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The Y2K Glitch: An Insider's View



From the Earth Island Journal []

The Y2K Glitch: An Insider's View

US - On June 2, Alan Simpson, president of Satellite Communications Ltd., spoke at a Y2K conference held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies [1800 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20006]. Here are some of his observations:

There's plentiful supply of food in the fields, but you can't get it from the fields to the towns to feed the population. This is for real.

The medium and larger small businesses are being totally neglected with information on Year 2000. We focused on the banks. We focused on Wall Street. We focused on General Motors. We have forgotten about the 23 million small and medium businesses that make up the food chain that supplies General Motors.

We don't have a stock of strategic commercial materials to keep the country running for one of two months. Everything is just-in-time: straight out of the ground - they advance shipping and air, communications - straight into the factories. We know that this is not going to work.

We can even tell you the model numbers on the switches that won't work in the telecommunications network. We can tell you where they are, and we know exactly the percentage of the telecom network that will fail. We don't scream and shout this out because we don't want the world to know this. Looking around the world, other counties are in an even worse mess.

We cannot pump fuel out of underground tanks. In the old pumps, when the power failed, you pulled up the front panel, stuck in a starter handle and you could pump for the ambulances and the fire. They've taken those out.

We know the switches on the railroads are faulty. I talked to some of the major rail companies a few days back and said, "Go to manual." They said, "All our manual points are in the warehouse up in New York State waiting to be disposed of. We cannot switch manually any more. We have taken out manual reversion systems on most of our key communication, power and switching systems."

Come 2000, most of the airlines are going to have a 14-day period where the insurance companies will not let them fly. These are real figures.

The legal problem with the year 2000 is probably about $2 or $3 trillion in litigation. So far, there are 189 lawsuits being settled out of court. Everyone is liable. Anyone with a name that ends in "president" or "officer" is going to be sued.

Come the year 2000, the security systems in a lot of buildings will not let you in. A lot of alarm systems in banks and buildings will be neutralized. We have created very sophisticated electronic locks on a lot of our communications and access {systems}. They are going to come back and bite us.

For the complete transcript contact Simpson's website [] or CSIC's website [].