On October 31, New York saw the deadliest terrorist attack since September 11, 2001, when 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a truck down a bike lane, killing eight people and injuring more than a dozen.With fears of attacks around the world at a high, Carnegie Mellon researchers teamed up with Robert Muggah, a global security expert and director of the think tank Igarapé Institute, to visualize terror risks from a bird’s-eye view.

Together, they created Earth TimeLapse, an interactive platform that relies on data from the Global Terrorism Database to create maps of how many terrorism-related deaths occur annually worldwide. The larger the red circle, the more deaths in a given attack.

The project mapped attacks between 1997 and 2016 — here’s what 20 years of that data looks like.

1997: Suicide bombings in Israel killed more than a dozen people and injured more than 150. Bombings also took place in Sri Lanka and Egypt. A shooting took place in India, killing 23 and injuring 31.

1997: Suicide bombings in Israel killed more than a dozen people and injured more than 150. Bombings also took place in Sri Lanka and Egypt. A shooting took place in India, killing 23 and injuring 31. Earth TimeLapse

1998: The greatest losses of life due to terrorist activity came in Kenya and Tanzania. Members of Al-Qaeda bombed two US embassies, killing more than 200 and injuring over 4,000.

1998: The greatest losses of life due to terrorist activity came in Kenya and Tanzania. Members of Al-Qaeda bombed two US embassies, killing more than 200 and injuring over 4,000. Earth TimeLapse

1999: The worst activity occurred in the southwestern Dagestan region in Russia, just west of Kazakhstan. A series of bombings struck apartment buildings, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,000. Debates still swirl about whether Chechen separatists carried out the attacks, or whether the Russian government staged them to foster support for electing Vladimir Putin.

1999: The worst activity occurred in the southwestern Dagestan region in Russia, just west of Kazakhstan. A series of bombings struck apartment buildings, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,000. Debates still swirl about whether Chechen separatists carried out the attacks, or whether the Russian government staged them to foster support for electing Vladimir Putin. Earth TimeLapse

2000: The turn of the millennium was a relatively peaceful year. The world made it until December 30 before the first major attack: a wave of bombings in the Philippines that killed 22 and injured roughly 100.

2000: The turn of the millennium was a relatively peaceful year. The world made it until December 30 before the first major attack: a wave of bombings in the Philippines that killed 22 and injured roughly 100. Earth TimeLapse

2001: September 11, 2001 marked the US’ greatest loss of life from a foreign attack in the country’s history. More than 2,700 people were killed in the attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers. About 300 of those were firefighters and emergency responders.

2001: September 11, 2001 marked the US' greatest loss of life from a foreign attack in the country's history. More than 2,700 people were killed in the attacks on New York City's Twin Towers. About 300 of those were firefighters and emergency responders. Earth TimeLapse

2002: The year saw a consistent bundle of activity in Israel and South America. Sniper attacks in the mid-Atlantic region of the US killed 17 people and injured 10.

2002: The year saw a consistent bundle of activity in Israel and South America. Sniper attacks in the mid-Atlantic region of the US killed 17 people and injured 10. Earth TimeLapse

2003: Bombings spiked somewhat as attacks took place in Russia, Morocco, and Israel. As the Iraq War began, suicide bombings started to become more common around the country.

2003: Bombings spiked somewhat as attacks took place in Russia, Morocco, and Israel. As the Iraq War began, suicide bombings started to become more common around the country. Earth TimeLapse

2004: In March, the world witnessed the Madrid train bombings, which killed nearly 200 people and injured over 2,000. Attacks also proliferated in Iraq and Pakistan. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were responsible for many of the attacks in Europe and the Middle East at this time.

2004: In March, the world witnessed the Madrid train bombings, which killed nearly 200 people and injured over 2,000. Attacks also proliferated in Iraq and Pakistan. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were responsible for many of the attacks in Europe and the Middle East at this time. Earth TimeLapse

2005: Early in the year, the Iraqi city of Hillah experienced a devastating car bombing that took 127 lives and injured hundreds more. Later that July, four suicide bombers blew up a London bus. It killed more than 50 people and injured 700.

