Albright, and ended in November 2014. It ended with an interview with Samantha Power at February 2020.
And this journey was -- I mean, if I could sum it up today, it was a journey of -- I would call it education of an idealist. Because I started
this journey as an idealist who thought that never again should be kept, and the power should engage himself in preventing those kinds of
atrocities. And I've learned through this journey how complicated those issues are.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me start. I want to take both those issues you're talking about. Madeleine Albright, who is crystal clear about what had to
be done in Bosnia. It took years, but eventually it happened.
Let's take this first. We are going to play a preview (ph) -- it's a really troubling piece of video that shows the absolute irrefutable evidence of
genocide in Bosnia, particularly at Srebrenica after the massacre there. And we're showing this image -- these images that you found, this archive,
of the Bosnian Serb soldiers actually killing the Muslims, who they promised they would not harm after the fall of Srebrenica. Here is this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Are you afraid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How could I not be?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Go on, don't worry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in a foreign language).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It brings back all sorts of memories for me of the fact that it took so long for the west to react to what was being reported. It's not as
if they didn't know. It was 24/7, you know, cable news, satellite news that was covering this. So, when you spoke to members of the Clinton
administration about this, what did you get from them about this? Because then they did prevent another genocide from happening in Kosovo. They
learnt their lesson.
MOREH: Yes, look, it's -- I mean, at the end of the day, it's a decision of one man, the president of the United States. The other people are the
ones that are advising him. In that case, in the case of Bosnia, Clinton was an inexperienced young president who came into power 1993 by surprise.
He beat George H. W. Bush who was the president of foreign policy. And he was -- the first thing that came in to his attention was, what is going on
And Colin Powell, who was the chief of staff there or the manager of the army, was very powerful man. And as Madeleine Albright says, he knew how to
brief people. He was -- he came in, big handsome man with medals all over. And he believed -- Colin Powell believed that only overwhelming force can
prevent those kind of atrocities that America -- if America is going to be engaged in the war, it has to be by overwhelming force.
And there was nobody in the room that opposed that. And it took three years, more than 150,000 Bosnian Muslims who were killed. Atrocities all
over. To understand, after Srebrenica hour (ph), 8,000 -- basically, 8,000 men, young people, young -- even young boys were massacred in the span of
one night. To understand that this cannot go on, and Clinton basically decided, even though it took another few weeks to do that, that an aerial
bombardment will stop that and magically, two weeks of aerial bombardment, three weeks of aerial bombardment bought the Serbs into recognizing that
they cannot continue this massacre and it stopped.
So, I would say, the administration, in the first administration of Clinton, or Clinton himself, learned their lesson. We have to remember
also, that the young president who comes from being a senator or being a government of the state, doesn't have really the experience of dealing with
this kind of dramatic issues, to send the army, not to send the army. And Clinton was young. And Clinton was inexperienced in those kinds of issues.
And it's understood. I don't accept that, but it's understood why he decided it.
And there is a brilliant moment of you, as a young correspondent, sitting in Sarajevo, speaking to power, speaking to Clinton live from Sarajevo and
asking them about his flip-flop of his -- this is how you put it, Christiane.
MOREH: The flip-flop of your policy, don't you think that you will not be considered irresponsible or unserious? He was very angry of you about
asking that. But it was the truth. That was the truth. You put the truth into power, which is very hard to do that but it took time.
And while we are speaking, we are in the media and we are asking, what is our responsibility to the world? We are -- our responsibility is to show
them the truth. The responsibility of those decision-makers is to try to prevent that, sometimes they don't, and the consequences are hundreds of
thousands of people dead.
AMANPOUR: Yes. You know, I was trying to explore something that you explore in this documentary, and that is the self-imposed dilemma, it
seems, by these decision makers in "The Corridors of Power", about whether to act on the moral imperative. And frankly, under the law, there is a U.N.
genocide convention or to act on so-called interests, right?
And I wonder -- because madeleine talks about this very clearly that actually, defending humanitarian law is in a nation's best and most vital
interest. But that was constantly being explored and disagreed with by many of the people you were talking about. They couldn't seem to see that there
were two things that actually meant the same.
