The 400 PPM FUD Factory: T-shirts now available

400PPM_FUDSteve Milloy at JunkScience points out what is above the fold in the NYT today – FUD

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

Here’s his scan of the front page at right:

Readers may recall my post What 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere looks like where I presented a meme to help people understand that 400 PPM is just a number. A lot of interest was expressed on this thread about t-shirts.

You ask, I provide, in a choice of sizes, styles, and colors:

I_survived_400PPM_tshirt

Order yours here on your favorite garment, mug, or bag here:

http://www.cafepress.com/WattsUpWithThat

UPDATE: I get email showing me that one of the haters has come up with a t-shirt design. this is from “Sou” (no real name given).

She seems genuinely happy that in her world view that her children will die.  How sick.

About these ads

114 thoughts on “The 400 PPM FUD Factory: T-shirts now available

  1. Is that how the Times normally prints “CO2″? In the headline, it looks like “C02″ (C-zero-two).

  2. People pay $ 2.50 for the NYT . . ? Can we say a world full of Forrest Gumps? Might make us mow the lawn more often but not much else. Will we see more Polar Bears swimming?

  3. I love these magic numbers : the speed of sound, where aircraft reaching that number of miles per hour will immediately disintegrate, or during the early days of motoring, when a speed of 100 miles per hour would kill you (lack of oxygen). Proof that people are really stupid and/or gullible.

  4. “…the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere ” – poor old water vapour; always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

  5. @Bob works just fine for me. Might be a browser issue, as it requires a modern browser with plugins enabled to visit.

  6. “The level of the most important heat trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide….” Why is carbon dioxide the “most important”, who decided that? Just more spin!

  7. Thankyou , Thankyou, Thankyou for the T. One is for the UK, one is going to Oz. I’ve ordered a mug just to rub my village Greeny’s nose in it. The Sceptics, united, will never be defeated!

    • Problem is on your end. Try a different browser with plugins/flash/java enbaled

  8. arthur4563 says:
    May 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I love these magic numbers : ….. or during the early days of motoring, when a speed of 100 miles per hour would kill you (lack of oxygen). Proof that people are really stupid and/or gullible.
    ============================================
    Arthur, I’ll see your 100mph and raise you 15mph.
    “Thundering along at previously unimaginable speeds, early steam locomotives were a frightening prospect for their Victorian passengers. Before the opening of the first major railway line, the Liverpool & Manchester in 1830, there were fears it would be impossible to breathe while travelling at such a velocity, or that the passengers’ eyes would be damaged by having to adjust to the motion.”

    http://www.historyextra.com/railway

    But not stupid in the main. Probably gullible, the average Joe hasn’t sufficient knowledge or education to recognise the snake oil.

  9. w*rks just fine for me w/Firefox, once i told the script blocker it was ok to let them run on that page.

  10. Linkie for t-shirts working fine on Fox,and IE7.And as for the clowns worried about 400ppm,lets cut them to 0.

  11. “I see no reason why 400 PPM should ever be forgot.”

    I see no reason why one would ever bother remembering. Its meaningless and pointless.

    403.17 on the other hand… !

  12. Above the fear, uncertainty, doubt headline, and above the $2.50 price tag is the weather report calling for cooler temperatures, and confirming the lack of drought.

  13. The climate fear media continue their propaganda campaign trying to push completely ineffective and unnecessary regulations down our throats to fulfill their fantasy visions of controlling fossil fuels while demanding the use of costly and unreliable renewables.
    Climate alarmists are now desperate because of the clearly flawed performance of IPCC models which failed miserably in global temperature projections and grossly exaggerated increasing trends. Satellite and high altitude balloon data are well established over long periods and
    have proven that water vapor in the atmosphere is not increasing contrary to climate alarmists claims with this outcome showing that IPCC models will project too high increases in global temperatures because positive feedback due to water vapor is not happening.
    NOAA and NASA tide gauge and satellite data show no acceleration in global sea level rise again proving climate alarmists claims otherwise are wrong.
    Neither tornadoes or land fall hurricanes have increasing trends and in fact the U.S. is experiencing some of the lowest numbers of tornadoes in history along with record long intervals since a major hurricane has reached our shores all of which are completely contrary to alarmists claims.
    CO2 emissions in both the U.S. and Europe continue to decline with neither of these regions contributing any increases to global CO2 emissions which are completely dominated by the developing nations lead by China and India.
    The European ETS cap and tax schemes are failing with economic challenges in this region likely controlling that no additional meddling will be allowed to try and rescue this contrived program.
    Nothing is going the way of climate alarmists which is why the media has become increasingly desperate and shrill in trying to create new fronts in their phoney and contrived battle over climate alarmism.

  14. “portending”; what a word.
    No wonder its usage is limited.
    Hate to waste a word like that, with overuse.

  15. Its not the 400PPM of CO2 that I am afraid of…. I am terrified that the remainder of the atmospheric gases have now dropped down below 999,600 PPM.

    I predict that when all the other gases, combined, drop to less that 999,580 PPM all sorts of terrible things will begin to be predicted to happen in the near future; and that unless/until we all pool our collective resources to stop it, the non CO2 portion of the atmospheric gasses will drop to 999,560 ppm.

  16. “400 ppm, it’s the new 350!!!”

    A good new slogan for the emotionally damaged 350.org cadres/believers.

  17. Its just like the doomsday peopel.

    When nothing happens one year, they just say , “oh , we meant next year”

    Its a joke and a fart.

  18. Anthony Watts says: “@Bob works just fine for me. Might be a browser issue…”

    That was it. I changed over to my other browser and presto! All sorts of goodies for sale.

    Thanks.