2005: Early in the year, the Iraqi city of Hillah experienced a devastating car bombing that took 127 lives and injured hundreds more. Later that July, four suicide bombers blew up a London bus. It killed more than 50 people and injured 700. Earth TimeLapse

2006: Unrest in the Middle East continued to produce monthly terror attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In July, pressure-cooker bombs on a Mumbai train led to hundreds of deaths and injuries.

2006: Unrest in the Middle East continued to produce monthly terror attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In July, pressure-cooker bombs on a Mumbai train led to hundreds of deaths and injuries. Earth TimeLapse

2007: Dual bombings in outdoor Iraqi markets took place in the first two months of the year. Then in August, a series of car-bomb attacks killed 800 people and injured 1,500. It’s the second-deadliest terror attack behind September 11.

2007: Dual bombings in outdoor Iraqi markets took place in the first two months of the year. Then in August, a series of car-bomb attacks killed 800 people and injured 1,500. It's the second-deadliest terror attack behind September 11. Earth TimeLapse

2008: A coordinated series of shootings took place in Mumbai in late November. Hundreds were killed and injured. Some terrorists relied on guns, while others planted an estimated eight bombs around the city.

2008: A coordinated series of shootings took place in Mumbai in late November. Hundreds were killed and injured. Some terrorists relied on guns, while others planted an estimated eight bombs around the city. Earth TimeLapse

2009: The first half of the year saw relatively little activity, but in the second half, Iraq and India fell victim to suicide bombings and shootings. Car bombings killed hundreds in Iraq and Pakistan in October of that year.

2009: The first half of the year saw relatively little activity, but in the second half, Iraq and India fell victim to suicide bombings and shootings. Car bombings killed hundreds in Iraq and Pakistan in October of that year. Earth TimeLapse

2010: The worst activity occurred in Pakistan, due primarily to suicide bombings. More than 500 people were injured over a span of three days in September, all due to bombings.

2010: The worst activity occurred in Pakistan, due primarily to suicide bombings. More than 500 people were injured over a span of three days in September, all due to bombings. Earth TimeLapse

2011: A particularly bloody year. Pakistan and India made up the bulk of the terrorist activity, while east Africa and South America also faced conflict.

2011: A particularly bloody year. Pakistan and India made up the bulk of the terrorist activity, while east Africa and South America also faced conflict. Earth TimeLapse

2012: With the Iraq War mostly over, new sources of conflict crossed the western border into Syria. Damascus and Aleppo became hotbeds for terrorist activity.

2012: With the Iraq War mostly over, new sources of conflict crossed the western border into Syria. Damascus and Aleppo became hotbeds for terrorist activity. Earth TimeLapse

2013: Conflict intensified in these Middle Eastern countries, with car bombings in Damascus in February claiming roughly 80 lives and injuring 250 people. The Boston Marathon bombings in April killed five and wounded more than 200.

2013: Conflict intensified in these Middle Eastern countries, with car bombings in Damascus in February claiming roughly 80 lives and injuring 250 people. The Boston Marathon bombings in April killed five and wounded more than 200. Earth TimeLapse

2014: Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria led to the deaths of more than 200 people and an unknown number of injuries in March, as well as hundreds more throughout the rest of the year. ISIS continued to ravage Syria and Iraq.

2014: Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria led to the deaths of more than 200 people and an unknown number of injuries in March, as well as hundreds more throughout the rest of the year. ISIS continued to ravage Syria and Iraq. Earth TimeLapse

2015: Unrest in Nigeria and Cameroon led to thousands of deaths when Boko Haram forces opened fire on civilians. Bombings in Turkey and Yemen also produced hundreds of deaths. In December, shooters claiming allegiance with the Islamic State killed a dozen people and wounded two dozen in San Bernardino, California.

2015: Unrest in Nigeria and Cameroon led to thousands of deaths when Boko Haram forces opened fire on civilians. Bombings in Turkey and Yemen also produced hundreds of deaths. In December, shooters claiming allegiance with the Islamic State killed a dozen people and wounded two dozen in San Bernardino, California. Earth TimeLapse

2016: More than 75% of the year’s attacks took place in 10 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. Smaller attacks took place in Nice, France, Orlando, Florida, and New York City.

