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Global Warming is Just Like the Y2K Bug!

The whole Copenhagen/ Climate Change is tediously boringly dominating the Australian news at the moment. Its right up there with the irritating Christmas carols in the malls. So you have to love the people who combined the two annoying things to come up with a rather good youtube video:

What gets me – is that we have all (most of us anyway) – have been there before – remember the y2k bug – the issue with the year “clicking over to “00” running computer programs first written in the 1960’s and therefore bring Western civilisation to its knees: nuclear power plants would melt down, electricity girds would fail, planes would crash mid-air as air traffic control systems failed. Most businesses in western countries spent billions of dollars on consultants and billions more on fixing the so-called problems. It was indeed an excellent time to be a computer consultant! Consumers hoarded water and vital supplies – y2k kits were popular Christmas presents for 2000 – perhaps they can be recycled for the forthcoming 2012 disaster?

The trouble was that it all sounded plausible to the non-computer programmer i.e. most politicians, journalists and CEO’s so they reacted to it.

Not every country bought into the y2k hysteria. Italy – said decided to pick up the pieces afterwards – they figured it would be cheaper. Guess what they had to fix – next to nothing! Notice how the lights kept working, the water kept flowing and the planes didn’t fall out of the sky?

I was looking forward to seeing the aftermath in the media – the examination of why so many peole were conned fo so much money – never happened though – never saw a sensible piece of discussion about why y2k didn’t happen.

And now its 2009 and global warming is a crises – sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting and its all the fault of  anthropogenic (man made) effects.  Don’t get me wrong – I do think the climate is changing –  if the climate stopped changing we would be serious trouble – Mars has a stable climate – no oceans = stable climate . Earth doesn’t – only 10,000 years ago Europe was covered in glaciers. Only 300 years ago the Thames routinely froze. Many people who were children in the 1930s in New Zealand remember long hot summers – they told me on rainy days in the 1970s when it was too cold to go to the beach. To this day I am unlikely to swim in Wellington again 🙁

Thw whole golval warming debate is a worse beat up than the y2k debacle – that at least had a a fixed end date! This could go on for years.  Its also complex and even climate scientists don’t understand how the atmosphere works in detail – look at how rubbish we are at predicitng weather! The climate is dynamic and changes – sure man effects the climate – the introduction of camels, horses, and other cloven hoofed animals to Australia – a country who had no animal with hard feet before the Europeans- has done irreparable damage to the country – just ask the people who were living there at the time! The  animals destroyed the top soil – the vegetation was destroyed and replaced – now there are bad dust stroms – cuased by man – certainly – caused by climate change – doubtful!

Is there drought in Australia? In the Murray Darling maybe  – in the north  where the fertile land is and the arms aren’t – no. Anyway you can’t tell unless you have at least a few hundred years of good quality data – wherei n the world has that? Nowhere.

Murray River @ Swan Hill, Victoria
Murray River in drought at Swan Hill, Victoria

Is sea level rising – maybe in Tuvalau and the Maldives  (or is the land sinking? the effect is the same for the local population but cap and trade regimes wouldn’t help them)- there is no record of it doing so in Australia. The beach I knew intimately as a child  in the 1970’s looks the same today.  On the other hand the whole shoreline changed dramatically in about a minute in 1841 – earthquakes have a much greater effect on coast lines than sea level. Venice has been sinking for  500 years – nothing to do with cows farting in the US – more to do with too many heavy buildings on poorly compacted footings and made worse by the amount of boat traffic in the lagoon.

So yes sorry – just felt liek a rant about how humans seem to require an inpending disaster to keep them interested in life! The world was going to end  on 31/12/999 – it didn’t – then on 31/12/1999 – it didn’t. Climate change doesn’t have an end date but according to Mayans 22/12/2012 – the end of time! So hows your business planning going for  the next few years!

62 replies on “Global Warming is Just Like the Y2K Bug!”

Without impending doom Hollywood would have nothing to base their summer blockbusters on. Are you trying to put that many worthy actors out of work? You big meanie!

I do think it would be good to pollute less, but yes I agree there is no way we can know what the climate is really up to.

Oh well if you put it like that … Actually I have no problem with Hollywood’s fascination with disaster movies – they at least know they are dealing fiction !