  19. AndyG55 says: May 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    …Its a joke and a fart.

    You were thinking of the NYT headline “Heat Trapping Gas Passes”

  20. Sorry. Not classy enough. My favorite t-shirt is heavy, heavy white with a thick black collar and black *cap* sleeves…. (It’s a pit bull with pearls and lipstick…): Pit Bulls for Palin

    I can dress it up, or play it down. I’d like one, but…. …Lady in Red

  21. Rid’n that train.

    High on cocaine.

    Casey Jones you better … watch yo speed.

    Troubles a-head ! ….

    Troubles be-hind ! ….

    Don’t ja know I think I … just lost my mind. ~~~~~

    :D

  22. @lady in red

    You can order the design on a shirt, made specifically for women, in a style just like that. Go to the cafepress website link and you’ll see how you can choose the shirt style (see the color selector).

  23. It’s a foolish error to focus especially on Y2K. Y2K was a real and potentially dangerous problem, largely fixed by the dedicated work of thousands of relatively junior IT people carrying out a mind-numbingly boring and thankless task. It had little to do with the roll over from 1999 to 2000: problems occurred both before and after that, arguably the most serious in 2010.

    See this: http://fm2x.com/The_Century_Date_Change_Problem.pdf

    Getting this wrong risks damaging the sceptic position.

  24. guenier, The Y2K bug was a lot of misleading news reporting. In order for software to have a Y2K problem several things must be true: (1) The software uses BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) for dates and only uses 2 digits for the year. Unix and the MAC OS encodes the date as a binary number and did NOT suffer from the Y2K problem. (2) The software must make use of a date to function. For example, if the software does not care what the date is, like a Word Processor, it does not matter.

    Some software did need to be fixed, BUT the scope of the problem was far less that what the news media made it sound like and we never passed the point of no return. Even though many reporters kept saying it up to a year before the Y2K bug. In the case of an embedded system, setting the date back 28 years made the system work correctly as far as the day of the week.

    In many ways, the 400 PPM is like the Y2K bug, the scope of the problem is exaggerated endlessly by the news media.

  25. Bob Diaz is right, the Y2K bug was about as big a problem as Alar on apples, or killer bees. Or for that matter, 0.04% CO2.

  26. guenier says May 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    It’s a foolish error to focus especially on Y2K. Y2K was a real and potentially dangerous problem, …

    Right. Like banks hadn’t addressed the issue when generating (for printouts) mortgage and amortization / repayment schedules (into the FUTURE for years unto DECADES) and the like. WOW. I derided it then and I’m deriding it now … sry.

    .

  27. AndyG55 says:
    May 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm
    oops, I meant “farce”… freudian slip, perhaps.

    Andy, very good. Your typical ‘farce’ is made up of 30% Nitrogen, 20% Hydrogen, 20% Methane, 9% Oxygen, 1% Odour . . . . and 20% CO2. Now that’s good inspiration for a T-Shirt . . . .

    “Human ‘Bottom-Burps’ (Flatulence) emit 20% CO2. OMG!!! That’s 200,000 ppm!”

    Oh, and It’s reassuring that, according to the sensational news spin in the New York Times, that we’re now called ‘Climate Change Contrarians’. Has a less hostile appeal than being branded ‘Denier’. See 3rd from last paragraph.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html?ref=global-home

  28. Bob Diaz says May 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    In the case of an embedded system, setting the date back 28 years made the system work correctly as far as the day of the week. …

    In the case of 99.999% of the ‘embedded’ uC applications, the uP and the application could give a flip if the date was wrong, mangled or off by a century or a millennia. The date, if any, was used for administrative purposes or reporting functions, not intrinsic in operation or as an operational parameter. Many of the basic uP of the day may (indeed, did, in their support chip set at least e.g. the Z80 CTC chip) have contained within them timers, but these were millisecond-resolution scale timers whose function was more often than not used for timed interrupts or interval measurement for process or immediate operational control. The embedded day/date ‘time’ chips of the day (by the likes of Dallas Semiconductor and the like) also operated on two digits; it was assumed the embedded app could handle (or didn’t care) about the century; if upper echelon data processing couldn’t ‘figure out’ what possible century the ‘data’ was being reported from, there are bigger issues in the IT or data processing organization that need addressing (like ‘applying common sense’) …

    .

  29. Mike McMillan says May 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    You were thinking of the NYT headline “Heat Trapping Gas Passes”

    heh

    The brain read that as: “Heat-Trapping Gas-Passers” (the NYTimes staff et al) …

    .

  30. @Ritchard Howes : 420 is OK I agree, but my driver is 460. But thanks to all of you some of the comments are great!

  31. CO2 ppm is more like the doomsday cults than Y2k..

    At least Y2K was a possible theoretical issue.

    Doomsday and CO2…….. pure imaginitis. !!

    Nothing untoward happened at 350.

    Nothing untoward happened at 400,

    and nothing untoward will happen at 450,500, 550, 600 etc.

    Just more plant growth. and I don’t really see a problem with that..

    except it means I have to mow more often. Or get a goat.

  32. Where can I get some of that heat-trapping gas? I’ll never have to use my boiler ever again.

  33. It was in USA Today on April 24:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/04/24/carbon-dioxide-keeling-curve-global-warming/2110445/

    The plausibility of the claim rests on CO2 measurement from Mauna Loa back to 1958, and before that only CO2 concentrations from IPCC-certified ice core measurements (which are moving averages and therefore smoothed).

    Otherwise there are literally thousands of chemical measurements – error < 3% – which clearly show that CO2 had surpassed 400 ppmv in the 1820s and 1930s:

    http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

    Likewise, CO2 measurements based on stomata show concentrations above 400 ppmv less than 5 mil. years go:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

    So it is just another “news alert” based on the “we-ignore-data-that-does-not-fit-our-theory”.

  34. My goodness, this Co2 alarmism has become worse than religion… it is now bordering on cult status!

    Why don’t these poor sorry pessimistic ‘carbon-based life forms’ join us optimists and educate themselves on all the beneficial effects of having more Co2 in the atmosphere instead of living in a constant state of depression?