2016: More than 75% of the year's attacks took place in 10 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. Smaller attacks took place in Nice, France, Orlando, Florida, and New York City. Earth TimeLapse

 Voir aussi:

Économie

General Motors: pourquoi les constructeurs peuvent encore jouer tranquillement avec notre sécurité

Et pourquoi il faut que ça cesse.

Un problème de conception d’un modèle automobile de General Motors provoque des dizaines d’accidents de la route et de nombreux décès. Arguant que l’entreprise n’a pas corrigé un défaut dont elle connaissait l’existence, des avocats intentent plus de cent procès au constructeur automobile. GM contre-attaque en engageant des enquêteurs pour mettre en cause les motivations de ses détracteurs. Les politiques et les médias finissent par s’intéresser de plus près à l’affaire. Au final, le dirigeant de GM finit par s’excuser au nom de son entreprise.

Si cette histoire vous donne comme une impression de déjà-lu, c’est sans doute parce que la presse a récemment parlé d’une affaire semblable. En réalité, cette histoire remonte à 1965, date de parution de Ces voitures qui tuent, de Ralph Nader. L’ouvrage accusait General Motors de vendre en toute connaissance de cause des voitures Corvairs dangereuses –et accusait l’industrie automobile dans son ensemble de préférer les profits à la sécurité de ses clients.

Près de cinquante ans ont passé. Pourquoi les Etats-Unis ont toujours du mal à garantir l’absence de dangerosité des véhicules conçus par les constructeurs automobiles? Et pourquoi en sommes-nous encore réduit à nous demander si les organismes de régulation prennent au sérieux leur mission de protection de la santé publique? En 1966, le mouvement des consommateurs a –peu après son apparition– convaincu le Congrès de voter le National Highway Safety and Transportation Act. Il s’agissait de corriger une partie des abus évoqués dans l’ouvrage de Nader.

Les routes suédoises, bien moins mortelles que les routes américaines

Au fil des décennies suivantes, la sécurité automobile s’est améliorée; aux Etats-Unis, le nombre des décès liés à l’automobile a chuté (de 25,9 pour 100.000 personnes en 1966 à 10,8 en 2012). Ces chiffres indiquent clairement qu’une nouvelle réglementation peut sauver des vies. Mais d’autres pays ont fait bien mieux. Selon le dernier rapport de l’International Transport Forum, organisation de surveillance de la sécurité routière mondiale, le taux d’accidents mortels de la circulation est trois fois plus élevé aux Etats-Unis qu’en Suède –un pays qui a fait de la sécurité automobile une priorité. Si les Etats-Unis avaient égalé les taux suédois, il y aurait eu 20.000 morts de moins sur les routes en 2011.

En France, en 2011, le taux était de 6,09 contre 3,4 en Suède et 10,4 aux Etats-Unis

Seulement, voilà: depuis son apparition, l’industrie automobile américaine s’est opposée à la réglementation, n’a pas jugé bon de révéler plusieurs problèmes, et a refusé de corriger les problèmes lorsque ces derniers ont été détectés.

General Motors a récemment rappelé 1,6 million de Chevrolet Cobalt (entre autres modèles de petite taille) afin de procéder à des réparations. En cause: un problème du commutateur d’allumage, qui aurait été à l’origine d’au moins douze morts. Le constructeur connaissait l’existence du problème –ainsi que celle d’autres anomalies– et ce depuis 2004, soit avant la sortie de la toute première Cobalt.

Le 17 mars 2014, Marry Barra, directrice générale de GM, s’est exprimée en ces termes:

«Dans le cas présent, nos processus internes ont connu un problème des plus graves; des évènements terribles en ont résulté.»

General Motors a par ailleurs rappelé 1,33 million de SUV: les airbags ne s’ouvraient pas lors des collisions. Selon une étude, les problèmes d’airbags de GM pourraient avoir contribué à la mort de 300 personnes entre 2003 et 2012. Les problèmes de sécurité ne sont pas l’apanage de GM. Toyota a récemment accepté de débourser 1,2 milliard de dollars pour mettre fin à une enquête criminelle concernant un problème d’accélération soudaines de ses véhicules.