MOREH: Absolutely right. You know, and there is an anecdote of Madeleine Albright who says when she came into the room and said, people will not --
history will not forget that. And they said, don't be so emotional, Madeleine, to her, in a kind of a condescending way. But I will move, you
know, into the decision of Obama, for example, not to act on his own red line.
MOREH: He -- which he declared that the use of chemical weapon will be a red line for him and that America will kind of put a line in the sand which
says, if Assad will use chemical weapon, the all might of America will come down. And he didn't act on that. And the consequences of that, we can --
you know, after 10 years from that moment, we can now judge that very, very clearly.
I mean, the Syrian refugees which kind of shook all of Europe, all of the democracies are now in Europe, are constantly on threat. The change of
government probably in America, to Donald Trump, and what we see today, that Putin emboldened that he kind of could do whatever he wanted when he
intervened in Syria, and nobody kind of a post him probably got him to think that he could do the same thing in Ukraine without any kind of
response from the Western democracies who he thought probably would leave Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Yes. OK. So, that is another --
MOREH: So, the consequences of those kind of decision --
AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes, sorry interrupt you, but I want to ask you, this is where Samantha Power comes in. And you said that this red line issue is
what motivated you, I think, to do this whole this documentary, and that she was the spine through which you really told the story.
So, there she had been -- you know, came under President Obama's eyesight because she had written this book, "A Problem from Hell," about America's
reaction to genocide. And then, she was actually in a position of government power, which didn't go anywhere, she didn't affect any of the
actions there, particularly not the red line. And I think -- tell me the story about when she talked to John McCain, who said that she should
MOREH: Look, Samantha, for me, is an amazing person, who dedicated her life into this kind of work of trying to put more attention to mass
atrocities. And what she -- and I asked her this question, what John McCain basically said to her, how can you stay in this government where the most
horrible atrocities of the 21st centuries are happening, and you are sitting there?
And, look, Christian, it goes back to what I've spoke before, it is one person's decision. And you argue in front of the president, Samantha Power
argued in front of the president for intervention in Syria, there were other people who argued against intervention, the president, President
Obama decided not to intervene in Syria, there were reasons for that from his point of view, which I don't accept, but so -- but it is his decision.
And John McCain basically said to her, how can you stay in this position as the woman who wrote "Problem from Hell" and while this is going on? And
what she said is that she is -- while she was doing that, she was helping people of the Ebola crisis in the government, she was helping, accepting
refugees from Iraq and from Syria into America.
So, for her, the reasoning to stay in those corridors of power was that she could help some other people instead of writing op-eds, which nobody will
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you something? Because you were -- you are an Israeli. I don't know whether you are in Israel at the time, but you said that this
red line in the neighboring country of Syria, where all these atrocities were being committed really, really made you angry and upset. And many will
want to know, you know, do you feel equally angry about the horrible situation that's going on in your own country and the human rights and, you
know, attacks and killings of Palestinians. Obviously, we know Israelis also attacked.
But what is your perspective, as an Israeli, given the whole never again paradigm in which you place this investigation?
MOREH: Look, as an Israeli, I mean, look, your question has a lot of layers and I don't think we will have the whole hour to speak about that --
to answer that question. What goes on in Israel now is horrible. I am completely shocked from what -- in the speed of the last government to
change basically the rules of the democracy in Israel.
Just yesterday, we heard that they are trying -- they are changing the way that the Keneseth (ph) is taking laws and they are going to abolish
basically the ability of the Supreme Court of Israel to repeal those kinds of illegal actions by the government. They want full -- the Netanyahu
government wants full power to do what it wants and whatever it wants.
We know their extreme right-wing parties are part of his government now. And God knows where it leads, just choose the new security minister, went
up to the temple mount. I don't know what for. Just to put a finger in the eye of the police and every -- just to show the world that he is doing what
For the perspective -- for democracy, for the maintaining of democracy in Israel is gloom. It's gloomy to me as an Israeli. I'm sure that to the
Palestinians who are suffering under the occupation, already for the last 55 years or 50 years, it is not going to look, it is not looking very, very
And I might add, the last sentence, as the people who suffered the holocaust, who came to their own country and independents after suffering
the holocaust, after suffering from prosecution we should know better. We should act better and we should know better. And regrettably, it is not
AMANPOUR: And to be fair, you really did explore that in incredible detail in your great documentary, "The Gatekeepers," where six members of the
security services in Israel told you much the same thing. So, Dror Moreh, thank you so much indeed for joining us. It's really important work. "The
Corridors of Power" is now showing in select theaters in the United States. Soon to be broadcast on Showtime and other platforms internationally, and
it should be required viewing.
