27 October 2006

I hate daylight saving time

It is so stupid to artificially change time in some foolish attempt to trick everyone into doing their activities earlier. Ben Franklin had the idea originally; but if I read the legend of his idea correctly, it was a farcical idea, meant only in jest. Prerau quotes Franklin's reaction to a summer sunrise at 6 am:
"Still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for the sun's rising on that day... [others] will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of its rising so early; and especially when I assure them that it gives light as soon as it rises!"

This is the man who was referenced as an early supporter of DST? I fear the recognition of sarcasm was indeed poorly developed in the past. I was happy to be moving to Indiana, where DST wasn't being observed when I made the decision to move here. And then, before I'd even enjoyed 1 season without, they changed to conform to national DST!! Trust my luck to change a 39 year tradition of Hoosier noncompliance. We next change again on Sunday morning, 10/28.

DST is supposed to help people to have more time to enjoy sunlight, but all it does for me is make me late everywhere. I absolutely never adjust. My kids get up at their usual time, my life operates on a bio clock not the artificial one - so DST helps me not at all. The energy savings seem like a joke - we're supposed to save energy by not needing lighting at night, so we can guiltlessly go on a consuming binge in the evening - using gas and resources anyway. The total energy savings rounds up to 1%, which amounts to a very negligible statistical amount of the 340 million BTUs most Americans use daily. Just data noise, really.

In an effort to understand the DST effort, and specifically the Indiana relationship to it (and whether I should hope for them to give up the DST experiment), I read David Prerau's Seize the Daylight. His work looks to treat DST historically, to chronicle its whys and wherefores, rather than to take one side or the other. After the posturing surrounding the change in Indiana, this was refreshing. I enjoyed the facts and anecdotes but, unfortunately, did not find any reason to be more favorably inclined to DST. Prerau's book is an excellent discussion of the issues and provides nice background and stories about DST incidents over time. It certainly solidified my sense of time as a social covention.

welcome back to real time America*!

(*excepting Hawaii, and Arizona, who never changed. except on the Rez. The Rez in AZ that is.)


David J said...

I have always said that the only reason to observer DST is that everyone else does it. From claims I've read by proponents of DST, the energy savings are about 1% of 1% ... and this is from the claims of proponents, mind you! Too bad Franklin's farce and sarcasm were lost on allegedly intelligent people.

Anonymous said...

I think this is something the people should get to vote on. Why should congress get to dictate such a thing? And WHY is it being bumped up 3 weeks early this year?

I think the whole concept is useless. If I lose an hour of sleep each day, who cares when the sun goes down? And I honestly don't think there is any significant savings in energy. AGAIN, let the people vote on this.
For the life of me, I don't know why they didn't do away with it years ago.

Anonymous said...

I hate Daylight Savings too. I love the morning sun and don't want to be deprived of it, so I keep my watch and alarm clock on Standard Time all year. I have to compromise a bit (20 minutes) in summer so that I don't miss meetings at work in the morning. Folks think I am nuts, but I don't care. I tell them that they have been conned into getting up an hour earlier (which they would never do if the clocks were not changed and nobody else was doing it)!

Where I live (New Zealand) thousands of morons petitioned for extended daylight savings, and got it starting this September. And some people want it the whole year. I don't get to vote on it, but it would make no difference anyway - I am totally out-numbered. At least from your blog I know I am not totally alone in thinking this way, though.

- Pete

countrygirl said...

I think DST is no longer necessary - we are truly a 24/7 society with people coming and going to work or to play no matter if it's dark or light out. They are using many energy consuming devices dependent upon their shcedules. The only thing I do differently is organize outdoor chores based on the time of year not the time of day - 1 hour doesn't make a difference.

Richard said...

And now it turns out that DST may actually cause more energy consumption. http://www.dbtechno.com/science/2008/03/09/daylight-saving-time-may-increase-energy-consumption/

Judy said...

DST is outdated,it doesn't save anything and makes the common sleep deprivation even worse.