A Change to Daylight Savings Time?

A part of the energy bill currently up for a vote amends the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to extend standard daylight time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. Currently standard daylight time runs from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. This will reduce daylight savings time (DST) by four weeks beginning in 2007 if the Department of Energy verifies research that shows the cut would save energy.

The main purpose of DST is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. The Department of Energy says the extra daylight in the evening will help America use less electricity for lighting and appliances. Studies done by the U.S. Department of Transportation in the past show that DST does reduce the country's electricity usage by a small amount. Business owners and sporting groups support the plan saying it would increase retail sales and participation in outdoor activities. Canada is closely watching this measure in the energy bill, and will likely change their DST to match the U.S.

Several groups are opposed to the plan. Airlines are concerned that a change of DST in North America would result in international schedules to become further out of sync with Europe and the rest of the world. The National PTA also is against the extension because it will result in more kids going to school in the dark, creating increased safety risks. The International Association of Fire Chiefs also opposes the extension, as they sponsor the program that encourages homeowners to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks. A longer DST may result in dead batteries in smoke detectors.

What do you think? Should DST be extended?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

"This will reduce daylight savings time (DST) by four weeks beginning in 2007"

Don't you mean "'extend' daylight savings time"

posted on Wed, 03/29/2006 - 10:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Navajo Nation observing DST
Second Mesa, AZ - MDT June 21, 2006
Twilight: 5:36am
Sunrise: 6:06am
Sunset: 8:43pm
Twilight: 9:11pm

Refused to observe DST
Phoenix, AZ - PDT June 21, 2006
Twilight: 4:49am
Sunrise: 5:19am
Sunset: 7:42pm
Twilight: 8:10pm

posted on Mon, 05/22/2006 - 4:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Arizona really need to observe DST during the summer between April and October. To assure that they'll have a good taste of having daylight/twilight later in the evening if the government allow to use DST which means still on the MST. However, since Arizona do not observe DST which means they are on California time (PST) will get dark early and California will still have daylight a little while longer. If Arizona were smart enough, they can tell the local government to move the clock 1 hour foward and still be on MST, not on PST. The Indian Reservation do observe daylight savings is on MST and the rest of the state is on PST. You may want to check on www.sunrisesunset.com and most of USA have daylight after 8pm. Best if the people in the state of Arizona to persuade the government or vote.

Advantages daylight savings for Amtrak, Airlines, Freight trains, other transportations, sports including Arizona Diamondbacks.

The heat will not make any difference during the summer. Texas heat remains hot and the state observe DST and so is New Mexico.

Farmers hate daylight savings and they are trying to activate people's lives.

Indiana now is observing (Daylight Savings Time) DST, so now Arizona is a lone state wouldn't observe DST.

posted on Sun, 04/02/2006 - 4:46pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

More useful sunlight is about as unambiguous a benefit as one can imagine. The objections don't hold much water. The fire chiefs could certainly find other dates to tell folks to change thier batteries. Airlines already deal with time zones. And as for the PTA, we've heard it all before. In the early '70s, the nation went on year-round DST for a time. I was in grade school at the time and walked to school every morning. And you know what? It wasn't that dark!

Ah well, at least we're not repeating the lame arguments that DST is somehow bad for farmers.

posted on Fri, 07/29/2005 - 10:15am
Justin and Chris's picture
Justin and Chris says:

Great idea, we need more daylight!

posted on Thu, 06/01/2006 - 2:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Actually, there are 2 states which refuse to participate in the annual time shift: Arizona and Hawaii. I've never quite figured out why many otherwise intelligent persons think getting up an hour earlier April-October is such a brilliant strategy. The only discernable benefit to me is golfers can golf later. And it's difficult to have much respect for grown adults who devote their lives to chasing around and swatting at a small plastic sphere.

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 11:49pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Actually, you only get up an hour earlier once, the day DST starts. After that, you're on a regular 24-hour cycle.

The benefits of Daylight Saving Time are numerous and obvious. Here it is, nearly 8:00 pm in early April, and the sun is still shining brightly. I haven't had to turn the house lights on yet. Multiply that by hundreds of millions of homes and offices, and the savings are tremendous.