Turning to climate now as an unseasonably warm winter shatters records in Europe, forcing many ski resorts to close. France, Spain, Ireland, and the
U.K. declared 2022 their hottest year ever. While temperatures this new year are already several degrees higher than usual.
Garrett Fisher calls himself an ordinary guy who has been flying around in a tiny plane, photographing glaciers in these regions which are melting
beyond recognition. And he's joining Hari Sreenivasan to discuss this perilous journey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Garrett Fisher, thanks for joining us. So, you've got this initiative to
try to take a photograph of all these different glaciers. Tell me, what is the urgency here?
GARRETT FISHER, FOUNDER, GLOBAL GLACIER INITIATIVE: Well, the urgency is the melt rate is absolutely astonishing in some of these temperate areas.
For example, in the Alps, it is -- the heating is taking place two times normal rate in other parts of the world. And in many instances, the
glaciers are already gone in some aspects. It's larger ones that remain.
SREENIVASAN: So, how are you documenting this? Because it's hard for people to see a glacier receding or melting or just not coming back at the
same rates year after year?
FISHER: So, the method is using old aircraft, the two-seater aircraft, these are what I grew up flying. They fly slowly with a good lift ratio.
So, they have a high ceiling. They can go up to about 17,000 feet. They can fly slowly to get and intimately. And the mission is -- it's separate from
a scientific one. So, science has all of the data we need. There's orthographically corrected two-dimensional satellite images, we have lidar
and radar imagery, some aspects from the old space shuttle missions.
Those are not beautiful. They are data oriented, which tell us everything we need to know about the glacial recession. What I'm trying do to with the
aircraft is get as close as I can in a personable way to recreate the glacial experience that we will be losing for future generations.
SREENIVASAN: How do you express what it's like to stand in front of a glacier to people who never have?
FISHER: Well, in my case, I am flying. But the -- it's -- I say it's transcendental, spiritually elevating. I'm kind of quoting myself. It's
something I never tire of. I don't ever get sick of it.
FISHER: I could be having a flight where -- you know, I've been doing this too long for the month, I'm wearing out, the weather has been a struggle.
I'm eight hours into it for the day. And as I'm flying, I'm kind of, I don't know about this today. And I get in and get to the glaciers and all
of it just disappears. And I'm happily photographing. There's just something about it that makes it three to five times more than just looking
at a big mountain range.
SREENIVASAN: So, as you go about doing this, what struck you? I mean, this is happening on every continent that you're going and trying to find.
You're not going to North Pole and the South Pole, but you're going basically up -- all the way to Norway, right?
FISHER: Yes. So, the -- it varies a bit. So, the temperate regions are somewhat consistent, the high-altitude mountains are consistent, that also
comes through with the scientific projections for glacial recession by the end of the century. So, Canadian Rockies, U.S. Rockies, Alps, you get about
the same thing, 70 percent ice lost by the end of the century, if not all of it.
FISHER: You know, our view is a little different, there is kind of feedback cycle with the precipitation increase briefly. So, there was some
back and forth with the glaciers in Norway. And now, they seem to be retreating rate very, very rapidly.
Norway has a different experience. It is semi polar. Very, very large plateau glaciers filling with small glaciers that are better spilling off.
And it's very evident the small ones are retreating extremely rapidly. However, there is an almost distracting large ice cap mass to look at.
SREENIVASAN: You also -- I mean, right now, you are joining us from Switzerland. You've been photographing things on the European continent but
you also took photographs in the United States, the Western Alps, if you will, and the Rockies. What did you see there?
FISHER: So, that started in 2015. And the Rockies are -- they're drier to begin with than the Alps and the European mountains. What I found was a lot
of the -- the evidence, of course is quite -- when you look at a glacier and you might see so much of it remaining, the (INAUDIBLE) and the terminal
legs are -- it could two thirds of the glacier is already gone. So, we've lost much of what we already had from the 1860 maxima.