Lets put it like this, I wouldn’t buy nowadays a house that is not at least 200m over sea level. But more important for me than the discussion if and why climate change is happening is actually to get people and companies to treat earth better. Recycling, cutting down on carbon foot print, reducing emission / pollution is important, if you believe in climate change or not. As it was said so many times before: Lets not ruin this earth, we have only one 😉 SY

Oh I agree that not breathing heavy smoke every day is good thing to aim for – but the obvious solution to polluting power stations is nuclear – and that is not even being discussed – in fact if you look at the level of pollution in the past – we aren’t doing too bad. As far as having only one planet – I have every intention of getting off this planet before I die – have to make lots of $$ from this online caper to pay for it though 🙂

Have you ever read Robert Heinlein? One of his main protagonists is called Lazarus Long, one of his lines is
“When they start to invent passports, it’s time to move to another planet.”
Beam us up Scotty! SY

I didn’t know the quote nice! How’s the snow – bit of an oops all this crap cold weather across not just the Northern Hemisphere but down in NZ too – wheres the global warming I need it before I break out the thermal underwear

Snow is wonderful, we are enjoying the winter wonder land here! When do you come to visit us? SY
PS Seems I now also have my own page of comments on your blog 😉

Ooops sorry – I’ve added that site to the white list so the own page should disapear! Frankly I wouldn’t mind jumping on a plane tomorrow as the weather is so crap here – but my partner who just started a 6 month contract today may miss me. However European autumn this year is looking quite likely – waiting to see if my brother stays in Eire for another year or not

I am off to walk the Camino Santiago again in October, any other time of autumn / fall would work fine. Unless you want to walk also of course 😉 SY
PS Thanks for the white listening, looks great now!

I’d love to walk the camino – are you going the whole way? I’ve been hankering to do it since the last time I was in Spain

Yes, reducing the amount of pollution is a good thing – fresh air would be greta – but on the other side it is making a lot of people rich at the process. Why to hit so heavy on the global warming right now? It has stopped, and just like BANS and ND and other shit you will have to milk it before it’s banned! Think about those big companies that started investing on technology like hybrid cars etc a while back when this all started – they’ll have to get their money back somehow. We are going getting -10 degrees celcius here, and in the northern part of the country it will be -30 next week – if they get their forecasts at correct. Where’s the warming? It’s much colder here than in the past few winters…

People are so in to the media hype that you can easily change the minds of millions with a good marketing plan. Think about what Hitler did – okay well a bad example here. The same thing is happening with the swine flu – at least here. I just wish I would have had the money and the wisdom to buy Roche (the manufacturer of Tamiflu) and Glaxo Smith Kline (making a huge part of the swine influenza vaccines) stocks in the spring! I would be rich as Griz at the moment. Wouldn’t be passive income but heck all money is welcome!

Phil and I don’t have a problem reducing pollution – in fact I think the internal combustion engine in cars must be close to the end of its cycle – plugin electrics could work so well in so many places – especially those countries who are currently dependent on imported oil. But because the politicians are obessessed with the wrong so call causes they will no doubt get a lot of the solutions wrong. I booked air tickets the other day – there is an airline inviting me to give them more money for “carbon offsets” – truely extrarodinary marketing if people do that – hmmm wonder if I could do carbon offset on an ebook….

Apparently now the US is having problems getting people to sign up for the swin flu vaccination – less than 6 months aqgo it was going to end civilisation by Xmas – now Australia and the rest of the southern hemisphere came thru unscathed – in fact fewer deaths than your average flu season (probably because of the heightend awareness).

Lis,
I know this isn’t politically correct, but I can’t stand winter and eagerly await the advent of global warming. I look forward to seeing palm trees and lush tropical vegetation – flora and fauna – growing where I live because I much prefer it to brown, grey slush, naked bare trees, bitter winds that slap you in the face, icey roads and dead twigs.
I remember Y2K. Hilarious. Made a lot of money but had to cancel some of my own plans. Waste of time that was.

totally agree with you on that Online! We don’t do snow in NZ (well not off the ski fields) – but we certainly don’t have what I would call summer either – been saying for years – Wellington would be truely awesome place to live if the avg temp went up 5 degrees!

It’s good that you are attacking a real scam this time – maybe the biggest of our lifetimes. Yes this scam can go on for years, maybe even decades.

Lis, do you mean I actually have to keep working for my goals because the world isn’t going to end in 2012? Man, and I was going to totally sluff off next year (that was my New Year’s Resolution). I guess John Cusak lied to me, lol. Well time to get back to work then…

Well you kow on the off chance – I can offer you a deal – sell me all your property and assets for 50c on the $1 on about 1 Dec 2012 – then you can party hard and go out happy … Just a thought …

Some people will say that global warming does not exist as their flesh burns. I side with reason on this one. All the pollution from the world has to go somewhere. And just as the ozone layer protects against the incoming, it also prevents the outgoing.

I didn’t say that the world may not be warming -though there is no evidence of it my home country – the climate has always changed – that’s called nature. You’re not siding with reason – you are not understanding at complex bit of science which is at best mixed evidence – unfortunatly politicians can’t understand complex ideas so the message gets dumbed down! Meanwhile if Wellington his 30C this summer I will be impressed!

Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence of climate change where I’m staying. The past few years have been noticeably warmer than when I was a child. The monsoon (rainy) seasons have also changed. We used to have consistent heavy rain during the North East Monsoon (usually Oct – Mar) and South West Monsoon (usually May – Sept) with intermittent light rain in the evenings when not in the monsoon seasons. The past few years, this is no longer the case – Both Monsoons have been unreasonably dry. Ditto with the in-between seasons. Even with irrigation, it can’t be good for agriculture.

W.r.t temperature, it’s 30C as I’m typing this. This is actually pretty cool, for quite a few months (May to Oct IIRC) I’d been sweating through 32C to 34C where I’m staying.

>> the climate has always changed

While climate can be expected to change, these changes normally take centuries unless something catastrophic happens – like a massive volcanic eruption (Krakatoa in 1883 comes to mind – it caused a drop of 1.2 degrees Celsius).

>> complex bit of science which is at best mixed evidence

Mixed evidence or not, something bad is clearly happening. Personally, I don’t think Copenhagen is going to achieve anything. A brief glance at human history would tell anyone that. Action a decade ago when the evidence started coming to light might have achieved something, but it is now too little too late. Rather than waste scarce resources on prevention, it might be more worthwhile to spend those resources on damage control. I personally expect the shit to hit the fan in the next few decades with lots of social upheaval, violent crime, chaos and unrest. For my part, I’m getting myself some (unarmed) martial arts training for a start. If I can start earning enough cash, I’ll probably move to a country which allows me to learn how to shoot guns (and own them). IMO, it’s not paranoia, just looking at and learning from history – whenever weather conditions cause food shortage, unrest always happens. Even if the worst does not happen, I still gain – after all, more exercise can only help me to reduce my nearly 40-inch waistline 😉

@Calvin – I am 47 – I grew up in the 60s and 70s – I never expected to live past 30 – I certainly thought it irresponsible to have children – as many of my generation did – why? We expected the nuclear war betwen the West and the East which really would have destroyed most of the world – and/or left nothing much worth living for – being in NZ at the time I reasonably expected to probably survive the initial blasts. I sat in London in 1989 with tears running down my face as I watched the Berlin war came down – I and everyone else had a future …

I don’t think that was an unreasonable fear at the time- the declassified documents from incidents such as the Bay of Pigs – support that view. Sure Iran may try blow itself and or its neighbours up as may well North Korea – but it wouldn’t leave most of Western Europe and large parts of North America a nuclear desert – the world is a whole lot safer place than its ever been in my lifetime.

Climate change has always created winners and losers – and yes it can happen even without a specific event. South Australia in the 1860s had very high rainfall – so high the colonials thought that the country in the Flinders ranges would make great sheep country. By the time the settlers came in the 1870s (I may be a decasde or so out there) the rain had stopped – the area is now classified as semi-arid – the sheep died first – the lucky people got out with nothing – the other’s died along with their sheep. The area is a beautiful national park with some stunning desert scenary – butyou would never mistake if for agricultural now. The point is that a decade or so of records is absolutely nothing to base long-term decisions on.

Ha, I love it. Until Fargo is above freezing in the winter I don’t think we have to worry about anything. Currently -8F w/o windchill (-20F) and only December. Their is plenty of cold to go around.

LOL Josh – its chilly here in Perth today – only 28C – after 39C yesterday! Relatively its actually quite cool!

I agree that Y2K was hyped up, the media is always looking for something juicy, but I would like to add that a big part of the reason that it was a non-event is because engineers like myself (working for IBM at the time) worked 60 – 70 hour weeks to fix the problems before they hit…..it might have been a good time for independent computer consultants, but not for us guys on a fixed salary…it sucked! 🙂

Yeah I was on a fixed salary at the time too – though the downside was that 2000-2001 the computing contracting industry collapsed at a lot fo those big earners were without contracts for several years! The reality is though most of those problems weren’t worth fixing – would have been cheaper to pick up the pieces later – Italy conclusively proved that.

Same here – fixed salary pulling unpaid OT to find and fix Y2K bugs. Were they worth fixing? Some of them definitely were – for example the software used by customs to make sure immigrants and foreign workers had their visas. While it would not have mattered to the (non-US) government, many of those unfortunate people at the customs checkpoints would have been in bad straits.

