More Significant Stories, Trends of 2017. And 2018?

AutoInformed.comThe 2017 year in automobility set the course for decades of upheaval in what heretofore has mostly been a slow-moving blacksmithing business. Some more things to ponder:

Machines Break, People Get Hurt, Killed. Loved Ones Are Causalities

When NASCAR announced last February that it is changing its concussion protocol for competitors with a screening tool for all venues and increasing available neurological support for race-event weekends through American Medical Response, a national ambulance company. It pointed to another industry trend – the human effect from technology that allows or enables everything from distracted driving to serious injuries and deaths.

The concussion moves came at a time when major news organizations – Bloomberg, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, among many others – are questioning the viability of the National Football League over its ongoing massive concussion problem causing debilitating injuries, suicides and deaths.

NASCAR Concussion Protocol

  • With damaged vehicles, a driver whose car sustains damage from an accident or contact of any kind and goes behind the pit wall or to the garage is required to visit the Infield Care Center to be evaluated.
  • The medical portion of NASCAR’s Event Standards now require that Infield Care Center physicians incorporate the SCAT3* diagnostic tool in screening for head injuries.
  • AMR will provide on-site neurological consultative support at select NASCAR events during the 2017 season and will work directly with NASCAR in the continued development of concussion protocol.

 * SCAT3 is a standardized tool for evaluating athletes for concussion and can be used in athletes aged from 13 years and older. it supersedes the original SCAT and the SCAT2 published in 2005 and 2009. A concussion is trouble in brain function caused by a direct or indirect force to the head. It results in a variety of non-specific signs and / or symptoms and most often does not involve loss of consciousness.

 Concussion are suspect any one or more of:

  • Symptoms (e.g., headache), or
  • Physical signs (e.g., unsteadiness), or
  • Impaired brain function (e.g. confusion) or
  • Abnormal behavior (e.g., change in personality).

 Global Warming – More than Hot Air on Global Warming.Global Warming continues to be a significant factor in the regulation of the auto industry despite President Trumps’ – “global warming is a Chinese hoax” – posture. California has been reducing emissions through a series of actions and advances in technology for decades – supported by court decisions that it has the right to do so in cases brought against California by automakers. (Grim, hypocritical elephant in room here: Republicans are all for states’ rights on certain issues, but not for cleaner air when a state wants to do that.) These include cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and zero emission vehicles, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, waste diversion from landfills, water conservation, improvements to energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and a Cap-and-Trade Program. [California Proposes Strict Greenhouse Gases, Fuel Economy Rules for 2030. See the full text of The 2017 Scoping Plan Update: The Proposed Plan for Achieving California’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target.”]

A real victory starting in 2016 came from the work of the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Trump of course wants to ban the word and work of “science” because of its relentless search for the truth that in personal practice Trump has banned as a guiding principle for the largest democracy in the world.) The respected, data-based scientific organization called out ExxonMobil for its actions related to climate deception. In July of 2017 July, UCS released The Climate Deception Dossiers, a report documenting that ExxonMobil and other top carbon polluters such as coal giant Peabody Energy have been fully aware of the reality of climate change for decades but spent tens of millions of dollars to misinform the public about climate science.

UCS also uncovered evidence that Exxon had been factoring the reality of fossil fuel–driven climate change into its internal oil and gas extraction plans as early as 1981—much earlier than anyone had realized and years before there was much public awareness of the problem.

Because of the revelations by UCS and the investigative journalist teams, several members of Congress, three presidential candidates, and more than 60 leading environmental, science, and social justice groups (including UCS) called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate ExxonMobil for deliberately deceiving the public, much in the same way the tobacco industry lied about the link between smoking and disease.

On November 4, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a criminal investigation to determine, he told PBS NewsHour, whether ExxonMobil was “using the best science and the most competent [climate] models for their own purposes, but then telling the public, the regulators, and shareholders that no competent models existed.” If that’s the case, he said, the company could be guilty of fraud.

On December 7, 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the CEOs of BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Royal Dutch Shell asking them to clarify exactly what they knew about the climate risks of their products, when they knew it, and what plans the companies are putting in place to limit future risks. Initiated by Representatives Ted Lieu of California and Peter Welch of Vermont, the letter draws heavily on the UCS report, noting that, “UCS uncovered many internal company documents which appear to confirm a coordinated campaign of deception conducted by the industry to deceive the public of climate science that even their own scientists confirmed.”

We Can Expand Out of Barren Blue-Collar Fields

AutoInformed.comThe U.S. Census Bureau projects the U.S. population was 326,971,407 on Jan. 1, 2018. This represents an increase of 2,314,238, or 0.71%, from New Year’s Day 2017. Since Census Day (April 1) 2010, the population has grown by 18,225,587, or 5.9%.

In January 2018, the United States is expected to experience one birth every 8 seconds and one death every 10 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 29 seconds. The combination of births, deaths and net international migration will increase the U.S. population by one person every 18 seconds.

The projected world population on Jan. 1, 2018, is 7,444,443,881, an increase of 78,521,283, or 1.07%, from New Year’s Day 2017. During January 2018, 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths are expected worldwide every second. The Census Bureau’s U.S. and  simulates real-time growth of the United States and world populations at the World Population Clock.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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