And then, from the Glacier National Park, it's pretty bleak what you see there. The -- again, it's -- you might be looking at some of the old 1930s
photos where they have an old card, a Model T, that drive up going up to the road. They're frolicking at the glacier. Kind of enjoying themselves.
And I'm looking down at it with the photo, and I don't always see it in- flight. I'm grabbing the photo of what remains and I go home and look at the images, and it might be this much of the glacier remaining, but where
back in the '30s it was about this much. Looking down, that that's where they were hiking right from the road.
SREENIVASAN: The European Environment Agency says that these glaciers have lost half of their mass since 1900 but the acceleration of that loss has
gotten worse. Break that down for us. I mean, because it's hard for us to imagine half of something gone or 5 percent of something gone. What is
someone likely to experience if they went back to a glacier every year and, say, stood at the same spot?
FISHER: Well, everyone will jump back to 1900, and we can go all the way back 200 years ago, and you had stories in the Alps and even Norway where
they're concerned that the glacier is coming to destroy the village, it's growing. So, the reverse problem. Now, our concern are disappearing. Back
then, they're looking -- and now, of course, meeting the Alps, you have this glacier -- you have a glacier up there and a village here. So, they're
terrified it's coming.
They used to have this sort of religious rituals to sort of try to cursed the glacier and to stop growing and whatnot. I didn't understand it. So,
there's -- the one that strikes me the most is in a painting I saw from Grindelwald, which Grindelwald is in -- it's a resort town. It is near
Interlocken. And so, it's very incredibly steep. It's some of the most vertical relief you'll find in the western world, particularly the
populated western world. It goes up 8,000, 9,000 feet, practically vertical.
And the glacier, now, it is quite far up. It's still quite a stunning canyon that comes down. And you can clearly see the 1860 maxima that the
marine (ph) went all the way down, almost to the farmland. So, that, to me, was always striking because you're looking down saying, holy cow. Went all
the way down there. And now, it's up here, still striking, by the way, still pretty.
However, you see this kind of scar mark, which tells you where it was. The painting shows the ice having spilled into what is the Grindelwald Village
now, which is, to us, almost fundamentally unfathomable, this idea that you're down at 3,000 feet, you know, this glacier coming from 12, all the
way down to three, spilling to where probably Swiss cows with bells were mooing and eating grass right next it. That's what life was like for them.
And when we look now, that's 80 to 90 percent lost. The bulk of it gone. And so, my takeaway, I think some people, when there's -- an alarmist
projection, there is a short circuit that goes onto the mind. You kind of hear an alarmist thing and you say, well, that won't happen or it's so far
down. We kind of short circuit. We say, you know, I can't fathom that.
What I see tells me that the short circuit is just in our head. I mean, ETH Zurich predicts by 2100 there could be only two glaciers in Switzerland,
just to -- and I believe it. From what I see, absolutely, that very much could happen.
SREENIVASAN: Wow. So, you know, in Alaska, I have heard and I've seen reports here that says it's 60 times worse snow loss than in the 19th
century. I mean, how do you keep up with a landscape that is changing so fast, even in, as you are saying, you kind of just went back to try to
recapture something, and it's already changed?
FISHER: Well, the only thing you could do is go as fast as possible, that creates the sense of urgency that I don't want to single season lost. And
also, I'd like to double the season by including the southern hemisphere which would introduce January to probably early April timeframe. That's
really what drives me is I do not want to have one single summer where I'm unprepared and I'm unable to catch something.
SREENIVASAN: When you said you have kind of a limited window, how many days does it take to photograph glaciers if, well, there could be snow
coming back and winter could be starting in some of these high altitudes?
FISHER: So, it depends in the season. On average, in a high-altitude situation, about August 6th, the season opens up. It depends on this -- the
year in question. That runs, usually fairly safely, until about September 7th and then, that is dependent on first snow. So, if they delay, if first
snows are very, very light, and then, we get -- you get a gap. And then, usually around September 23rd to 30th, the season is over.
There is a couple of variants. And so, this is what -- I have lived with this in the U.S. Rockies, that was exceptionally true there, which is
doubly hard with the wildfire smoke, fights with it, with visibility issues. The Alps was exactly the same. Norway is even a bit later. It
pushes later into when the incoming storms in September come.