  35. Phillip Bratby says:
    May 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm
    Where can I get some of that heat-trapping gas? I’ll never have to use my boiler ever again.

    Answer: In the UK, if you go into any one of the fabulous newly refurbished Morrisons Supermarkets, there’s plenty of free man-made CO2 for the taking. It’s flows beautifully in dry ice format over the salad vegetables to extend and preserve product shelf-life. It works, the incredible variety of lettuce remain crisp and the whole effect looks spectacular. Bag it up and take it home. And it’s all man-made.

    Talking of supermarkets, according to their web site, Waitrose boast that “Of the total electricity used in our stores, 97% of it is from renewable sources such as wind, water power, biomass and landfill gas.” Er, how?????. Do they have an exclusively private power cable coming in to each of their 300 stores nationwide – which cleverly eliminates all electricity generated from the UK’s coal, nuclear or gas power stations – especially when the wind isn’t blowing? Wow, this is a technological breakthrough! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shopping at Waitrose – but I do think their ‘green agenda’ of late may do them a disservice.

  36. Anthony, my suggestion was for you to send a nice tee to Mikey Mann to celebrate the day and that magical u400, but I don’t think I recall him personally thanking you, Josh and Kenji for the calendar. So until he shows he can man up and show some very basic and proper courtesird I have to withhold my suggestion.
    cn

  37. AndyG55 said @ May 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Or get a goat.

    You’d be better off with sheep (at least two; they like company). Goats are primarily browsers (think prize roses and other valuable shrubs) rather than grazers.

  38. PG,
    All I have is a whole patch of deep grass, no roses and certainly no valuable shrubs.
    guess it comes down as to which is most edible. ! :-)

    Interesting thought…. do lambs eat mint ….yummm !

  39. Andy, it depends on how you want your lawn to look. Goats are very picky eaters, so you don’t get anything like the close-clipped lawn a sheep will give you. More like someone dragged your lawn through a hedge backwards. Dunno if lambs eat mint, though they taste very good with mint :-)

    Thanks for the link BTW. I’d not seen it.

  40. Bob Diaz / dbstealey / Jim:

    Y2K was essentially (but not entirely) a problem affecting very large “legacy”, often interconnected, software systems utilised by major long-established organisations. There were some problems affecting PCs, embedded chips etc. but they were mostly trivial and easily resolved. And, yes, the media as usual indulged in wild prediction: “planes will fall from the sky” etc. Nonetheless, the basic problem was real and, had it been ignored, would have caused serious problems. Here’s an extract from the introduction to a technical paper** published in September 1997 by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel (the epitome of caution and sober commonsense) and addressed to central banks worldwide:

    “Failure to address this issue in a timely manner would cause banking institutions to experience operational problems or even bankruptcy and could cause the disruption of financial markets.”

    Fortunately, it was (almost entirely) fixed.

    “I survived Y2K – because it was recognised in time and people got on and fixed it” is not, I suggest, a useful comment on CAGW.

    ** http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs31.htm

  41. I am one of those people who while working for a large multi-national and a couple of other organisations worked on converting the code (some of it COBOL) so that there were no Y2K problems and the work started well before the year 2000. While working on the issue I was privy to a number of issues that had been identified and solved before the date. Some were simple like elevators going to the ground floor. Others were like the electrical distribution network nodes in the US that all had to be updated otherwise they would have failed or some aircraft software that would have caused flight issues. It what was probably the biggest concerted worldwide effort by many nationalities on many countries working on a single issue. The work was put in and on the day there was still some problems but many were minor. Most of the work was done behind the scenes, not advertised nor the potential problems broadcast. Tests were made and the problems observed then just without any fuss fixed. To belittle this work and the results like some here have does a serious disservice to those that put in the work and puts the scoffers in the same category as the ‘Warmists’ that these same people regularly criticise in these pages (often quite validly) i.e. you simply don’t know what you’re writing about.

  42. James Hein says:
    May 12, 2013 at 3:20 am
    “I am one of those people”

    James, I was as well. The comparison is about the media panic, not about the nature of the problem, which in the case of Y2K was real but minor, and in the case of CO2AGW not clear. (We should give the scientists some more time to come up with useful predictions, and until they’re ready, gag them and keep them away from journalists and prohibit them from writing alarmist books. And fire the ones that demand a wholesale transformation of the world economy, as they are not scientists at all. Thinking of a certain Bavarian there.)

    That being said, the Y2K media panic was before 2000, the CO2AGW media panic culminated in 2007, and while young people are still constantly bombarded and indoctrinated with warmism the only effect it has on them is that it solidifies their impression that their ancestors are complete morons.

    The current media panic is of course the final cramps of our 42 year old monetary system. Where the nature of the problem is again real but minor.

  43. Chuck Nolan, I think Mann could handle a free t-shirt. Although it wouldn’t be “flashy”, it could be “widely distributed”…

    Guys, didn’t we beat the Y2K stories to death a few days back? Yes, potential, yes disaster averted, yes lots of us made good money doing little or nothing for panicked people who don’t understand that most embedded chips usually don’t care even a little bit about the date…

  44. Close, Anthony. I’m looking for timeless, something that will last me as the ice age creeps forward…. A line worthy of George Carlin or Margaret Thatcher — or Dorothy Parker. A t-shirt that slams the AGW crowd not just as a difference of opinion, but one with so much panache they cringe. And a t-shirt design large and clear enough to be understood from across a room.

    Something to shoot for.

    BTW, CafePress, apparently does Palin’s stuff, too. Here’s my “Pit Bulls for Palin:” “http://www.cafepress.com/terrypond.302760244

    …Lady in Red

  45. You’re right, CodeTech (re Y2K) – “Yes, potential, yes disaster averted” And, yes, we did beat it to death a few days back. And that’s precisely why it’s unfortunate that three out of seven of these t-shirts have that inappropriate and unhelpful (except perhaps to CAGW zealots) slogan.

