As you surely know by now, Daylight Saving Time started 3 weeks earlier and will extend a week later this year, causing a fair bit of grief for IT folks like Dede & me. The California Energy Commission’s explaination of DST:
One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it saves energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.
But while proponents of DST claim it’s meant to shift our day to make better use of natural light, how many of us actually use the sun as a major light source? It isn’t like we’re all getting up at the crack o’ dawn to feed the livestock and/or work the crops. So given the lifestyle of most people now, the amount of daylight has little or no bearing upon our use of electricity. So if DST isn’t an energy savings effort, what’s it for?
I’ve been reading lots of articles and the consensus is that Daylight Saving is is really not an energy conservation plan at all — it’s a very effective spending policy. Coming down off of the holiday season, DST is just the shot in the arm that the economy needs. Yup, seems like DST is more about commerce — getting us to part with our hard-earned money — than conservation. During DST months, we use more gasoline (and oddly enough, consider which months of the year that gas prices are elevated), do more shopping, watch & play more sports, have more cookouts. In short, we’re better consumers with DST in effect than we would be without.
Now, I enjoy the long Summer days as much as the next guy, but I’m not so crazy about being manipulated for the sake of big bidness’ bottom-line. What do you make of this? Does this smell fishy to anyone else?