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chernobyl disaster Y2K Bug

Computers have become the backbone of the world today. Is there a time bomb slowly ticking down inside of the computers that run everything from your laundry machine to Wall Street? "The year 2000 bug is a flaw in the programming of embedded chips in most electronic devices"(Outsmarting 2). These chips only calculate the date in the ending 2 digits of the year. For instance, the date 1-1-1999 in the computer comes out 1-1-99. "When the year 2000 comes around, the computers will think that it is the year 1900"(2). Any program or system that relies on dates to perform certain functions, such as calculating ages, time periods, or payrolls is at risk of crashing on the stroke of midnight. Programmers in the 1970's were saving a lot of space in programming by only using the last 2 digits of the year. They had no insight into the problem they were creating by cutting this programming corner. The justification for cutting this corner was two fold. First, think of all of the coding and coding time they saved if the date is calculated over 1 million times in a single computation. Second, in those early years, disk storage space was at a premium and severely limited by today's standards. It was important to make the best available use of storage space. For this reason that they entered only the last 2 digits of the year in the old programming. Because only date sensitive programming is at risk, however if or when the Y2K bug hits, the damage will be minimal at most.

For those people who plan to move to the country and sell all of their possessions in order to get away from the effect, do not leave just yet. The year 2000 bug will not be the end of the world. Many think that they will start a rural community and it will be their little Garden of Eden. If the year 2000 bug strikes, it will strike everything everywhere, even in rural Montana. The problems will be universal.

People believe that they can rely on insurance to cover their assets are facing another problem created by the year 2000 bug. Insurance companies are calling all of their current clients informing them that their coverage does not include losses due to the year 2000 bug. However, lawyers and law firms are gearing up for what they believe will be a windfall, based on millennium bug claims

Worldwide surveys show that companies are spending more of their information technology budget for correcting potential problems in their computer systems caused by the year 2000 bug. Although 19% of the current information technology budget is spent towards correcting the year 2000 problem, it is expected to be increased to 23% by the second quarter of '99 (Weil 2).

This may be too late to prevent many problems some say. Many businesses are either upgrading or have already upgraded their computer systems to year 2000 standards. Different fields of business are farther along the path to becoming year 2000 compliant. "Banking is well prepared for the year 2000. There are a few industries such as, food service and some government branches, however, that are ill prepared for the year 2000"(2). Sleep safely at night, knowing that your money is safe in the current banking systems.

Even though the government and some food service companies are behind on updating for the year 2000, they are working around the clock to achieve year 2000 compliance before the New Year strikes. If the government fails to upgrade to the year 2000, they will have a secondary plan. People vote certain officials into office in order to handle specific problems such as the year 2000 bug.

Worried about what the year 2000 bug will do to the United States? Cling to one comforting thought, "Things will be worse just about everywhere else in the world"(McMahon 1). Studies show the United States among the most highly prepared countries in the world. "As far as the world is concerned, many countries are not as prepared as the United States"(Weil 1). With the U.S. the most prepared countries include, Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden. The least prepared countries include major names such ... more

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The Problem Of Global Warming



The Problem of Global Warming First discovered at the turn of the century by the Swedish scientist Arrhenius, global warming was initially thought to only cause increased greenhouse gases from coal combustion emissions. It wasnt until fifty years later that the real causes and effects of global warming would be discovered. A British scientist by the name of Calendar correlated the 10% increase of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide between 1850 and 1940 with the observed warming of northern Europe and North America, which began in the 1880's. As for the cause of global warming, scientists generally believe that both the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Human activities such as the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas contribute heavily to global warming. Other major causes include deforestation, methane gas emissions, and the release of nitrous oxide chemicals into the atmosphere. The gasses are released primarily by rice cultivation, cattle and livestock populations, gas pipelines, and landfills. Deforestation is a big problem as far as global warming because trees remove Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, but release large quantities when burned. Methane gas emissions contribute because they are trapped in the earths atmosphere and reflect light, which is usually released in a clean, healthy atmosphere. The energy burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories is responsible for about eighty percent of society's carbon dioxide emissions, about twenty-five percent of U.S. methane emissions, and about twenty percent of global nitrous oxide emissions. The evidence of global warming has been a care and concern of many over the past couple of decades. Along with this increase in the global heat index, predicted to occur within the next half century are dangerously high levels of pollution and added water in global waters, increased pestilence and disease, large quantities of killed fish due to polluted waters, and the entire depletion of many global ecosystems. Although it seems far off for us, the ecological and economic impact on future generations could be catastrophic. Plant respiration and the decomposition of such organic matter release more than ten times the Carbon Dioxide than is released by human activities. The earth is only equipped to deal with the Carbon Dioxide that is a result of photosynthesis, and any amount left gets recirculated in the atmosphere and collects, which has led to the destruction of the Ozone layer of the atmosphere. What has changed in the last few hundred years is the additional release of carbon dioxide by human activities. Global warming will also have a drastic impact on the fish population and other aquatic species in two senses. Oceans and lakes around the world may become too warm for the fish that currently inhabit those areas, and at the same time warmer temperatures may also enable fish in cold waters to grow more rapidly. Adding to that effect, the pollution in the water as a result of lowered oxygen levels and lower water levels overall to wash out the pollutants. The result of these two detrimental impacts is the eventual population drop and possible extinction of many aquatic species. And if the drastic temperature fluctuation in the water doesnt devastate the fish population, the pollution content will. Salinity levels in the oceans are expected to drop to alarming levels, as is average water level. This should be among the top concerns of global governments, but they feel that since it does not impact human life directly, it is not as important. A major question on the minds of top governmental officials around the world is if the problem is on a large enough scale to be considered a national security problem. According to top researchers, the answer is yes. Global warming is predicted to change climates so drastically that future storms will be less frequent, but much more severe, costly, and devastating to those that are hit. A current example can be seen in the wake of Hurricane Floyd where hundreds of thousands of livestock were killed by floods and are now decomposing out in the open. As a result, widespread disease and infestations are predicted to ... more

chernobyl disaster

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