What I understand though is Alaska has the options for glaciers terminating into the ocean are beginning to melt off in early summer. And then, the
melting goes up to incredible altitudes. And that's the area my next focus.
SREENIVASAN: So, how are you flying? What kind of aircraft? You said you are in a small aircraft?
FISHER: Yes. So, it started with -- it is a Piper PA-11, which is called a Cub Special. It's a two-seater from 1949 with a 100-horsepower carbonated
engine. My grandfather rebuilt it in the '90s, and that's where I learned how to fly and got my license in the U.S. in the late '90s. So, I started
with that one. That's the one I use Montana and Colorado and Wyoming. That one also was shipped to Europe, and I used that in the Alps.
And then, I bought another aircraft in late 2021. And so, it's big. It's the next model. It's the Piper PA-18 Super Cub. Again, two-seater. If the
average person saw the two side by side, they'd might see a light pickup and a heavier pickup. They would kind of see the same thing. But what's
under the hood matters. The engine power is greater. The speed is a bit greater. Double the fuel. There is a number of factors. That's the -- the
older airplane would've taken me a week just to get from Switzerland to Norway. And that's why I got the newer one this because we can't be taking
that long just to get there. and the season in Norway reinforce, it was a very good purchase. It would have been impossible with the older one.
SREENIVASAN: So, in these tiny aircrafts, especially ones that were built in the '40s, do you have heaters? I mean, if you're flying in altitude,
isn't it cold?
FISHER: So, the older one does not have a viable heater at all. And that does get exceptionally cold at altitude, particularly in the Alps. Usually,
the glacier start about 10,000 feet and they go to 15,000. So, I have -- I learned in the beginning, you take off, and it's 82 Fahrenheit, in a T-
shirt and you are 15, 000 feet and it's 25, and you have the window open at 90 miles an hour, that is perhaps the heater were (INAUDIBLE) gloves might
be useful. The newer one have heat that works.
SREENIVASAN: So, how dangerous is this work that you're doing?
FISHER: I don't consider it all that dangerous. It depends on the perspective of who is asking the question. From an aviation standpoint, the
-- generally mountain flying is considered dangerous, it has a lot to do with -- there's just a lot of weather there.
So, if you took any old hearty (ph) atmosphere, 12,000 feet, that's fairly predictable. You insert mountains in there, you're going to get more
turbulence, you're going to get more precipitation, and clouds and other things.
I am not so much worried about that because I've been doing this in many, many mountain ranges. So, I'm a lot -- I'm used to that. What concerns me
is the single engine carbonated aircraft if the engine quits. Almost all aircrafts, except for the largest airliners, are gliding when they're on
final approach. So, their prospect of gliding is not a shocking idea. You have a range that -- if the engine quits, the plane is going down in some
area of the glide ratio. The thought is exactly what it's going down over.
SREENIVASAN: When did you get interested in this?
FISHER: It started in the late '90s, I was a teenager. I recall the conversation, driving with a friend, a rather intellectual teenager. He had
mentioned one of the studies, it's pivotal at the time, it was an update on the projections of the melting of Glacier National Park in Montana. And
they predicted the loss of all glaciers by roughly 2030. And I have this visceral reaction, I had to see them before they were gone.
Unacceptable, it was -- I don't know if it was an American heritage or national parks out west that, how can you have Glacier National Park
without glaciers? But I had to see them. I'd never been out West. I've never been to Montana. I had never been to a glacier. But it was -- that
was the first indication that this was coming, even though it took a while to mature.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. So, as you go along documenting this, I mean, do you have a day job?
FISHER: Yes. So, I do effectively accounting and finance work, which I do it remotely. And that's what pays for all of it. And that can be -- it can
be something of a challenge. It was quite interesting looking at the whole remote office packed up into the car going up to Norway, but that's how we
kept it all glued together.
SREENIVASAN: Is this about raising awareness? Is this about your kind of personal quest to see all of these beautiful things before they're gone? I
mean, what's the kind of driving motivator for what makes you get into a plane and get up somewhere cold and take photographs?
FISHER: So, it -- of course, it has a personal component. I mean, no one could do this kind of thing that long without liking it. I do love
glaciers. I love looking at them. I don't tire of them. And it is a convenient way to get to them, yes, that is true.
