Daylight “Saving”…

Ah, Daylight Saving Time again.  I mean, at least I think it is.  Really, I’m too groggy to know for sure…

I don’t like Daylight Saving Time.  It’s not just the disrupted sleep that bothers me, although that’s a problem, too.  I don’t like Daylight Saving Time because I’ve come to believe it’s nothing more than a scam to benefit power companies.

The days get longer and shorter throughout the year.  So what?  We adjust.  In the winter, it’s dark at 6 pm.  In the summer it’s still light at 6 pm.  Humanity evolved during this process and we move through our days without ever really thinking about it.  I make more decisions about doing things outside based on ‘warm or cold’ or ‘rain or dry’ than I do ‘dark or light’.  I’ll happily sit outside in the dark on a warm, dry night but if it’s raining and cold, I’m staying indoors – even if the sun is up.  Go figure…

Still, we’re sold on Daylight Saving as “extending the day” so we can all enjoy our summer evenings.  But, as is so often the case, that’s not what we’re doing at all.  Well, we ARE extending the day but the key is about using more energy, not enjoying summer evenings.

Now, stay with me here because this gets a bit confusing.  See, in the evenings, we get to choose what we do.  If it’s cold out, we MIGHT turn on the heater.  But we MIGHT just go crawl into bed and read a book or watch a little TV.  So even though we’re told Daylight Saving is about the evenings, it’s really about the mornings.  The mornings are the time when most of us are moving specifically in accordance with a clock.

Say you have to be to work at 8 am and it takes you two hours to get up and get there so you dutifully set your alarm to 6 am.  With no time change, you would find yourself getting up with the sun and then after the sun rises as the days get longer.  This means you can get ready for work using the sunlight.  But if we jump the clock forward one hour just as the days get longer?  Well, we’ve guaranteed that you’re getting out of bed while it’s still dark and colder outside.  You have no choice but to turn on the lights, assuming you’d like to avoid a stubbed toe.

It’s not just speculation, you know.  Daylight Saving Time used to run from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October…like (ahem) clockwork.  In at least one case, that’s literally true.  I have a computerized clock that changes its own time according to the old rules of Daylight Saving.  Now, it’s wrong for two weeks twice a year…

George W. Bush was such a poor President, he even messed up time!  In 2005, he signed an energy bill that extended DST by four weeks.  At the time, he said it would reduce energy consumption.  Like everything else he touched, that was a “mistake.”  According to Scientific American, a study done in 2006 in Indiana discovered a 1 percent RISE in residential electrical use.  One percent, you say?  Well, in this case that one percent equated to nine million dollars!

In fairness, a 2008 report to Congress showed a small (.5 %) reduction but that study included commercial use, not just residential.  Is it possible the Republicans created a law that hurt homeowners but helped business?  Perish the thought!

I’ll tell you this:  I could live without Daylight Saving and I’d REALLY like the chance to sleep on it…

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