Voilà cinquante ans qu’un –trop– grand nombre de chefs d’entreprises (automobile, alimentation, produits pharmaceutiques, armes à feu, entre autres secteurs) choisissent de suivre la voie tracée par l’industrie du tabac. Ils remettent en doute la validité des éléments de preuve qui justifient la mise en place de nouvelles réglementations. Ils exagèrent les coûts économiques de produits plus sûrs. Grâce à leur poids politique et financier, ils viennent à bout des politiques de santé publique et font en sorte que les organismes chargés de faire respecter la réglementation demeurent sous-financés. Ce sont là des comportements tellement banalisés qu’ils ne paraissent plus immoraux ou criminels, mais simplement inévitables.

Le refus de légiférer est mortel

Pour ce qui est de l’industrie automobile, le refus de respecter la réglementation a provoqué des morts, des maladies et des blessures qui auraient pu être évitées. Des années 1960 aux années 1980, les constructeurs se sont tout d’abord opposés à la mise en place de ceintures de sécurité, d’airbags de freins de meilleure facture et de meilleures normes d’émission. Pendant plus de quinze ans, les constructeurs américains ont réussi à faire obstacle à la réglementation imposant la mise en place d’airbags ou de ceintures de sécurité à fermeture automatique dans leurs automobiles.

Ce n’est qu’en 1986 que la Cour suprême a ordonné à la National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) de mettre en œuvre ces directives. Selon une étude publiée en 1988, ce retard aurait joué un rôle dans au moins 40.000 morts et un million de blessures et handicaps –soit par là même un coût de 17 milliards de dollars à la société.

Le refus d’appliquer la réglementation peut également tuer indirectement. Selon un récent rapport de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé, le nombre de morts dues à la pollution dans le monde est deux fois plus élevé qu’on ne le pensait. Et ce notamment en raison du rôle joué par de la pollution de l’air dans la mortalité d’origine cardiovasculaire. Aux Etats-Unis, l’automobile est l’une des principales sources de pollution, et les constructeurs américains refusent ou retardent la mise en place de normes d’émissions plus strictes.

Vous n’entendrez aucun dirigeant d’entreprise affirmer qu’il vaut mieux gagner de l’argent que sauver des vies humaines, mais leur action parlent pour eux. Les communicants des grands patrons semblent s’être passé le mot: lorsqu’un secret gênant est découvert, la stratégie est toujours la même: le PDG s’excuse platement et rapidement pour limiter au plus vite les dégâts. Mais accepter de voir les grandes sociétés et leurs alliés disposer d’un droit de veto sur les politiques de santé publique, c’est empêcher la prévention de nombreux décès, maladies et blessures sur le territoire américain.

Lors des récentes audiences consacrées à GM, le Congrès américain a eu raison de chercher à savoir qui (chez GM et à la NHTSA) savait quoi –et à quel moment ils l’ont appris. Mais il serait encore plus significatif de renforcer l’implication du gouvernement dans la protection de la santé publique –histoire de ne pas avoir à souffrir de ces problèmes pour cinquante années supplémentaires.

Le Congrès pourrait commencer par permettre à la NHTSA de faire correctement son travail, en lui allouant les ressources nécessaires. Pour 2014, cet organisme a reçu 10% de moins que la somme qu’il avait demandée. Le Congrès devrait également contrôler la mise en application des règles de sécurité par les organismes concernés, et le faire régulièrement –pas seulement lorsque l’existence d’un problème est révélée. Par ailleurs, lorsqu’il est prouvé qu’un dirigeant d’entreprise automobile a caché l’existence d’une anomalie, l’organisme chargé de la sécurité routière devrait être en mesure de le tenir responsable des morts et des décès qui en ont résulté. Au civil comme au pénal.