The second thing that drives me as I'm thinking of future generations centuries down the line, between the natural cycle out of the ice age and
the fact we've given it a good old boost with our decisions as society for the last hundred years, this chance of them coming back comes into the next
ice age. We're talking millennium, tens -- or tens of thousands of years.
So, this is something a few hundred years from now, as far as the temperate regions are concerned, other the poles, we're experiencing something that
won't exist. And when I think of the work that goes into archaeological digs, where they're just scraping at the slightest thing to read into, the
carbon data, to read into the smallest thing of a culture that may not exist and we devote Ph.D. level efforts and funding to this effort, we are
looking at that anthropological experience that we know will disappear. And that's the second motivator, is to share this, because we know we have it
and it's going to disappear for 500 years from now, that we'll not know what it looks like.
FISHER: The third one, I'm a little pessimistic in the sense of -- from an awareness standpoint, as science is projected in some ranges, such as the
Alps, 40 percent of the ice would disappear if we went to carbon zero today. So, there's a lag in the system. To me, it is improbable we will be
able to turn it around fast enough to make a difference.
SREENIVASAN: So, how do you, how do you keep from being overwhelmed? I mean, that is a pretty dark prospect that you're actually seeing firsthand
much faster than the rest of us are. But if you're looking out at what the scientific projections are, by the end of the century, a lot of the places
that you're flying to might be totally dry.
FISHER: Well, for my -- to me, it is elevating as I do it. So, it's -- to me, there is a sadness when I see the evidence of their recessions. So, the
ones that are -- if I didn't know glacier was there, I just see pretty mountains, and I find that interesting, by the way. We just see beautiful
mountains. And the average person might not know there was a glacier that's gone. So, when we don't know that, we feel nothing. We say, OK. We take it
for what it is.
So, there is a side of that I feel both the sadness when I look at the clear evidence from the era that much of it may be gone. But then, there's
an awe when I'm immersed in the beauty of what is there. And that's really -- it provides energy to me to keep doing it. And as far the -- I mean, it
goes back to the aspect of the glaciers will still, at least, be around to extent before I'm old. So, I'd still have time. Though I got to go back to
what I mentioned earlier that there's -- I don't want miss one season.
SREENIVASAN: You know, last summer, more than 1,000 people died in the flooding that was in Pakistan, which put a huge proportion of that country
underwater. And that was because of dramatic rainfall, which was also made worse by rapidly melting glaciers.
I mean, what sort of lessons do you think we should be taking from events like what happened in Pakistan last year about the power of glacial melts
and what they can do to existing populations?
FISHER: I think we have no choice but to adapt. We can hope for a policy change, but I think by the time there would be policy change that could get
through to the economy and feedback into the climate cycle, it would be so long where we must adapt in the short-term to deal the changes that are
happening at this phase.
SREENIVASAN: So, what is your hope for this project?
FISHER: So, the hope is to get all of them. That is the hope. Absolutely all of them. The big question mark is the Himalayas. And so, first of all,
to get all of them, if I could conquer the Himalayas, we'll see. There is a lot of political and geographic and altitude considerations there as well
Of course, I would like these images and videos to survive past me, and actually be remembered and used. I'm thinking of PhDs to dig their old
archives now of those who took similar images in the early 20th century and they're digging through with great gusto, and that guy probably was
struggling to pay for the trip, wondered who cared about these images. And 100 years later, they're just digging through these jewels. I'm hoping that
it all stays together, it's digital format. So, somebody long when I'm long gone, finds the same thing and can share it.
SREENIVASAN: Garrett Fisher of the Global Glacier Initiative, thanks so for joining us.
FISHER: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Catching it while he can for posterity.
And finally, tonight, a trip to the future. The Annual Consumer Electronics Show is underway right now in Las Vegas. Giving us an early look at some
gee-whiz gadgets like this hands-free self-driving stroller. It only operates solo when a child is not inside. So, parents can hold their babies
or walk with their toddlers down the street without having to push. It will be available later this year.
But you will have to wait until 2025 to get behind the wheel of BMW's latest concept vehicles. They allowed drivers to pick from a range of 32
colors. A kind of mood car moment. Let's just hope they're electric vehicles.
That's it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.