Today, the sun rose in Lansing at 7:08 am, and will set at 8:12 pm. Without DST, it would have risen at 6:08 and set at 7:12. Very few people would have been able to use the hour of sunlight from 6:08 to 7:08. However, EVERYBODY gets to use the hour of sunlight between 7:12 and 8:12. Not just golfers, but anybody out walking, driving, riding a bike, jogging, running errands, playing with the kids -- even sitting at their desk typing and enjoying the light from the window.

posted on Sat, 04/08/2006 - 6:45pm
Gary Peterson's picture
Gary Peterson says:

You were saying when you were in grade school it was not all very dark with winter daylight saving time during January 1974. The fact is there are some places in the USA in which the sun is always up by 7:00 AM standard which includes Las, Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Also the panhandle of Florida will always see the sun up by 7:00 AM standard time. With daylight saving time it will still be up by 8:00 AM. If you don't have to leave home to walk to school until after 8:00 AM it will not be that dark with daylight saving time. However on the other hand there are some places that don't have a sunrise after 8:30 standard time which would be after 9:30 daylight time. These would include Williston, North Dakota. So you can see it does depend greatly on where you live. In fact year round daylight saving time might work if some time zones were changed. All of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon would be on Pacific time. Mountain time would be extended east the the Missouri River. All of Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee would be Central time. Also perhpas Ohio, Georgia, and FLorida might move to Central time. These were the areas that seemed to have the most problem with winter daylight saving time in 1974.

posted on Sun, 09/04/2005 - 7:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

arizona doesn't change because its too hot

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 9:05am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Daylight Saving does not change the temperature, nor the amount of sunlight. All it does is change what we call each hour. The hour we normally call 10:00, for instance, we now call 11:00 instead.

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 10:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i thing that time shouldnt change cuz its confuseing hahaha

posted on Sat, 03/17/2007 - 10:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I can tell that you do not live in Arizona and have no idea what DST would be like in Arizona. Well I can tell you as I have lived thorough it, Especially in the desert areas that get well over 100 degrees (110 -120 degrees) it make the hottest part of the later( 4 o'clock heat would then be at 5 o'clock). We tried in 1969 or 1970 I beleive was the year and it was awful. The sun didn't set til after 9 p.m. and the evening were so hot you couldn't be outside and enjoy them. A.C. bills very very high and I live in the mountains. NO DST FOR ARIZONA

posted on Sat, 03/24/2012 - 3:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

President Bush will sign the energy bill today that includes the provision to extend daylight savings time. The change would take effect in 2007.

posted on Mon, 08/08/2005 - 9:31am
bryan kennedy's picture

Yep, this bill was signed on August 8, 2005. Alas, it is sad that the most newsworthy story many people are telling about our new energy policy is a slight change in Daylight Savings. This highlights the "head in the sand" attitude many in our government (both present and past) have about some looming energy problems.

America's desire for energy only continues to grow while the supplies are decreasing steadily. Serious and significant investments in research into alternative energy sources are an absolute must. This editorial from a piece about Coal Gasification by Thomas Homer-Dixon and S. Julio Friedmann explains some of these concerns well.
bryan kennedy
Science Buzz Site Admin

posted on Wed, 08/10/2005 - 3:34pm
NP's picture
NP says:

The topic is a change in Daylight Savings Time. It's not the fallacy of a global energy crisis. Stay on the subject!

posted on Fri, 11/04/2005 - 6:01am
Christi's picture
Christi says:

I think daylight savings should be extended till Novemder and March. It gives the opportunity for more people to enjoy the daylight and to get outside while the weather is still quite reasonable.

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 8:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in the Arizona desert where we tried DST one year in the mid 60s, everyone hated it, and we haven't done it since. We have enough daylight and enough hot hours as it is here; we don't need to extend it our hot summer days for another hour after dinner.

It seems to me that the same thing could be accomplished without making people reset their clocks back and forth and confusing the rest of the world if communities that are interested in this just decree that regular business hours will be from 7:00AM until 4:00PM.

posted on Sat, 09/17/2005 - 10:07pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Of course, DST doesn't actually make the day longer. You get the same number of daylight hours whether you use DST or not. DST simply has everyone wake up an hour earlier, and thus get off work an hour earlier, too.

