Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hmmmmm... Daylight Saving Time

(This was supposed to post at 2 AM when the law required changing the clocks... but Blogger wouldn't let me. Sorry...)

I wonder if my cats will start nudging me to awaken an hour earlier tomorrow morning? Or, will my garden plants perk up an hour earlier?

Somehow I doubt it. 

I doubt the sun will change its schedule because some bureaucrats made a Law that changed the hour hand on all of the clock faces in the US twice a year, excepting Arizona. There must have been a monetary incentive for them to do so (isn't there always one?), but the logic of it escapes me. Yeah, I do read that it supposedly cuts energy consumption in our homes during summer by something like 1%. Yeah, Right. (But it's been proven wrong even by our own government.)

"In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset for many people and businesses by the morning's need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is generally less than one hour. So, the rationale was that Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year, but it saves least during the four darkest months of winter (November, December, January, and February), when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.

In addition, less electricity was thought to be used because people are home fewer hours during the "longer" days of spring and summer. Most people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When people are not at home, they don't turn on the appliances and lights.

Although a 1976 report by the National Bureau of Standards disputed the 1975 U.S. Department of Transportation study, and found that DST-related energy savings were insignificant, the DOT study continued to influence decisions about Daylight Saving Time." (Source)

In the continental US, only Arizona remains on "standard time" all year long. And, IF you have a sundial, how much of the year is it actually accurate???

"The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. Its effect on health and crime is less clear. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) concluded in 1975 that DST might reduce the country's electricity usage by 1% during March and April, but the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) reviewed the DOT study in 1976 and found no significant savings."

Clock shifts disrupt sleep and reduce its efficiency. Effects on seasonal adaptation of the circadian rhythm can be severe and last for weeks. A 2008 study found that although male suicide rates rise in the weeks after the spring transition, the relationship weakened greatly after adjusting for season. A 2008 Swedish study found that heart attacks were significantly more common the first three weekdays after the spring transition, and significantly less common the first weekday after the autumn transition. The government of Kazakhstan  cited health complications due to clock shifts as a reason for abolishing DST in 2005. In March 2011, Dmitri Medvedev, president of Russia, claimed that "stress of changing clocks" were the motivation for Russia to stay in DST all year long. Officials at the time talked about an annual increase in suicides.

So, if it's not really valid energy conservation, what are the reasons we are still subject to "springing forward and falling back"?? Just so some few businesses may possibly make more money in this economic wasteland we find ourselves now living in?

Just my 2¢ worth... my opinion of so many Laws that simply do not make sense.

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