Archive for March, 2007

Springing Backwards


I hate daylight savings time. I really do. Maybe it’s a silly thing to hate, but it has always seemed utterly pointless to me. And now the additional monkeying around we’re doing with this already absurd device is making it even more pointless.

IT departments all over the country are having to scramble to reprogram all the automatic clock settings on all the computers everywhere. At my own work, after the patches were applied we all had to go into our calendars and manually move all of the appointments from March 11th through April 8th one hour earlier, since the patch advanced all the times that were already in the system. This has got to be costing millions nationwide.

And for what? Apparently the goal is to get a jump on the amount of time people are using lights and thereby save energy costs. Putting aside the fact that with a stroke of the pen congress could mandate 45 mpg minimums for vehicles and thereby save a heck of a lot more energy, how much are we really saving?

On March 10th, sunrise here is at 6:52, and sunset is at 6:33. On April 9th, sunrise is at 7:04 DST, sunset is at 8:04 DST. So let’s consider my regular schedule. I usually get up at 6:00, and go to bed at 11:00. Fairly typical, right? Under non-adjusted time I would be using lights for about 13 hours total for mornings over the next 28 days, and about 119 hours in the evening. Under DST, I would be using lights for about 42 hours total for mornings over the next 28 days, and about 91 hours in the evening. So under DST I’m burning lights for 133 hours, and under non-adjusted time I’m burning lights for… wait for it… 132 hours?

The overall point here is that the energy savings are tiny. Even if you spread it out over the entire country the most you’d be talking about is a fraction of a percent. And for that we lose an hour’s sleep, have tired and grumpy workers on Monday morning, and lord knows what other productivity issues related to that. Please, someone end the insanity, leave the clocks alone, and let’s start talking about public transportation, more efficient machines, and recycling. There’s cost savings that we can count on.

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March 9, 2007 at 8:19 am 2 comments


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