Observation from conclusion of: The Y2K scare: causes, costs and cures
by John Quiggin
from:Risk & Sustainable Management Group
Schools of Economics and Political Science
University of Queensland
Australian Public Policy Program Working Paper: 1/P04
Does this conclusion about the Y2K scare in any way resemble the state of the current Global Warming debate?
“From the perspective of public administration, the two most compelling observations
relate to conformity and collective amnesia. The response to Y2K shows how relatively
subtle characteristics of a policy problem may produce a conformist response in which no
policy actors have any incentive to oppose, or even to critically assess, the dominant
view. Moreover, in a situation where a policy has been adopted and implemented with
unanimous support, or at least without any opposition, there is likely to be little interest
in critical evaluation when it appears that the costs of the policy have outweighed the
This is so well stated that nothing else needs to be said. After all, a mania is a mania, a panic is a panic.