  46. guenier says:
    May 12, 2013 at 3:04 am
    Bob Diaz / dbstealey / Jim:

    Yes, your assessment is correct. Y2K was a problem that affected legacy systems, but was ludicrously overblown by the media.

    I worked on the Y2K fixes in the late nineties. All were legacy software applications involving dates with 2 years instead of 4. The applications were widely varied, including credit reference systems, insurance, and Royal Mail track and trace. All (that I worked on) involved software written in COBOL that contained decision points where an appropriate sequence of code executed depending on whether one date was later or earlier than another date.

    The problem arose because if a date in the 20th century is compared to one in the 21st century, the software is making a comparison, for example, whether “991231″ is less than “000101″. Obviously, to a human reader, the second date is ahead of the first date, but the computer simply sees that the first is a bigger number, and executes the wrong code pathway.

    One way of fixing the problem was to insert a date windowing solution, which effectively took years between 00 and 28 as being 2000 and 2028. Simple in theory, it actually involved going through tens of thousands of lines of code, and copying every data field containing a date to a field with space for a 4 digit year, and wrapping in a code snippet that places either a 19 or 20 at the front depending on the previous rule.

    Whether there would have been a disaster if this wasn’t done, I’ll leave to the Cassandra’s to argue with the Polyanna’s. All I know is that the problem was a real one.

  47. guenier says May 12, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Y2K was essentially (but not entirely) a problem affecting very large “legacy”, often interconnected, …

    ‘DATA’ (containing a DATE STAMP) passed among systems/nodes simply for supervisory functions DOES NOT qualify as “critical functionality” …

    A simple inconvenience for the business types (or an operator) as reading a ‘date’ as 1900 vs 2000 DOES NOT QUALIFY as “critical functionality”.

    FIND me a specific instance or case WHERE “critical functionality” would have been a factor due to a malformed DATE representation and you MIGHT have a case.

    Show me the code.

    Thank you.

    .

  48. The obvious link between Y2k and AGW is …

    [drum roll]

    … alGore

    Btw, shouldn’t the text be like “I SURVIVED Y2K & 400PPM”?

  49. James Hein say May 12, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Some were simple like elevators going to the ground floor. Others were like the electrical distribution network nodes in the US that all had to be updated otherwise they would have failed or some aircraft software that would have caused flight issues.

    Um, no.

    .

  50. _Jim says:
    May 12, 2013 at 6:17 am
    “FIND me a specific instance or case WHERE “critical functionality” would have been a factor due to a malformed DATE representation and you MIGHT have a case.”

    The computer system used by the Berlin fire guard collapsed on New Years eve, making it impossible to dispatch the firefighters in a coordinated way, and they were advised to patrol the streets and look out for fires themselves. Which is a pretty thankless task in the rather huge area of Berlin, and of course New Years Eve has a high concentration of fires. I think a person died that night in a one family home that burned down to the ground, as the firefighters arrived too late.

    Such a call dispatching system probably doesn’t even count as safety critical (in a need-to-certify way), as the firefighters were still able to operate, but the sheer logistics of a megacity simply lead to a breakdown of performance that night.

  51. Jim – you ask for a specific instance. Here’s one:

    It came to light in 2002. A Health Visitor in Yorkshire noticed a higher than usual number of babies with Downʼs Syndrome in her area. What had happened was that pregnant women who were referred to the National Health Serviceʼs Northern General Hospital in Sheffield as possibly being at risk of having babies with birth defects were initially screened by a routine designed to identify those at highest risk. A major factor was age (women over 35 were at higher risk) so that was a main focus of the screening process. Unfortunately, the PathLAN computer used for the task used a two-digit system. Therefore, if a woman born in 1962 presented in 1999, the computer deducted 62 from 99, getting 37 – over 35, so she was at risk. But, if the same woman presented in 2000, it deducted 62 from 00, getting minus 62 – under 35, so (it concluded) she was not at risk. This affected over 150 women.

    See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1541557.stm

  52. DirkH says May 12, 2013 at 6:32 am

    The computer system used by the Berlin fire guard collapsed on New Years eve,

    Due to a DATE issue?

    DirkH, I hate to do this to ya, but, at this point that is pure “hearsay” (i.e., defined as being “The evidence of those who relate, not what they know themselves, but what they have heard from others”.)

    .

  53. guenier says May 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

    NOT a “critical functionality” issue, but rather an ADMINISTRATIVE issue; EASILY corrected ‘after the fact’ (rerun the ‘data’ to generate a new ‘report’).

    Nota Bene: I don’t want to continue to debate this if it detracts from the intent of the original thread and runts counter to site policy (but, I missed out on the ‘fun’ -apparently- of the previous Y2K thread given CodeTech’s input above)

    .

  54. Don Mogstad says:
    May 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    Its not the 400PPM of CO2 that I am afraid of…. I am terrified that the remainder of the atmospheric gases have now dropped down below 999,600 PPM.

    I predict that when all the other gases, combined, drop to less that 999,580 PPM all sorts of terrible things will begin to be predicted to happen in the near future; and that unless/until we all pool our collective resources to stop it, the non CO2 portion of the atmospheric gasses will drop to 999,560 ppm.
    ————————————————————–
    Scary thought! “near future”?
    For clarification purposes, how is the near future defined?
    Would you say 150 years should just about cover near future?
    I for a wait and see approach.
    cn

  55. The garments for sale page works fine for me with Palemoon v20 (Firefox clone), BUT if I disable Javascript I just get a blank page.

