Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hour Problem

I really, really dislike daylight saving time.

My primary complaint is that it's so inconvenient. This arbitrary adjustment of the clock makes about as much sense as mandating that we all use thermometers that read 10 degrees cooler in the summer. But not only do we insist on using DST, but our government actually expanded its operational period a couple of years ago. Why? Because they claim it saves energy, even though measured studies indicate that it actually increases energy use by about 3%.

It's much easier to air condition large multi-occupant facilities than it is smaller privately-occupied homes; if we remained on standard time year-round, most people would get home closer to twilight, when temperatures have begun to drop, and we'd see significant individual AC savings (AC is a significant portion of that 3% increase in energy use).

I'm luckier than most; I no longer have to get up before sunrise on most days (only on Tuesdays, when we drive to the FedEx Freight hub in South Atlanta to pick up a book shipment), so the changes in the clock require minimal adjustments on my part.

I'd love to see some group push to abolish this at some point; it's absurd that we go through these motions when DST's benefits have been disproven. However, it remains a part of political mythology, like so many other misguided "science in the name of social engineering" concepts, so I doubt if it's going away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm in favor of abolishing time zones altogether. Live on UTC. It doesn't matter if I show up at work when the clock reads 9:00 or 13:00; what matters is that I show up when everyone else does. I've missed more than one appointment because of time zone conversions, and worked many late nights ensuring the latest set of bored-legislator-mandated changes to my servers' clocks gets properly implemented.

-- Jack of Spades