Environment Health Politics

Daylight Savings Time Is A Waste

Does “daylight savings time” save energy? Does it save money? Does it save lives? Does getting up when the sun is lower in the morning sky mean you have more time before you go to bed at night?

Parents and schools worry about the safety of children who will now be traveling to school in the dark before the later sunrise.

The airline industry is worried about the effect on Thanksgiving travel. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year and forgetting to change a clock in a hotel or wherever causes confusion. The Air Transport Association of America Inc., which represents major U.S. airlines, argues that it would throw U.S. international schedules further out of sync with Europe. It says a two-month extension would cost the U.S. airline industry $147 million and disrupt overseas travel.

For computer equipment, software is used to automatically update many systems but far more devices require manual updates to get them on the new time. Count up the time devices you have just in your own home and how much time you’ll take going to each one to change and reprogram.

Disruption to people’s sleep habits, confusion while traveling, and lost productivity from sleep deprived workers are just a few of the ill effects of a system that gains us nothing.

In fact, DST causes more energy consumption. People coming home from work get in their cars and drive to the beach, lake, or go shopping, while it is still daylight. DST is supported by the retail industry because it is an opportunity to increase sales and get more money from consumers. Businesses benefit from these end of day shopping hours.

Another spurious claimed benefit is reduced road toll. Continued on Page 3

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