  56. Vince Causey: there were several problems with date windowing. To take your example, a system reconfigured in this way wouldnʼt recognise 1900 to 1928 (affecting, for example, a bank’s older customers), would have problems interfacing with systems that were differently configured and, above all, would start to fail as 2028 approached if it were not updated. Windowing caused problems for example in the run up to 2010 – the so-called Y2.01K problem. Probably the most important failures were in Germany, where about 30 million bankcards had problems, and in Belgium, where Citibankʼs “digipass” customer identification chips stopped working. The German failure was reported** to have cost €300m ($420m). Thatʼs hugely significant: it puts into perspective claims that money spent on Y2K remediation was wasted. That one relatively minor failure could cost so much to fix after it had failed, emphasises the massive advantage of spending comparatively modest sums to avoid the possibility of countless such failures.

    ** http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/06/2010-bug-millions-germans

  57. It is often said that CO2 is a heat-trapping gas. This is a common misconception that needs correcting.

    CO2 is a radiative gas that immediately emits the energy that it absorbs and is not able to capture heat. At any altitude, CO2 radiates in all directions, but it can only add energy to colder molecules (mostly above); CO2 does not add energy, or raise the temperature of colder molecules (mostly below) or add heat to the earth’s surface, which is already radiating at a higher temperature on average. While there are many re-emissions by CO2 from the surface to the top of the atmosphere, radiative transfers occur practically instantaneously, adding no measurable delay to the cooling process.

    In short, CO2 does not store heat, it passes heat upwards, and it can only slow the cooling of the surface by a few milliseconds.

    On the other hand, O2 and N2 make up 99% of the atmosphere, and these gases do trap heat, due to their low emissivity. O2 and N2 are heated by contact with the surface, by contact with radiatively-heated gases like CO2, and by contact with H2O vapor, which both radiates and releases latent heat as it condenses. O2 and N2 convect the heat upwards against the pressure of the atmosphere, until at the top heat is radiated into space. This delay of cooling results in a higher surface temperature, and raises the effective radiating altitude to many kilometers above sea level.

    In summary, diatomic gases emit poorly and retain heat. Triatomic gases emit strongly and radiate heat away. O2 and N2 deserve the credit for a warm global habitat, not CO2.

  58. Jim: so a problem that came to light two years after the event, when 150 mothers were caring for their damaged babies was an “administrative issue … easily corrected after the fact”? Huh? An extraordinarily heartless attitude.

    Nota bene: I believe this issue neither detracts from the intent of the original thread nor runs counter to site policy. As I commented above, it’s unfortunate that three out of seven of these t-shirts have that inappropriate and unhelpful (except perhaps to CAGW zealots) slogan.

  59. _Jim says:
    May 12, 2013 at 7:04 am
    ” DirkH says May 12, 2013 at 6:32 am

    The computer system used by the Berlin fire guard collapsed on New Years eve,

    Due to a DATE issue?

    DirkH, I hate to do this to ya, but, at this point that is pure “hearsay” (i.e., defined as being “The evidence of those who relate, not what they know themselves, but what they have heard from others”.)”

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_Feuerwehr

    “In der Neujahrsnacht 2000 kam es zu einem Totalausfall der Leitstellen-IT einschliesslich Rückfallebene. Es war für mehrere Stunden keine geordnete Abarbeitung von Notrufen möglich; als Behelf wurden Einsatzfahrzeuge auf Streifenfahrten geschickt. Ein Zusammenhang mit dem sogenannten Jahr-2000-Problem bestand dabei nur am Rande.[18][19] Das betroffene Einsatzleitsystem FIS wurde mittlerweile durch das modernere IGNIS ersetzt.[20]”

    What they mean by this is that attempts at fixing the obsolete software to harden it for the year 2000 problem made the system even more fragile. So in that regard the collapse of the system is Y2K related.
    More details here:

    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Computer-GAU-Das-Silvesterchaos-bei-der-Berliner-Feuerwehr-25744.html

    It’s a long time since that was reported so I didn’t have the link at hand. Heise is the publisher of the leading German computer magazine c’t. They are a trustworthy source – sometimes they even report something from the anglosphere which our German MSM have conveniently forgotten to translate.

  60. Sorry, an error in my posting above. It should read
    “CO2 does not add energy, or raise the temperature of warmer molecules (mostly below)”

  61. guenier says May 12, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Jim: so a problem that came to light two years after the event, when 150 mothers

    THAT was a statistical exercise, not a “critical function”. In your own words you put it:

    1) “Health Visitor … noticed a higher than usual number of babies with Downʼs Syndrome

    Was this a review of ‘actual’ babies birthed vs THE previous ‘projection’ of at-risk babies _to_ be birthed? Or was this as compared to some national average? … unclear as expressed …

    2) “… pregnant women who were referred to the National Health Serviceʼs Northern General Hospital in Sheffield as possibly being at risk of having babies with birth defects

    WHAT? They were referred ‘as possibly being at risk’ before the problematic ‘screening’ (the one under discussion with the bad ‘date calculation’) took place? How was the pre-screen preformed?

    My summary at this point: A pre-screening resulted in referrals for additional screening of some women to take place at another facility.

    3) “were initially screened by a routine designed to identify those at highest risk.

    So … this is the ‘screening’ with the faulty date calcs? It strikes me now as not strictly a “Y2K” problem, but rather a programming error, where insufficient testing was performed on really *basic* numerical ‘handling’ (DATE computations; computations involving DATES).

    4) “ … the PathLAN computer used for the task used a two-digit system. …

    Yup. This looks like a programming-error problem with the ‘error’ resulting from dates in/near Y2K. I’m surprised other errors were not induced/seen somewhere else (at other facilities, doing other day/date/age related computations), as ‘common libraries’ are often invoked for routine computations like these involving the time period/elapsed time between dates and so forth.

    .

  62. DirkH says May 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

    What they mean by this is that attempts at fixing the obsolete software to harden it for the year 2000 problem made the system even more fragile.