I don't think the government has the authority to tell private businesses when they have to be open. And having it decided by each community would actually create a more confusing situation--one town could be on DST, the next one not, the next one yes, and so on.

posted on Sun, 09/18/2005 - 8:37pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I was checking out the "Today in Science" website, and I found this interesting entry for November 18:

"In 1883, standard time in the U.S. went into effect at noon for the first time due a decision of the American Railway Association. The actual local time, or "sun time" constantly changes as one moves either east or west. With the arrival of railroad travel, the situation raised problems for railway lines and passengers trying to synchronize schedules in different cities. The need for a system of standardized time was evident. The system adopted was first proposed by Charles F. Dowd (1825 - 1904), a school principal in New York state. North America was divided into four time zones, fifteen degrees of longitude, and one hour of "standard time" apart. Sir Stanford Fleming proposed the extension of the Dowd system to the whole world with 24 time zones."

posted on Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

For those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially under the constant grey flannel skies of the midwest--- any afternoon light is very welcome. I work in an office cube with no windows, thus no natural light. It's dark when I go to work and dark when I get home. Right now, I try to get up early to walk, but it is getting very cold in the mornings. DST would allow at least a short walk after supper when the day is a little warmer. To me, the more DST, the better.

posted on Tue, 11/15/2005 - 10:03pm
TOM's picture
TOM says:

A great idear as this will surely reduce auto acidents by giving
most people who leave work at 4-to 6 pm more time to get home wile it is still light out. (bad winter weather at night)

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:31pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

According to this article in Popular Mechanics, Congress is considering year-round DST for its energy savings.

posted on Sat, 10/28/2006 - 8:07am
Mich's picture
Mich says:

It seems like the idea of the extra daylight is most appreciated during winter months, from my own observations and from the comments here. So it seems to me that daylight savings is during the wrong time of year. If it were done over the winter months would there be the same energy saving benefits???

"I've always believed that we do Daylight Saving Time backwards. When do we wish we had more sunshine, in the summer or in the winter? When do we come home from work or school in the dark, in the summer or the winter? Winter is when we could use a little more sunshine, not summer. Why isn't anyone talking about sticking those weeks in the winter, when we have those cold, depressing sunsets at 4:30 in the afternoon?"

- Lloyd Garver, CBS

posted on Mon, 10/30/2006 - 7:55am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

It's a common misconception that Daylight Saving Time changes the amount of sunlight we get during the day. This is untrue. The length of the day is determined by the tilt of the Earth and your position on it. Today, October 30, 2006, we will get 10 hours and 23 minutes of daylight here in Lansing, Michigan. On December 30, it will be 9 hours and 4 minutes -- a loss of 1:19. And there's not one blessed thing anyone can do about that.

(You can find sunrise and sunet times for any location on the planet here.)

What we CAN do, however, is change our clocks so that this sunlight falls during the most useful part of the day. In the summer, when there's lots of sunlight, that's easy to do. Instead of having the sun rise at 5:00 (when most people are asleep) and set at 8:00, we shift our clocks so it rises at 6:00 and sets at 9:00. It's the same amount of sunlight -- we just change our behavior so we can take full advantage of it.

In winter, we have much less sunlight to play with. If we were to take Garver's suggestion and change our clocks so the sun set at, say, 7:00 pm on December 30, then that would mean it wouldn't rise until 10:00 am!

Energy benefits come from the fact that, when the sun is shining, people don't need to turn on their lights. Most people are awake, and thus need light, for about 16 hours a day. In the depths of winter, we only get about 9 hours of sunlight. No matter how we set our clocks, we would still need to use electric lights for 7 hours. There would be no energy savings.

posted on Mon, 10/30/2006 - 9:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Not many people benifit from time change. I think it's a show of power, by governments throughout the world. To show that they control time. I think of the regions where time change has no effect (like Alaska, Northern Canada, Northern European Counties). They still practice time change. Children go to school in the dark in the winter. Light out most of the summer.
No one can convince me that it isn't a power trip.
Fall 73

posted on Sun, 11/05/2006 - 4:05pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. On Labor Day, the Sun rose in Anchorage, Alaska at 6:57 am and set at 9:00 pm. Without Daylight Saving Time, it would have risen at 5:57 am -- long before most people would be awake -- and would have set at 8:00 pm -- long before most people turn in for the night.

No matter where you live, in the summer the Sun probably rises before you do. Daylight Saving Time takes an hour of light that few people can use and shifts it to the evening, where everyone can enjoy it.

Of course, at far northern latitudes, the day is so long in the summer, and so short in the winter, that shifting the time has a noticeable impact at only limited times of the year (which is why I chose Labor Day for my example). But very few people live in Alaska. The majority of Canadians are within a few hundred miles of the US border. Down here, DST is a great boon.

