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Saving what again?

As it turns out, this year's change in the implementation of daylight "savings" ended up not saving anything, and actually just causing extra annoyance. The US Congress seems completely taken by surprise by the fact that changing the time does not magically create more sunlight. That extra hour in the evening, scientists and the Department of Energy reminds them, is actually offset by an hour less in the morning! Imagine that!

Seems like there is not even a measurable energy savings. If anything, the biggest impact of the daylight savings change is that a bunch of computerized gadgets needed to be updated, and people with their Blackberry and Palm not being sure if the time was adjusted (some changed the time manually, only to have it change by another at the old switch-over date, for example).

Down with daylight savings! End the madness!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)

stare at my icon for a bit, it will all be better :-)
May. 21st, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)
It burns!
May. 21st, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
And of course our government bought the scheme, hook, line and sinker :(
May. 21st, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
That's why I was annoyed by the whole thing.

Back in the sixties or seventies, GB went on year round daylight savings, with double daylight savings in summer. This was so they would be at the same time as most of Western Europe. The result and reason they quit doing it: more school children were getting killed by traffic on the way to school in the dark.

I wonder if this was even considered.
May. 21st, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
There is some consideration on this subject on the Wikipedia entry for "daylight saving time". In some countries, there is up to 5% reduction in accidents, in others there is none, so from what I can see, this remains somewhat inconclusive.

As a kid, I remember plenty of time in the year where my walking back home was at dawn or dusk, or even outright in the dark, so to me, it just seems like there's going to be some walking in the dark to do, it's going to have to be dealt with.
May. 21st, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
There is some consideration by normal people, but was there any consideration by the U.S. Congress?

I wasn't really trying to discuss the general rate of accidents from dst. I was pointing out that dst in winter (the double dst that they had in GB) was a risk to children. Most north american children don't end up walking home at dusk, so making walk to school when it is darker seems likely to increase the risk.
May. 21st, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
I figure that in winter, the days are short enough that shifting the time around just changes whether they'll be walking in the day in the morning or in the evening.

Most of the point was to save energy, and it's not even doing that. They should just bloody leave it alone.

I also find it rather amusing that one of the early seed for the idea was a satirical letter published by Benjamin Franklin while he was an envoy in France, proposing that Parisians economized candles by getting up earlier to catch the morning light. But this was more about cutting down on the partying at night, and the whole "early risers are healthy and wealthy" thing. Incidentally, he wasn't proposing to change the time (I guess he knew Parisians weren't even looking at the clock!), but ringing church bells, firing cannons in the morning and other such things.
May. 21st, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Some benefit
It was grating to have a "bug" on this opened against my software ("reassign it to Congress!"), but there was some benefit. I still had light when I woke up, and I had an extra hour of light when I got home from work. Not everything has to be about saving energy.

The people who struggled most are the ones using poorly-designed software. In particular, Windows stores file timestamps and keeps the RTC in local time? WTF?
May. 21st, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Some benefit
Actually, there was one other class of people who struggled: the Bahá'í. Some friends of mine follow this silly religion. They fast from sunrise to sundown during the additional daylight savings period. Pushing dinner an hour closer to the end of the day makes it harder to sleep, and is a particular problem for Bahá'í with young children with early bedtimes.
May. 21st, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
Ever thought about moving to Saskatchewan?
May. 22nd, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
Well, no. But this is a general problem that I'm petitioning to have fixed on as large a scale as possible.

Most of the world's population doesn't follow DST, already, so more of the work is already done! ;-)
May. 22nd, 2007 07:03 am (UTC)
Or Atikokan!
May. 23rd, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
But don't forget, all those gadgets and so on that need to be updated -- that creates jobs. The 2 words most politicians love to use in the same sentence are "create" and "jobs". It's good for the economy! Daylight savings changes every year!

NOTE: I am not being serious. I had to fix recurring events in Google Calendar for the new timezones. It sucked.
May. 24th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC)
Ha! Recurring events! SCHMUCK!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )