With Daylight Savings Time having recently passed I’ve been thinking about this for a bit, lately. My thoughts are pretty simple:
Daylight Savings Time is stupid.
It made sense a century or two ago when 80% of our population were farmers and were starting to join the industrial workforce. Folks like my great grandfather who worked 8-10 hours a day, then went home to tend to the fields on the family farm. Especially in the days before electric lighting and such.
But that time has long since passed. The main reason I’ve heard for DST is energy preservation. Well let’s look at who supported changing the dates of Daylight Savings time, supposedly to reduce energy consuption:
Sporting Goods Manufacturers, Convienience Store Associations, and a Foundation that helps the blind.
A bunch of religious associations (meh), the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium (makes sense), the Air Transport Association, and…Edison Electric Institute.
That’s right, candy manufacturers and marketers (the convienience store part) fought to get an extra hour of daylight in October while the Edison Electrical Institute said it was a bad idea. Because with an extra hour to trick or treat on, Halloween can bring lots of stores and candy makers a ton of money; roughly $2 billion, actually.
So what do the scientists say is right? Does daylight savings time do anything at all, much less changing the date of DST? Keeping in mind that the Energy Policy Act that caused this shift in DST was expected to cause a 1% decrease in energy consumption
The Center for the Study of Energy Markets says, “These results suggest that current plans and proposals to extend DST will fail to conserve energy.”
The California Energy Commission says savings from DST being changed amounted to an interval, ”[...] ranging from 1.5% savings to 1.4% increase (in energy consumption).” They estimated a probably savings of .2% savings in energy, but said that the results were so miniscule that they didn’t breach the margin for error.
A few researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, claimed that due to the increased usage of Air Conditioning in the summer and heat in the cooler seasons that they, “[...] unexpectedly found that daylight time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, costing the state an extra $9 million.”
Author Michael Downing has some interesting words on the matter, too, including, “Daylight Saving increases gasoline consumption, something the petroleum industry has known since 1930,” and “This has been long – tremendously effective spending policy. Retail stores love Daylight Saving.”
In other words…Daylight Savings Time does nothing that it’s supposed to.
It does, however, cause a lot of hectic situations for the common populace. I know a lot of people who have clocks or phones that they use as alarm clocks that malfunction with DST. My phone is one of them, actually. My phone corrects itself at 02:00 to gain or lose an hour, but the alarms that are set don’t change. So if you set the alarm for 07:00 before you go to bed at midnight (7 hours until alarm) and the phone’s clock springs ahead, expect to be woken up at 08:00, because the alarm hasn’t changed, it continues to count down from 7 hours. Similarly if the clock falls back an hour expect to be woken up at 06:00, because 7 hours have passed. My phone is a smart-phone running on the Android OS; proving that ‘smart-phone’ is a misnomer.
DST is just a tool for the corporate oligarchy to abuse and mislead us, just like ‘Black Friday’ sales.