Not to mention that not fixing some of those software could have caused dirty data to enter into the database(s) and caused a cascade of failures across the board. Cleaning up all that data would have been a horror.

In the end it probably depended on the degree of computerization as well as the competence of the design/coding of all those software. High degree of computerization + low quality design/programming –> high impact of Y2K.

You know the really interesting thing Calvin (non geeks look away now) – most of the Australian banks did NOT replace their core systems. Their mainframe systems dates from late 1960s and are written in Cobol – most – to this day – do not run on databases – just flat files. My partner was working for one of the banks at the time – they never did any significant y2k work on the backend stuff – it was just too hard. Guess what broke – nothing…

Actually, Lis, in my case, the older software were largely OK too. IIRC, most of the problem cases were the software coded in the mid to late 1990s – all those stuff written in VB, Oracle D2K, Oracle RDBMS), Java, etc.

By the time I left, I worked there 2 years (and learned a lot about professionalism as well as effective CYA and taking responsibility). Throughout most of my time there, and even a few years after, there was talk of replacing the older systems (the non-relational DBs by CA), but nothing ever happened. Quite fortunate, really.

Looking back, I suspect it’s because the older systems were developed by (relative) veterans under strong oversight who were loyal to their customers (i.e. the place where I worked signed their paychecks directly). The newer stuff, OTOH, were largely coded by fresh graduates like myself on one or two year contracts hired by outsourcing vendors. In other words, the customer did not sign my paycheck, someone else did.

Unfortunately for the customer, most of my programming was learned on the job, without formal training, facilitated only by my minimal programming experience gleaned from one semester of Pascal (from the Introduction to Programming course) and one semester of C and UNIX (which I nearly flunked).

Fortunately for me (and my later employers), after one decade in IT, I became pretty good at Java and competent at UNIX scripting. This is a pretty good example of “practice makes perfect”. As long as you keep an open mind and seek new knowledge, you can get pretty good at something if you do it long enough. If it applies for IT, it certainly applies for IM and for writing articles. This is one of the things that keeps me going despite repeated failures. One year ago, writing a 300 word article required significant effort. Now, trying to keep my articles under 600 words requires considerable effort and editing. Most of my articles nowadays come in the 700 to 1000 word range. Examples of these are the monster-sized comments I leave on your blog.

Too right about practice/perfect thing – I can write an article in under 15 minutes it its just a 400 word one for a directory – and it will be word perfect too -even my spelling has imporved hugely! I take the hint about the long comments …

Yep. Many US banks and other large businesses still use COBOL in the back end. In spite of the comments modern whiz kids like to toss around about archaic languages, there has never been a feature for feature replacement. COBOL does natively what you can re-write in any other language, but it takes effort, re-inventing the wheel. And when, say, two banks both use COBOL and partner on some business, the fractions of a cent on billion dollar deals will always match … banks do seem to enjoy balanced books.

In 2012 the Kyoto Protocol to prevent climate changes and global warming runs out. To keep the process on the line there is an urgent need for a new climate protocol. At the conference in Copenhagen 2009 the parties of the UNFCCC meet for the last time on government level before the climate agreement need to be renewed.

Kyoto has never been siged by the biggest polluters e.g. US, Australia, China – and you miss my point – you are ASSUMING that there is a link between man-made pollution and climate change

Oh I am selling up in early Dec – gonna party likes its 19 99 🙂 Yeah 2012 is an interesting one – a load of nonsense of course – but maybe some money to be made from the idiots

I have actually a nice 2012 related domain, seriously thinking what kind of content to put on that one to make the most out of it, perhaps a bit of common sense / writing up on all the 2012 scams around? SY

Therefore the Climate Conference in Copenhagen is essential for the worlds climate and the Danish government and UNFCCC is putting hard effort in making the meeting in Copenhagen a success ending up with a Copenhagen Protocol to prevent global warming and climate changes.

If you seriously believe that any international agreement as poltical as Copenhagen will achieve anything you really, genuinely naive – remember Kyoto?

As you insightfully pointed out, Y2K was ny far the greatest thing that has ever happened to the IT industry. More peple got more new computers that year than at any time before or since. And handgun sales in Decemebr 1999 were out of site.

For those who still want to profit from the coming bad times … with a defined date and time … not like those Global Warming Nancy boys (sorry Al) who have no idea when it might happen … be sure to join my Y10K consultancy Group. You think Y2K was risky?

