Roleigh Martin's take on Jim Lord's Pentagon papers : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Y2K Tip of the week "This piece is designed to give readers as much information as possible to form their own opinions about this controversial document."

-- MoVe Immediate (, August 29, 1999


From the Martin article :

"Some engineers told me if their system was not upgraded, that natural gas would still flow through the systems, but it would be unmonitored and correct billing could not be done."

Now that's interesting, and something I hadn't considered before. In a non-TEOTWAWKI, scenario, if the utility companies have a downgraded monitoring capability, they certainly wouldn't want that to be public knowledge. That way, they could make up any numbers they want, for usage, and who would know? How many people REALLY pay attention to all the small print on their utility bills?

I've never really paid attention before. Just what is in those meters outside my house? Any chance of them containing embeds?

-- Bokonon (, August 30, 1999.

Also see this thread about large city Y2K readiness:

"Should the Pentagon Papers have surprised us? July GAO report suggest maybe not..."

-- Linkmeister (, August 30, 1999.

Mr. Martin,

I agree; most of your questions are quite pointed, and remain unanswered. Perhaps some brave, enterprising reporter would be willing to take the challenge? It would require some very direct investigative digging into the utilities named as being most at risk by the Navy reports (and a comparison of Lord's and the subsequent Navy revised version). Exactly what did the Navy ask them (and when)? Exactly what were their replies (again, when)?

Any takers?

One note on contingency planning. You wrote:

"But wait -- even under normal, non-Y2K conditions, isn't an electric power failure always a possibility? Fallen tree branches, car crashes an electric pole, that sort of thing? Navy's not including *that* -- as a complication to Y2K effects -- in their "contingency planning"? What kind of contingency plan is that?"

Contingency planning for normal (although unexpected) day-to-day occurences affecting operational readiness would already have covered such events. I suspect that the authors of the y2k base reports were not tasked with this aspect of planning. Why should they go beyond the scope of their report?

An interesting analysis, nonetheless. Keep up the good work.


-- anymouse (NoWay@No.How), August 30, 1999.

Yes, Bokonon, the meters do have embeds. When my power bill shot inexplicably and unreasonably high in December, I was told when I called the provider that it could be a "y2k chip problem." And, I could have had the meter tested by a branch of Industry Canada to ascertain whether or not that was so. Unfortunately, if it turned out to be some other problem, I would be required to pay the $60 service fee. I paid the high bill in the hopes that eventually the faulty meter will err in my favour!

I may be wrong, but I believe the recent power problem in London was caused by embeds in meters as well.

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 30, 1999.

Depends on if the meter is a digital meter. Some meters are computerized. About 20,000 were installed 5 years ago in a suburb of San Francisco. Instead of a meter reader physically going house-to-house to read your meter, your meter is read by someone in a car equipped to drive down a street and read it off of a computer. It was a pilot program and a feasibility study for future programs. PG&E found that it was not a cost-effective program and scrapped the program. In regards to the gas flow, you need electricity to keep the gas flowing, and even if they could operate it manually, without electricity you could not heat your home because your furnace requires electricity in order for it to operate.

-- Got Gas? (got gas?, August 30, 1999.

Got Gas,

That's understood about the flow of gas. My question related to a situation where the power is still on.

-- Bokonon (, August 30, 1999.

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