And even if DST had no effect on those few people living in the far north, it would still make sense for them to keep their clocks in synch with the rest of the country.

posted on Mon, 11/06/2006 - 12:43am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am so glad that this time is coming sooner this year I love the daylight savings time.

posted on Mon, 01/29/2007 - 4:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 02/18/2007 - 7:53pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Daylight Saving Time does not increase the amount of sunlight. That is determined by the angle of the Earth. All it does is change our clocks so the sunlight nature gives us falls during the hours most of us are awake.

DST will not make the snow melt faster, or make temperatures warmer. Those things are part of nature, and nature doesn't care what time we set out clocks. ;-) However, it will improve safety and increase outdoor activity, by making us all start work and school an hour earlier, and thus get home while the sun is still shining.

posted on Mon, 02/19/2007 - 12:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree with the schools and airlines about not adding more weeks to DST. Children need to be safe when going to and from school. Darkness in the morning makes that VERY difficult.

I also personally do not want additional weeks of DST.

posted on Fri, 03/02/2007 - 6:17pm
Lars's picture
Lars says:

DST is a stupid idea, unless you want to be able to play 18 holes of golf after work.
It saves nothing and is an aggravation to change clocks and play games with time.
If the Gov't wants it, just set clocks forward 1 hour permanently.

posted on Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I don't play golf, but I do enjoy going for a walk, riding my bike, shopping, or just sitting in my yard or on my porch -- all of which I can do more of thanks to DST.

On March 10, the sun will set in Lansing at 6:38 pm, which means I have to start turning on the lights around 6:00. On March 11, it will set at 7:40 pm; I won't have to turn the lights on until 7:00. Multiply that by 100 million homes in America, and yes, the savings add up.

We had year-round DST in the 1970s. However, because there are so few hours of sunlight in the winter, it had very little effect on energy usage, and some people thought it was too dark in the morning when children were going to school. (I lived through it and didn't find that to be the case.)

posted on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 11:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If you're so concerned about children getting to school safely in the morning, why not start school later? Far too many schools are starting the day far too early.

There should be DST all year.

posted on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 9:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

everyone seems to be concerned not having to turn on lights as early during dst, consider the people who live in the south where we run air conditioners to keep our homes cool. dst means it has to run an hour LONGER when we get home from work because the sun is still up, this is NOT an energy savings for us.

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 10:03am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

You make a valid point, though I'm not sure it makes all that much difference.

Just a reminder: DST does not change the number or warm hours in a day. Rather, it just changes which hours are warm. Let's say it's hot enough to require 10 hours of air conditioning, from 10 am to 8 pm. (Yes, some days are hot all day; others are not hot at all. This is just a hypothetical average.) With DST, those hot hours would be 11 am to 9 pm.

Someone who gets home from work at 6 would have to run their air conditioning for three hours instead of two. However, that is not all homes. Many have someone home all day -- they would run the air conditioning the full 10 hours, regardless of DST.

What about offices, stores and public buildings? Many of those are air-conditioned 24/7, so again DST makes no difference. Others, however, only run the air during business hours -- let's say 9 to 5. Those places would be running the air one hour LESS -- from 11 to 5, rather than from 10 to 5.

Weekends and holidays -- about 30% of the cooling season -- would be unaffected.

So, yes, those homes and apartments that only turn the air on after work would indeed run it one hour longer. But that is probably offset by those places that turn off the air at five, and during DST run it for one hour less. Meanwhile, the advantages of more useful sunlight still pertain.

(For the record, we Yankees use air conditioning, too. ;-) Interestingly, during the years I lived in Minnesota, I found my apartment didn't really get hot until 7 or 8 at night.)

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 12:55pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

According to this chart from Popular Mechanics, air conditioning accounts for only 6.3% of the average home's energy use, while electricity for lighting and other appliances accounts for 24.4%. So, in those homes where an extra hour of air conditioning is needed during DST, the cost would be offset by one less hour of burning light bulbs.

posted on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 8:35am
cecilia's picture
cecilia says:

i think that every one is using too much energy and that we shouldn't waste it if we don't need too

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 10:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that DST SUCKS!!!! Just when you get used to one time you have to make your body get used to another time. I think there just needs to be 1 time and only 1 time. Either keep it at the DST or keep it the other time. Switching back and forth is stupid!!!!

posted on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 10:39am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

If it takes your body more than a day or two to adjust to the time change, you may want to see your doctor.