    In part.

    The text reads a little differently (i.e. SOFTWARE HORROR STORY):

    An independent valuation does not yet exist.

    The Berlin fire chief said the New Year’s Eve disaster before the Committee on Home Affairs and Public Safety of the Berlin House of Representatives as a “chain of unfortunate circumstances”. c’t comes in an investigation of the collapse of the computer systems at the Berlin Fire Department, however, after evaluation of internal investigation reports and in-depth analysis of the processes involved in the fire service to an entirely different conclusion.

    The breakdown list starts with the design and history.

    The software of the control center has never been properly documented and traceable; corrections to make another year 2000 fixed an outdated system that should actually be replaced before the new year, but led to unexpected side effects; responsibilities in the field of technical control center were either not clearly defined or have not been consistently observed. The official report of the Committee on Internal Affairs of the Berlin House downplayed numerous deficiencies. The term “perfect storm” used therein is a capitulation to the complexity of IT-based systems.

    Hmmm … dodgy and undocumented software; what could go wrong?

    … and we KNOW they extensively regression-tested any and ALL changes over the years (do I need to add tag: /sarc?)

    .

  63. Harabin on the BBC was punting it as “highest level in the history of the human race.” Naturally there was no one there to pose the question “when did we start measuring it reliably?”

  64. Vince Causey says May 12, 2013 at 5:54 am

    The problem arose because if a date in the 20th century is compared to one in the 21st century, the software is making a comparison, for example, whether “991231″ is less than “000101″.

    Unfortunately, supplying simplistic examples like this belie the more involved (internal mathematical) environment DATE computations include such as calculating the number of days between dates (and for which representation in the form “991231″ or “000101″ is wholly unsuitable for doing the math operations on straightaway).

    One would need to know the actual (hardware: IBM SYSTEM/360 or 370, TI 990/12, DEC PDP/11, VAX 11/780 or 8800 etc, or earlier e.g. Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data, Honeywell, General Electric and RCA ) platform and operating system (of the day for the hardware) plus the installed programming languages (FORTRAN of which there were several versions, COBOL, APL, C, PASCAL, BASIC, and then the various MS languages and versions, etc.) in order to have some idea of what various library functions required as arguments in terms of day/date format (two or four digit year, or a DATE type as implemented by MS using an 8-byte floating-point number) to fully ‘play out’ this angle …

    .

  65. Frost warning here in Ohio tonight.
    Hope the manufacture of my several T shirts contributed a little CO2 to the place. It’s mighty chilly here. {{{Brrrrrrrrrrr}}}

  66. Jim – your use of bold capitals gives away a hectoring uncertainty. Shouting isn’t persuasive. I doubt if you really understand the nature of Y2K problem.

    What happened was that the Health Visitor, a long-standing NHS professional, noted a far higher than normal number of babies in her patch with birth defects. Her experience told her that something was amiss. So, using her initiative, she tracked the problem down to a miscalculation of the mothers’ ages at the local hospital. The miscalculation was found to have been caused by a two digit date system that hadn’t been corrected.

    The NHS utilises vast numbers of dates for a huge range of purposes, from scheduling operations to “use-by” dates for drugs. Fortunately, it had undertaken a massive and costly Year 2000 compliance programme to locate and fix problems. It was remarkably successful although, unsurprisingly, numerous examples were missed. Most were identified and fixed after the event. Those unfortunate women in Yorkshire were the victims of one that wasn’t.

    Had you been around at the time would you have advised the NHS not to bother about locating and fixing all these two digit dates because, as you bizarrely seem to think, they were “not strictly” Y2K problems?

  67. guenier says May 12, 2013 at 11:01 am

    fixing all these two digit dates because, as you bizarrely seem to think, they were “not strictly” Y2K problems?

    Inadequately tested subroutines or callable ‘library’ functions/badly written software; how much clearer can I make this?

    Strictly speaking, a “Y2K” problem is when the clock struck twelve and functionality in a ‘box’ or system was lost … didn’t happen here.

    Also fail to see where the ‘harm’ occurred to the involved 150 individuals; this was a ‘screening’ process no? What was to be prescribed given the loose ‘match’ to identifying criteria?

    Again, this was would not fit within the definition of a “critical function”.

    Have a good day.

    .

  68. @guenier you’ve hugely missed the point of this. As an operator of a server farm, I know all about y2k issues, and I know about the efforts to solve it. I was aware of the issue as far back as 1978.

    But, in the public’s perception, Y2K was a “non-event” just like 400PPM is a non-event that has zero impact on our daily lives. That’s the point. 2000 or 400 – both are just a number that some people wanted us to fear.

    No disrepect intended to people who worked hard to make Y2K a non-event.

    Sorry, but I’m not changing it.

  69. Jim – ” a “Y2K” problem is when the clock struck twelve and functionality in a ‘box’ or system was lost”. Nonsense. I thought you didn’t understand. Read this. And, if you can, tell me where I got it wrong (without shouting please): http://fm2x.com/The_Century_Date_Change_Problem.pdf

    Here’s a test for you. It was reported** that in the United States there were around 500,000 cases where an expected death in a year beginning “19” had already been set in stone for someone still alive in 2000. Were they Y2K problems?

    * http://reason.com/archives/1999/07/01/grave-problem

    Anthony – your privilege Sir.

  70. guenier,

    Your last link is from 1999, when there was lots of arm-waving over the approaching Y2K apocalypse [which didn't happen]. From the link:

    “In some old cemeteries,” the International Cemetery and Funeral Association’s Bob Fell told the Orlando Sentinel, “you can find somebody who was born in 1810 and died in 1805.”

    So that factoid doesn’t even refer to a computer problem.

    In the event, Y2K was not nearly the problem that was widely predicted. Rather, it was on the order of the 1970′s global cooling scare, or the killer bees scare — and lots of similar scares that sell newspapers, but which are mostly just overblown hype.

