I have written portable replacement for time.h (currently just localtime(), gmtime(), mktime() and timegm()) which uses 64 bit time even on 32 bit machines. It is intended to be dropped into C projects as a replacement for time.h. It is being used in Perl and I intend to fix Ruby and Python’s 2038 problems with it as well. This gives you a safe range of +/- 292 million years.
You can find the code at the y2038 project. Please feel free to post any questions to the issue tracker.
As to the “this isn’t going to be a problem for another 29 years”, peruse this list of standard answers to that. In short, stuff happens in the future and sometimes you need to know when. I also have a presentation on the problem, what is not a solution, and what is.
Oh, and don’t forget that many time systems don’t handle dates before 1970. Stuff happened before 1970, sometimes you need to know when.