05 March 2009

Stop Playing with Time

Leave the damn clocks alone!

Evidence suggests that Daylight Saving Time does not save energy, which is the whole premise behind changing our clocks twice a year.
Starting this month, roughly one quarter of the world’s population will lose sleep and gain sunlight as they set their clocks ahead for daylight saving. People may think that with the time shift, they are conserving electricity otherwise spent on lighting. But recent studies have cast doubt on the energy argument.

While I've a quibble with the opening sentence of this article - we no more "gain sunlight" by changing our clocks than we increase the amount of rain which falls when we've left our umbrella behind; it just seems that way - the research makes sense.
In 2006 Indiana instituted daylight saving statewide for the first time.... Examining electricity usage and billing since the statewide change, Kotchen and his colleague Laura Grant unexpectedly found that daylight time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, costing the state an extra $9 million. Although daylight time reduces demand for household lighting, the researchers suggest that it increased demand for cooling on summer evenings and heating in early spring and late fall mornings.

Other evidence suggests that the annual loss of one hour's sleep can endanger health and the switch causes an increase in vehicular accidents.
Stanley Coren, from the University of British Columbia, ... found that when Canada went into daylight saving in the springtime, there was an 8% increased risk of accidents on the Monday after the changeover. But when people had one hour's extra sleep (when they shifted out of daylight saving back into normal time), there was an 8% fewer risk of traffic accidents.

The fact of a balancing out of the risk doesn't help the people involved in the accidents due to fiddling with our clocks, now does it?

As for my clocks, they stay the same year round.

Recommend this post