Nicholas Freudenberg

Traduit par Jean-Clément Nau

Voir enfin:

Profit Above Safety

 Slate
April 1, 2014

 

A design problem in a General Motors car contributes to dozens of automobile crashes and numerous deaths. Charging that the company failed to correct a known defect, lawyers file more than 100 lawsuits against the company. GM responds by hiring investigators to question the motives of its critics. Eventually, as congressional and media scrutiny increase, the head of GM apologizes for the company’s behavior. Sound familiar? You may have been reading about such a case over the past month. But actually, this story is from 1965 when Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, a book that charged General Motors with knowingly selling unsafe Corvairs and the auto industry as a whole with putting profit above safety.

Now almost 50 years later, why is the United States still struggling to ensure that cars companies make safe cars? And why must we still question whether regulatory agencies take their mandate to protect public health seriously? In 1966, the emerging consumer movement persuaded Congress to pass the National Highway Safety and Transportation Act to correct some of the abuses Nader had documented. In the decades since, car safety has improved, with United States motor vehicle death rates falling from 25.9 per 100,000 people in 1966 to 10.8 per 100,000 in 2012. This is a clear indication that regulations save lives. But other nations have done much better. According to the latest report from the International Transport Forum, a body that monitors global road safety, the auto death rate in the United States is more than three times higher than the rate in Sweden, a country that has made auto safety a priority. If the United States had achieved Sweden’s rate, in 2011 more than 20,000 U.S. automobile deaths would have been averted.

Since its inception, however, the auto industry has resisted regulation, failed to disclose problems, and refused to correct problems when they were detected. In the past few weeks, General Motors has recalled 1.6 million Cobalts and other small cars to repair defective ignition switches that have been associated with at least 12 deaths. The company had first learned of this and other defects a decade ago—in 2004, before the first Cobalt was released. On March 17th, Mary Barra, the chief executive of GM, observed, “Something went very wrong in our processes in this instance, and terrible things happened.”

In a separate action, General Motors has recalled 1.33 million sports utility vehicles because air bags failed to deploy after crashes. Another review of GM air bag failures from 2003 to 2012 found that they may have contributed to more than 300 deaths. GM is not alone in its safety problems. Toyota recently agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle federal criminal charges related to sudden acceleration of its vehicles.

For the past 50 years, too many corporate leaders in the auto industry as well as in the food, pharmaceutical, firearms, and other industries have chosen to follow the playbook written by the tobacco industry. They have challenged the evidence justifying regulation, exaggerated the economic costs of safer products, and used their political and financial clout to defeat public health policies and underfund the agencies charged with enforcement. These behaviors have become so normalized they seem inevitable rather than immoral or criminal.

In the case of the auto industry, resistance to regulation has caused preventable deaths, illnesses, and injuries. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the automobile industry initially opposed standard seatbelts, airbags, better brakes, and better emission standards. For more than 15 years, the U.S. auto industry successfully opposed regulations to require either airbags or automatically closing seat belts in automobiles. Finally, in 1986, the Supreme Court ordered the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to implement the rules. A 1988 study estimated this delay contributed to at least 40,000 deaths and 1 million injuries at a cost to society of more than $17 billion. The auto industry’s resistance to regulation kills people indirectly as well. Earlier this week, the World Health Organization released a report showing that global deaths from air pollution were twice as high as previously thought, largely through air pollution’s role in in cardiovascular deaths. In the United States, automobiles are a primary source of air pollution, and the auto industry has long opposed or delayed stricter emission standards.

No corporate executives will say publicly that they prefer profits to preventing deaths, even though their actions prove otherwise. The damage control advice of the day seems to be to encourage CEOs to make rapid and profuse apologies for corporate cover-ups after they are disclosed. But as long as the public tolerates allowing corporations and their allies to have veto power over public health policy, our nation will continue to experience preventable deaths and avoidable illness and injuries. In the hearings into GM this week, Congress is correct to pursue who in GM and the NHTSA knew what when. But the deeper task should be to strengthen the visible hand of government in protecting public health so we aren’t still facing this issue 50 years from now. As a first step, Congress should provide the highway safety agency with the resources needed to meet its mandates fully; in 2014, the agency received 10 percent less than it requested. Congress should also monitor agency enforcement of safety standards regularly, not just when defects are publicly disclosed. In addition, the safety agency should hold auto executives who fail to disclose defects criminally as well as civilly liable for the resulting deaths and injuries.