A fine New Year's pledge for the EU

We're inflicting 150 9/11-scale strikes on ourselves per year. Maybe we should stop this (or at least reduce this quantity) instead of getting distracted by squirrels errorists.

Air pollution - by many believed to be a solved problem - is still killing more Europeans per day than any non-World War war ever.

ESA's 2004 graphic based on ENVISAT satellite data: NO2 pollution world-wide
European NO2 hot spots

The biggest tragedies and political failures aren't necessarily the ones that attract the most attention. Errorists threats and strikes are spectacular by definition, reports about them are kind of entertaining. So is in a way the Aleppo tragedy. The REAL top tier problems are in entirely different areas.
The REAL top tier problems are the ones which we didn't solve yet because by their very nature they kind of 'fly under our radar'. They're the high-hanging fruits. You need to pay attention and mobilise some rational thinking in order to get exasperated about such issues - while all you need to do to get terribly angry about some errorist asswipes is to sit on your couch and use the TV remote.

Problems that easily arouse anger and frustration amongst many people are by their very nature provoking countermeasures and are thus bound to cause little harm after a while.  Meanwhile, big and small problems that do not provoke such intense reactions may linger on - politicians may know of them, but have little incentive to address them forcefully, for there's not public pressure. Solving such issues wouldn't necessarily yield rewards for political action either, since the problem was below the 
attention threshold anyway, and its absence would not be noted.

This is actually an analogy to Luttwak's description of how spectacular technological advance by a military provokes quick and effective countermeasures, while many small barely noticed innovations may provide lasting advantages 

So how about a New Year's pledge for the EU: In 2018 we should address the REAL top tier issues insteaSQUIRREL!



  1. In the period 2014-2016 I finnally learned that even if (some) politicians (sometimes) acted (almost) as rational beings, most of the electorate wasn`t. Almost everything was question of hysterical perception. Even in country with 3 000 mostly well integrated Muslims you could start "anti-terrorist" political "revolution" and mobilize gamekeepers and firefighters against non-existent threat.

  2. A couple of years ago I became interested in automated braking systems* as i) human drivers one of the biggest killers, maimers and destroyers in the world and ii) underperform computers in many of tasks.

    This means that potentially much death and damage could be avoided by boring EU rules:

    QUOTE]The study also shows that autobrake reduces injuries. The rate of rear-end crashes with injuries decreases by 42 percent with forward collision warning with autobrake and 47 percent with City Safety. Forward collision warning alone is associated with a 6 percent decrease in rear-end injury crashes, though that finding isn't statistically significant.

    "Even when a crash isn't avoided, systems that have autobrake have a good chance of preventing injuries by reducing the impact speed," says Jessica Cicchino, the study's author and the Institute's vice president for research."[/QUOTE]

    The prevention of more human loss in a terrorist truck attack is 'just' a plus which I had not considered before.
    It should be a non-brainer to make such systems standard on any new vehicle as soon as possible. Maybe damage inflicted on the vehicle like a broke windshield coupled with other parameters should enforce a low maximum speed even after restart which can not be easily overruled.


    P.S: I had included a calculation but I will expand it for later use first. Overall it seems that it is money very well spent.

    *For personal reasons as well, of course. I'm not foolish enough to consider myself superior in this regard.