    Same with CO2 @0.04%. On balance, the added CO2 is a net benefit.

  71. @ Guenier

    IIRC Russia, Ukraine, China and Indonesia did nothing, or next to nothing about their Y2K problems. Perhaps you could give us some examples of the Y2K disasters that inevitably must have occurred in those countries as a consequence if you are correct.

  72. Here is a graphic I put together to show the increasing disparity between anthropogenic emissions and CO2 level. CO2 level is determined by temperatures and, as temperatures recede, it is decelerating.

    In contrast, human emissions are relentlessly accelerating. The disparity should become undeniable in the next several years as we shift into the cooling phase for global temperatures.

  73. guenier says:
    May 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    “It’s a foolish error to focus especially on Y2K. Y2K was a real and potentially dangerous problem, largely fixed by the dedicated work of thousands of relatively junior IT people carrying out a mind-numbingly boring and thankless task. It had little to do with the roll over from 1999 to 2000: problems occurred both before and after that, arguably the most serious in 2010.

    See this: http://fm2x.com/The_Century_Date_Change_Problem.pdf

    Getting this wrong risks damaging the sceptic position.”

    ==============================================

    I completely agree that it’s inappropriate to equate Y2K with 400 PPM. Granted the media and a lot of wackos went overboard with the doom and gloom (just like 400 PPM), but you are absolutely correct that the reason Y2Y was largely a non-event was because of the hard work of many programmers who worked tirelessly to fix broken code.

  74. Daryl M,

    Answer the question asked above by the Pompous Git:

    IIRC Russia, Ukraine, China and Indonesia did nothing, or next to nothing about their Y2K problems. Perhaps you could give us some examples of the Y2K disasters that inevitably must have occurred in those countries as a consequence…

    Countries that ‘did something’ about Y2K and countries that did nothing all fared the same. None had any significant problems, whether they ‘did something’ about Y2K, or not.

  75. The Pompous Git.

    You said: “IIRCC Russia, Ukraine, China and Indonesia did nothing, or next to nothing about their Y2K problems. Perhaps you could give us some examples of the Y2K disasters that inevitably must have occurred in those countries as a consequence if you are correct.”

    Here’s an extract from pages 14 and 15 of my paper** (note especially the second paragraph, and go to the paper itself for supporting data, links etc.):

    “Banking, in particular, is intrinsically an international activity – see the statements and advice from the Bank for International Settlements referred to in page 7 and detailed in endnotes viii and ix. Note also that the World Bank produced a “tool kit” re Y2K for developing economies (endnote xxvi). Moreover, no bank or other financial institution could regard the matter as resolved unless it had been resolved also in overseas banks and by other, not necessarily financial, organisations with which it had dealings. So banking action had a substantial knock-on effect throughout the world. Similar considerations applied to telecommunications (endnote xxvii) and other essentially international concerns such as meteorology (endnote xxviii) and air traffic control (endnote xxix).

    So, contrary to the impression given by much of the media, international Y2K remedial activity was substantial and widespread. Nonetheless, itʼs true that the problem was considerably more serious in some countries than in others. For example, unsurprisingly, little action was taken – or was necessary – in underdeveloped countries such as Chad, Haiti and Afghanistan where few businesses or services were computerised. But also some more developed economies, such as countries in Eastern Europe, needed to do relatively little. And that, paradoxically perhaps, was because they had introduced digital computing on a substantial scale relatively late; therefore, unlike developed Western economies, they did not rely on systems incorporating software originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s. And, in any case, countries that were less technologically developed and had simpler infrastructure had less to go wrong and any problems were much easier to resolve. For example, many developing countriesʼ telecommunications were controlled by analogue systems (with gauges) not digital systems (with readouts) and thus were not at risk (endnote xxx).”

    ** http://fm2x.com/The_Century_Date_Change_Problem.pdf

    dbstealey: I suggest you read the above paper (or at least the Executive Summary). It demonstrates how you’ve misunderstood Y2K and Daryl M has not. Thanks.

    PS: unless anyone insists to continuing this Y2K exchange, I suggest we give it a rest. Anthony isn’t changing the 400PPM t-shirt and I accept his decision. So the matter’s effectively closed for the purposes of this thread.

  76. @ guenier

    As I suspected, there were no disasters. Note that I’m not saying that there were not problems caused by the 2 digit date issue, just that the prediction of disasters for those who did nothing to remedy the problem. IIRC Indonesia said they would institute remediation if there were problems in NZ @ midnight on 31 December 1999. Also IIRC I informed my US colleagues shortly after that time: “Suddenly, nothing happened”. It seems that suddenly nothing else has happened that was beyond the usual minor fsk-ups caused by poor coding decisions. The onus is on you to demonstrate actual disasters caused by lack of remediation by countries that claimed not to have instituted any. All else is arm-waving.

  77. The Pompous Git : I’ve explained above that the Y2K problem was essentially about software problems buried within “legacy” systems originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike developed Western economies, developing economies such as Indonesia introduced digital computing towards the end of the century, hadn’t inherited the problem and therefore didn’t need to implement major Y2K remediation programmes. That’s why Indonesia unsurprisingly had no disasters despite taking only limited action (reported BTW to have cost “at least” $200 million). Simple really.

    Nonetheless, Indonesia experienced a few relatively minor problems. See Annex III of this report: http://www.unescap.org/56/e1183e.htm

  78. arctic observing stations exceeded 400 ppm more than a year ago, and the global average of atmospheric carbon dioxide could break the 400 ppm barrier in the next year or so, Butler said by telephone from Boulder, Colorado.

  79. “180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

    There’s so much here, but

    “There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.”

    Who knows it may start to fall despites mans efforts?

