Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - 4

EDITORIAL
EDITORIAL
Bill Visnic
Editorial Director
Bill.Visnic@sae.org
The other existential threat
As I write this on Valentine's Day, 105
Russian army battalions backed by
more than 500 tactical aircraft and 40
warships are poised for a blitzkriegstyle
invasion of Ukraine. I don't think
it's just a camping jamboree for
150,000 soldiers in the middle of winter.
Watching a news clip online, I'm struck
by low-altitude drone footage of
Russian T90 main battle tanks churning
across a frozen field, followed by a
dense black cloud of exhaust smoke.
The inky veil appeared excessive, even
for unregulated combat vehicles. The big
multifuel V12 turbodiesels in
those T90s appeared to be
running extremely rich, I
thought. And while that
might help expose them as
targets on the battlefield,
their unbounded particulate
and NOx emissions are no
concern to authoritarian-regime
defense planners.
Neither are the planners moved by the
environmental media, which prefers to
direct its scolding at U.S. and Western
equipment. A recent piece in Earth.org
called American military pollution " a
significant contributor to climate
change. " The article said if the U.S. military
" were a nation state, it would be the
47th largest emitter in the world. "
Hmm. To the crews inside trucks, tanks,
ships and planes, the most vital engineering
metrics for staying alive are " payload,
performance and protection, " as Oshkosh
Defense states on its website. I wouldn't
bet that those serving in front-line units
would trade package space allotted for
fuel, ammo, sensors, and armor for comAdministration
(NOAA) released a report
projecting that sea levels around
the U.S. will rise by up to one foot over
the next 30 years due to a warming
climate. Which danger poses greater
existential threat over the long term?
In my view, it's the geopolitics.
Governments that are pushing for an
EVs-only mobility future by 2030
should rethink options.
Consider that major conflict in
Rising sea
levels are
not our
only major
dilemma.
Europe, likely to include crippling cyberattacks,
would cause cascading economic
disruption, experts say. That's on
top of an already troubled
outlook that has oil prices
nudging $100/bbl as of midFebruary.
Germany's ill-advised
decision to abandon
nuclear power generation
leaves citizens vulnerable
and raises questions about
how quickly a comprehensive
electric-vehicle charging
plex exhaust aftertreatment worthy of a
" Certified Clean Idle " sticker.
In broader scope, however, the drama
on the Russia-Ukraine border and
its potential global implications shows
how geopolitics pose at least as much
of a challenge to a clean, safe environmental
future as does a changing climate.
As tensions peaked over Ukraine,
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
4 March 2022
grid can be created. The not-yet-complete
NordStream2 gas pipeline is not a
reliable alternative, considering who
controls the gas source.
Automotive leaders and investors are
closely watching the Ukraine situation
and its threat not only to democratic
principles, but to their global manufacturing
enterprises. So is China, which
currently holds all the cards regarding
lithium supply. Some analysts believe
that failure to divert a Ukraine invasion
may embolden Beijing's communist
leadership to realize its long-held ambition
to conquest Taiwan. The resulting
conflict would be far more likely to pull
the U.S. into a major war than an invasion
of Ukraine. Aside from catastrophic
loss of life, there would be strategic implications
for the OEMs that have billions
invested in China production, sales and
battery deals, not to mention the future
of Taiwan's industry-leading semiconductor
companies.
I wish it wasn't the case, but climate
change is only half the struggle.
Lindsay Brooke, Editor-in-Chief
Lindsay Brooke
Editor-in-Chief
Lindsay.Brooke@sae.org
Paul Seredynski
Senior Editor
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Products Editor
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Automotive Engineering - March 2022

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Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - SPONSOR1
Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - CVRA
Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - CVRB
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