Every date-based device is going to crap out at midnight, 31 December 9999. Even your iPhone abd (shudder) your Crackberry.

You may think the morning of 1 January 10,000 is a long way of, but it’s never to early to plan for disaster. It’s only a few days more than 7990 years left to go … invest now .. your progeny (or your dog’s progeny) will be glad you acted in time.

Y10K, the End of Mankind as We Know It … Act Now, It’s Later Than You Think!

LOL Dave – I love your long-term view on life – I assume from this you are planning on surviving the coming end of the world in December 2012?

I’m planning on a short term insurance consortium to solve that one … 2012. Insurance cures everything, doesn’t it? Just ship an ounce or two of .999 gold (how much you send determines how well you will survive, be generous to yourself …) to my escrow account, maintained by my solicitors, Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. No need for paperwork and contracts, they’ll all be swept away in the coming disaster anyway … once we receive you gold premium payment, we’ll send you your unique tattoo logo pattern that you can get inked onto your forehead before 2012. (You’ll also get a coupon for a free tattoo removal in 2013, if you act within 24 hours … hurry, time is limited)

I’m not just going to survive 2012, I going to profit from it 😉

Dave – I am trying to clean a flat so that I can leave the country and get my bond back – stop being so darn distacting! You might want to google the guy who promises to send your note to your nearest and dearest who don’t get saved during the imminant rapture! BTW you should look at using the Perth mint – your gold is safe here – its government guaranteed!

I’m glad there are other people out there like me that think this whole ‘global warming’ thing is crap. The earth goes through NATRUAL cycles of warming and cooling. With that being said, I’m all about living greener and cleaner!

The earth has undergone natural cycles in temperature and weather for thousands of years. ‘Climate change’ and ‘Global Warming’ are simply a means by which Governments can increase taxation on their subjects without having to justify them.

The trouble is that global warming gets so much press that there is no reasoned debate now. It’s lierally turned into the believers and the non believers. When did global warming become a religion?

Its got insane = here in NZ we had big headlines – last decade hottest on record, confirms warrming trend – even one of the other local newspapers pointed out that the average increase of 0.0001 / degree meant nothing in terms of experimental error and the fact that the 90’s were cooler than the 70’s hardly made one result a trend! Apparently according to workplace discrimination people you have the right to “believe” in global warming and not be laughed at – says it all really!

Can’t deny that global warming is not happening. There are people who think it is absolutely false. I just think 2012 is phony and ridiculous. That is some crazy fortune teller stuff!

I do think the planet will survive – it will adjust just like after the ice age or any other time. It just depends on how it will change and whether we can accept that (e.g which species will survive and which will not). I have to say it does seem common sense to me that pollution can’t be good for the environment or human health. For example, everytime I go to a city I feel tired, and get a sore throat – I believe that’s directly from the pollution – partly because I’m not so used to it.

Global warming – more like Global lieing !
The research scientists are just distorting their figures so they can receive even more grants.
I see their latest lies are being uncovered regarding them incorrectly associating global warming to a rise in natural disasters.

Yes I hadn’t missed that bullshite about global warming creates more earthquakes – as a geologist that is a beyond stupid statement – its up there with the tooth fairy will bring you money!

heh, good post, i don’t know if it is quite as much bull as y2k but it is definitely something that we aren’t completely sure about and we should wait and see before we make grand claims.

I was concerned about y2k, and I am glad I was. Now I have food storage and backup power generation,ie piece of mind.

As far as global warming, it’s easy to see that the planet’s temperature fluctuates. It’s also easy to see (if you look at the scientific evidence) that man’s activities have little to nothing to do with that fluctuation. All you have to do is examine the two graphs, temperature and CO2, that Al Gore used in his propaganda piece TOGETHER, instead of side by side, and you will see that there is a relationship between CO2 and temperature. CO2 follows temperature by 200 to 300 years.

One has to wonder why Mr. Gore did not point that out. Actually two words explain the whole global warming hoax: profit motive.

Almost anytime that anyone wants to regulate you for “your own benefit” it is helpful to follow the money. That way you can get to the real motivation. And it’s rarely for “your own benefit.” It’s about taking from one and giving to another.

Snow is wonderful; we are enjoying the winter wonder land here! When do you come to visit us?
PS Seems I now also have my own page of comments on your blog

Yadda yadda yadda. We’ve had the coldest winter in England for 30 years but still the global warmists won’t admit they’re wrong.
Has anyone else noticed that we we sceptics are being referred to increasingly as ‘global warming deniers’ ? You can guess what the subtext of that is can’t you ?

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