  80. Git,

    I too would like to see what ‘disaters’ happened due to Y2K. Also, I see that ‘guenier’ is himself the author of the .pdf paper he linked above. Thus, his ego is firmly invested in the belief that Y2K was a disaster. But it was not.

    There was no Y2K disaster. Any problems were minor, and quickly resolved.

    However, I have no doubt that prior to January 1, 2000, lots of folks made some fast money consulting over the mostly imaginary Y2K problem. Maybe guenier was one of them. ☺

  81. dbstealey: those of us involved in Y2K remediation (unlike the media) didn’t predict disaster. We warned, however, of serious problems if nothing was done. Fortunately, a great deal was done and, as you quite correctly say, “there was no Y2K disaster. Any problems were minor, and quickly resolved.” And that, of course, was the whole point of the exercise. Far from believing that Y2K was a disaster, I’m proud of the small part I contributed towards ensuring it wasn’t.

    Nonetheless you think the problem was “mostly imaginary”. OK – here’s a challenge for you: read my paper carefully and tell me precisely where you think I’ve got it wrong. No waffle please – a precise, properly referenced answer. Thanks.

    BTW – the media tried hard to find all those people who’d made a lot of money out of Y2K. They failed and gave up. The real work – checking countless millions of lines of code, fixing and testing fixes etc. was mind numbingly boring, unglamorous, thankless and poorly rewarded. The real money in IT at the time (late 1990s) was made blowing up the dotcom bubble. If you’re looking for a scandal, you’ll find it there.

  82. see, if we’d listened to the Mayans and let the World end back in December, we wouldn’t be having this 400 ppm CO2 problem right now. I hope you all have learned your lesson.

  83. guenier said @ May 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    BTW – the media tried hard to find all those people who’d made a lot of money out of Y2K. They failed and gave up. The real work – checking countless millions of lines of code, fixing and testing fixes etc. was mind numbingly boring, unglamorous, thankless and poorly rewarded.

    Now you’re just blowing smoke. Relative to programmers, as a trainer of end users I was “poorly paid” in them days. It took me twelve months to accumulate enough cash to build a luxury home, albeit a smallish one (1500 ft^2). Java and C++ programmers told me they earned twice as much as me and worked nowhere near as hard. Cobol programmers were earning much more than ordinary programmers since they were in very short supply. Poorly rewarded? Why would anyone come out of retirement to be “poorly rewarded”?

  84. guenier,

    I understand that your ego is invested in your belief. That is a common facet of human nature. But if the countries mentioned by the Pompous Git and others escaped major problems, even when they didn’t take any serious remedial action, then Y2K was just another false alarm. No different, really, than the current AGW false alarm.

    I enjoy reading your comments, but the real world contradicts your belief that Y2K was a serious problem. It just wasn’t. I worked at one of the world’s biggest technology companies at the time. Approaching year 2000, everyone was wondering if Y2K would cause the predicted problems. In the event, it didn’t.

  85. dbstealey: as I said to TPG, the Y2K issue was essentially about software problems buried within “legacy” systems originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike developed Western economies, developing economies such as Indonesia introduced digital computing towards the end of the century, so hadn’t inherited that basic problem and therefore didn’t need to implement major Y2K remediation programmes. Which part of that are you struggling to understand?

    So you think Y2K no different from CAGW?

    Let’s start at the most basic level. First Y2K: it was easy to show that using two digits, not four, to designate the year (e.g. “70” instead of “1970”) was a standard practice in much early computer programming. And equally simple to demonstrate that, if it were not rectified, a usage that worked well when only twentieth century dates were being processed would cause serious problems when twenty-first century dates were involved. Now CAGW: where’s the equivalent real-world evidence that (a) mankind’s GHG emissions are the main cause of recent temperature increases and (b) that further such emissions will cause dangerous, probably catastrophic, environmental damage? Answer: none has been demonstrated yet.

    Y2K was almost wholly fixed within about 4 years at a cost that was a small proportion of organisations’ IT budgets. Fixing it did not impact the public. It had no political implications. In utter contrast, CAGW has been going for over 25 years and is set to continue for many years to come. It’s costing many trillions of dollars. It’s hugely damaging to people throughout the world: in the developed West where, for example, fuel costs are rocketing, jobs are being lost and the environment trashed by “renewable” energy projects and in the undeveloped world where, for example, people are being denied the basic benefits of cheap, reliable power and famine is exacerbated by biofuel cultivation. It’s a hugely political issue – with unelected activist groups at the heart of government and increasingly costly, damaging and intrusive national and international legislation affecting the lives of many millions of people.

    Y2K no different from CAGW? Er … no, I don’t think so.

  86. Chuck Nolan says:
    May 12, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Scary thought! “near future”?
    For clarification purposes, how is the near future defined?
    ————————————————————————-
    “near future” cannot be defined. It needs to be elastic … it needs to be able to morph into the “best fit” for those of us that are trying to snuggly fit the square peg into the non-square hole.

    “near future” means that it is far enuf away that we can still do something about it (so keep providing us with resources), but not so close that most people (useful idiots) will remember the specifics of my claim. It is also far enough away that I can still alter input & remodel to show that things will go wrong in the “near future + 1″ instead of the “near future”.

  87. It is ironic.

    The 150 women that were not “screened” ended up with 150 children that could have been given little tiny t-shirts that said “I survived BECAUSE of Y2K”.

  88. Ron C. says:
    May 12, 2013 at 7:32 am
    “It is often said that CO2 is a heat-trapping gas. This is a common misconception …”

    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Thanks Ron. Nice simple explanation that should be able to be understood by most. I will pass it on.

  89. Maybe in the real future there will be some of those (no longer) emaciated Ethiopian children, standing in the middle of the bean field, with tee-shirts saying ” I survived BECAUSE of 460 ppm”.

    O.K. I’m done.

    DonM

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