You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time. --Dave Barry, Former Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Daylight-Savings Time Is a Waste of Energy as well as a waste of laborThe Health Hazards of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight-saving time was touted as an energy-conservation measure, but a study of Indiana before 2006, when the Hoosier State had three different time regimes, showed no difference in energy consumption attributable to the semi-annual ritual of changing the clocks. Moreover, a study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that daylight saving time may be hazardous to your health.
Many people experience the sudden time change in the form of grogginess or declining productivity at work, but for a small fraction of the population extremely sensitive to disruptions of the body's circadian rhythms, the semi-annual change in the body's physical, chemical, electrical, hormonal and immunological environment is as serious as a heart attack--literally.
"When a small elevated risk of heart attack per person is multiplied by 1.5 billion people [worldwide] exposed to that risk, you realize that many men and women suffer debilitating heart attacks and death every time we spring forward and fall back," writes Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II. "Adding to the bill, some students of daylight-saving time suggest that accidents involving pedestrians spike immediately after the return to standard time as well, because drivers have not yet adjusted to commuting home in the dark.... The twice-a-year ritual of time travel actually kills."
"Unhealthy Time Change," by William F. Shughart II (Sacramento Bee, 10/28/09)
Many still believe that daylight-saving actually lengthens workdays. Collectivists enjoy having everyone march in unison, so they embraced the concept. The nationalists among them thought it a great way elicit a hive mind for World War I. Like saving lard, it gave everyone a sense of participation in the War.
The historical rationale for daylight-savings time was not to save daylight, but to reduce the use of lights at night to save energy. Now peak energy use is during daylight hours due to industrial demand.
In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which required participating States to begin and end daylight-saving time on the same dates. Hawaii and Arizona opted out of the plan. Twenty years later, Congress passed a law that mandated the start of daylight-saving time at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April and the end at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October. All of the States except Hawaii and Arizona cannot deviate from that pattern without congressional action.
Thanks to the tilt of the Earth on its axis of 23"27 relative to the plane of its orbit around the Sun, the number of hours of daylight decreases relative to the hours of darkness in the northern hemisphere to a maximum disparity on the winter solstice (December 21), when the Sun appears furthest south over the Tropic of Capricorn (23"27'S). The number of hours of daylight increases relative to the hours of darkness to a maximum disparity on the summer solstice (June 21), when the Sun appears furthest north over the Tropic of Cancer (23"27'N). The further north you are, the greater is the disparity. The opposite is true of the southern hemisphere.
At the equator, there is no disparity, so only those living at northern and southern latitudes are interested in shifting the 0900 to 1700 ("9 to 5") work period an hour earlier ("Spring forward") or latter ("Fall back"). The process is linear. To track the Sun better, Daylight-Savings Time should change every month. Better, yet, it should change every week. If you really want to maximize daylight, Daylight-Savings Time should change every day.
As you may have noticed this weekend, starting this year, daylight saving time (DST) is with us four weeks longer. Representatives Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who sponsored the 2005 law extending (or, rather, reallocating) daylight, said the measure would conserve about 100,000 barrels of oil per day, but their claim is based on outdated data from 1974. The Department of Energy doesn't know the economic impact of the time change, either.
"In fact, there is no reliable data supporting the premise that DST significantly reduces energy consumption," writes Independent Institute Research Fellow William F. Shughart II in a new, widely published op-ed.
Although a dramatic reduction in energy use from DST could be illusory, the costs of moving from standard time to daylight saving time and back each year are very real. Those few minutes each of us loses from adjusting our clocks aren't free: Shughart puts that cost at $2.93 per person twice a year -- a total of about $1.7 billion per year. Shughart's back-of-the-envelope estimate doesn't factor in the cost of diminished worker productivity from circadian rhythm disruptions, but perhaps he assumed you'd still be too groggy to read about that.
Daylight Saving Time Costs Nation $1.7 Billion. Let's fall back and scrap Daylight Saving Time.
There is really no net change in daylight hours as a consequence of Daylight-Savings Time. The only change is leaving home for work or school in the dark and arriving home in the daylight, or vice versa. Those who leave for work at 0700 (7:00 AM), find themselves driving in the dark as the Winter solstice approaches. By "Falling back" in time, they effectively leave for work at 0800 (8:00 AM), when the Sun is further above the horizon, where the amount of illumination is similar to when it is at higher latitudes and lower in the horizon.
Those who leave home at 0800 and arrive home at 1600 (4:00 PM) experience the same amount daylight, so there is no advantage to Daylight-Savings Time for them. At higher latitudes, however, the 8 to 4 crowd is in darkness coming and going near the Winter solstice, so leaving home an hour later or arriving an hour earlier would give them some daylight hours at home.
Would it not be easier to simply agree with co-workers (classmates and teachers) to start work (school) at a different time, or not, and accordingly change only alarm clocks? Why change the time on wall clocks, watches, computer clocks, time card (labor) clocks, TVs, VCRs, clock radios, automobile clocks, irrigation timers, laboratory equipment, billing systems, security systems, etc., instead of simply adjusting the alarm time on alarm clocks? Why risk injury or death twice a year climbing ladders to change wall clocks? Why risk panicked drivers who neglected to "Spring forward" or "Fall back," or who did the opposite?
Like weeks encourage regimentation on behalf of religion, Daylight-Savings Time encourages regimentation on behalf of government. Given the fact that control freaks dominate the halls of government, the likelihood of government relief from Daylight-Savings Time is nil.
Just say No to Daylight-Savings Time. Just say "No Time Change!"
Visit One Time Zone for a common sense solution to both the Daylight-Savings Time and Time Zone problems.
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