On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

February 24, 1999 Permalink

Here is a y2k e-mail letter that says my views are . . . you will not believe this . . . extreme.

Yes, extreme.

The report begins with an assumption: the utilities will all stay up. No evidence offered, just hope. It’s a happy thought. I hope he’s right. I need more evidence. That’s what my Web site is about: evidence.

Then he says the masses may find my Web site and panic. Right. The masses.

Look, folks, the masses are just like your brother-in-law. They don’t know, and they don’t care.

And if the masses find the Web some day, and they then find my Web site, it will jam up. They won’t get to read it. So have no fear: the masses will not be frightened into panic by my Web site.

I think the critic is bothered more by what’s on my Web site than by who may read it.

So, sit down and think about this scenario: the banks are closed, the power is off, water is not flowing, and this has been going on for 60 days. Describe New York City. Describe Mexico City. Describe Tokyo. Describe Dallas. Describe Los Angeles. (No water. Los Angeles.)

Western Civilization or chaos?

If you assume away my causation, and then conclude that my scenario is too grim, fine. It’s a nice mental exercise.

The question is: What is the evidence for a reliable power grid? Solvent banks? Embedded chips that don’t go bump in the night?

One more time: I have not said that the power grid must fail. I have said that I don’t see evidence why it can’t. I am planning accordingly. This has been a matter of public record for a long time. For evidence, click here.

I must respond to this:

“However, unless we have extensive power grid failure (and it isn’t an all or nothing bet like Gary North might have you believe), I think the Gary North worst case scenario is a very low probability scenario.”

If the absence of electrical power worldwide is not an all-or-nothing bet, then what is? If the power goes off and stays off, what will survive?

You can have a failure of water delivery and still have electrical power. What city would survive a cut-off of water and sewers? So, my scenario is not 100% dependent on electrical power going off. But surely if it does, there will be no water or banking or fuel. There will be little food.

Most people think that power will stay on. They are betting their lives on this. But please, in the name of dark homes and burning cities, don’t try to pretend that this society will not collapse if the power goes off and stays off. We have delegated our life-support systems to computerized power companies.

—Gary North, garynorth.com, 02/24/99

I’ve got some news from the cold country. I live in the fastest growing suburb in the state of Minnesota--just outside St. Paul-- (I KNOW, I KNOW), and a funny thing happened to me at the fireplace store today.

My husband and I were checking out woodburning fireplaces (found a great one that heats the *entire* home with no drafting)--and the salesman casually mentioned, “Say, you wouldn’t be looking for an alternative heat source for Y2k, would you?”

Needless to say, we were *surprised* to hear anyone up here mention *that* word, but we looked him right in the eye and said, “Yes, why?”

He was a pretty nice guy--very open about things--and he said, “Well, our “woodburning” stove/fireplace business has increased FIVE FOLD over the past 6 months. We get at least 15 phone calls a day just asking questions about Y2k and heating options. I’m expecting a big rush in July or August. Come September, I don’t think people will be able to get these stoves or fireplaces.” I asked him if that was because the manufacturers would not be able to keep up with demand, and he said, “No, it’s because there is just not enough of the *stack* materials to go around.” So people may get the stove--but no stack to install it with!

Needless to say, we’re buying a fireplace this weekend! :>) More people are preparing *quietly* than I thought. This guy also said he’s expecting a panic towards the end of the year. I thought this information was interesting because this is a very upscale neighborhood (3M territory)--golfcourses everywhere--and it seems people are waking up. Can’t wait till September....

—Scarlett, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 02/24/99

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