DST – Dumb Stupid Time

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“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.\” – Winston Churchill

Daylight “Saving” Time falls back on November 7th this year. The dates were instituted by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. no. 109-58, 119 Stat 594 (2005).  On that date in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time.  It’s the law of the land, but not everyone in land obeys the law. Alas Daylight Saving Time is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona except the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. Indiana no longer suffers from multiple personalities. Indiana used to be split with a part of the state observing DST. It is now whole. A state law was passed in 2005 that has the entire state of Indiana observing DST beginning in April 2006. California asked for federal \”approval\” to move to a \”year-round\” Daylight Saving Time in 2001-2002 because of its energy crisis.  There is a policy Daylight time and time zones in the U.S. are defined in the U.S.Code, Title 15, Chapter 6, Subchapter IX –, but not sure what states are the exception.

It’s quite extraordinary how many new employees/students get assigned to work the weekend that “we all fall back” in time. “I did work some graveyard shifts back in the 1970\’s, and we did have to work the extra hour. It was assumed we\’d still be around six months later and could benefit from an hour less then.” – Health care worker.  Almost every worker that has to work rotating shifts knows how the schedules work madness on one internal clock. A “day” person finds difficulty working nights. Working that extra hour because of DST makes you feel whacked in the morning. One reason this occurs is when the workers are not rotated like the clock. Meaning a person who has been working days for months is rotated to the night shift without going day to evening to nights cycle. The body doesn’t get a chance to get accustom to the time change.   You\’d think that would be common sense.  Here\’s an interesting viewpoint: Daylight Shaving Time

DST has an effect on individuals traveling across International timelines. Countless other countries observe some type of \”summer time\”, but they do not automatically change their clocks on the same dates as the U.S.  Some frequent fliers try to keep acclimated to day and time by wearing a watch with multiply time settings or several watches.

According to the article from London, Dr. Robert Graham of Lenox Hill Hospital is quoted stating that time should be left alone in winter.  The article goes on to quote researchers from Cambridge University and Mayer Hillman of the Policy Studies Institute in Britain, as declaring turning the clocks back in winter is dreadful for health, squanders energy and increases pollution. The researchers say putting an end to the practice in northern areas could bring major health and environmental benefits. Some of the health hazards mentioned were the increase of chronic illness due to decrease in exercise. Also of concern was the lack of adequate exposure to the sun resulting in a Vitamin D deficiency.

In March 2009, The Rescue Time Blog wrote an article announcing Daylight Savings Time costs the United States $480,000,000. The cost came from expenses incurred for those employees who are paid overtime for the extra hour. The other expense came from loss of productivity because employees just needed time to get use to the time change. Even the employees working days and were not due to work until Monday were said to be slower.

While a minister to France, Benjamin Franklin advocated the idea in an essay entitled \”An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.\” The essay was original published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. The idea was suggested it again in 1907 by William Willett.   Daylight Saving Time was not established in U.S. law until the Act of March 19, 1918, frequently called the Standard Time Act. Daylight saving time was repealed a year later in 1919, but standard time in time zones remained in law. Standard time as instituted by an industry – the railroad long before it was a established as a law. Standard time in time zones was instituted in the United States and Canada by the railroads in1883. Additional legislation in the United States has been enacted and revised, but remains in effects.  For an account of the history of standard and daylight time in the U.S., see Ian R. Bartky and Elizabeth Harrison: \”Standard and Daylight-saving Time\”, Scientific American, May 1979 (Vol. 240, No. 5), pp. 46-53.

So should we continue to practice DST?  There are medical reasons to discontinue DST. There are economical reasons to stop DST. Not all states and US territories are using DST.  So ‘common sense’ would dictate perhaps taking another look at the rational for keeping Daylight Saving Time. Maybe?  Ask a teenage what DST means – Dumb Stupid Time?

Resources and Work Cite:

http://blog.rescuetime.com/2009/03/11/daylight-savings-time-costs-the-united-states-480000000/ http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-538294.html http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101029/hl_nm/us_daylight_scientists http://www.energy.ca.gov/daylightsaving.html http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sup_01_15_10_6_20_IX.html http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc0807104 http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/daylight-time You can download an Acrobat PDF copy of the staff report, Effects of Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Use, Publication # 400-01-13, (PDF file, pages, 5.2 megabytes).

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