posted on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 2:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i only like it when we fall back....not spring ahead

posted on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 4:30pm
Nick Swanson's picture
Nick Swanson says:

I think that the new daylight savings is ok..........

posted on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 12:43pm
i rock's picture
i rock says:

i think that daylight savings time is for people that dont want to wake up early, so people just tell them that its later than it actually is.

posted on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 12:50pm
maddison courrier's picture
maddison courrier says:

i agree 100%

posted on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 1:09pm
jdog's picture
jdog says:

This is really cool that the government is actually taking control and trying to help global warming well I guess you could call me a hippy but im really serious about trying to get involved in this kinda stuff. Did you know if you turn off your bedroom light when you go out to run errands or whatever you are actually helping daylight savings times?

P.S Im really smart and im only 13

posted on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 10:07pm
jdog's picture
jdog says:

this is really awesome that the government is taking control and taking matters into their own hands because daylight savings time can help global warming

I totally agree 100% with these statements

posted on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 10:11pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

A couple of years ago, blogger Micky Kaus offered another benefit to Daylight Saving Time: lighter evening traffic! He argues there are two types of people: those who tell time by the clock, and those who tell time by the Sun. During Standard Time, sun-people and clock-people both leave work at 5:00. But, when we switch to DST, sun-people leave an hour later. They are judging time by how much light there is in the sky, and the sky is staying lighter an hour longer. Thus, evening rush hour is much less hectic -- at least for a week or so, until the sun-people adjust.

(This is certainly true in the Gene household -- my housemate has been coming home an hour late ever since the time switch.)

posted on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 9:56am
AdvisorX's picture
AdvisorX says:

China shifted over to our system of time change and it's health care costs and injuries jumped significantly because human circadian cycles do not change with an artificial time system and so they returned to standard time system.

The last time there was a major extension of "daylight savings time" was by Rosevelt when he declared "war time" which was staying on daylight savings time all year around until after the war ended.

Currently, the change brings us 3 months short of "war time".
Is it a prelude to "war time" in real time.......real soon?.......Mr. Cheney!

posted on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 4:26pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Actually, DST began in January in 1973, and in February in 1974, so both those years had longer DST than the 1940s.

The current plan is four months short of year-round DST, not three.

posted on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 5:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Its not daylight saving time.Its daylight shifting time.And in our part of the country Wyoming with the shifting starting earlier we have grade school kids standing on the hiway in the dark waiting for the school bus.When one of these kids disappears or gets hit.Then what good did shifting time do.We are the government and our kids will be someday if we don't mess up to bad.We do not need dst year round and starting early sure is not safe here.Make a comment parents with kids and get this stopped.

posted on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 4:52pm
Ron Tamm's picture
Ron Tamm says:

I'd would like to see daylight savings all year round throughout the various states especially in the state of California. I'd get tired of changing the clocks back and forth. I hope that congress will introduce some legislation. so we can have daylight savings all year round.

posted on Tue, 03/20/2007 - 9:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think this should and should not happen beacuse i don't like it getting daker real late at night around 9:00 i want it to get daker around 6:30 @ night but i understand that we need to have DST so we can save energy.

posted on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 5:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that DST is aweful. I have never felt more tired in the mornings and unable to recover from this in my entire life. I used to look forward to summer and driving to work in the sunrise and wishing co-workers a good morning. What a joke DST really is especially all the stories of how it saves electricity!! All of the people I work with tell me they still go to bed at the same time they did before only now they burn an extra hour of electricity before they go to bed. They are all tired too because they get up an hour earlier to go to work on time, thus we all get an hour less sleep a day. This also probably affects all of the semi drivers and other full time transportation workers greatly too. If you ask me the only people who enjoy this freak of nature are retired citizens or people who work 9 to 5 jobs! This issue should be put to a vote on the ballot by the masses and not decided by a few who are elected into office. I have to wonder if they would decide to continue with DST if they worked the same hours as those who have no vote on this issue.

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 8:14am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I'm afraid I don't understand your comment -- how are you losing an hour of sleep each day? If you go to bed at 11 and wake up at 7, for instance, that's still 8 hours, regardless of when the sun rises. And if you wake up with the sun instead of to an alarm clock, then you actually get to sleep one hour later.

If your friends are going to bed at the same time, then they are burning one hour LESS electricity every day. For example, I go to bed around midnight. With DST, the sun will set today in Lansing at about 8 pm, meaning I burn 4 hours of electricity. Without DST, it would set at 7 pm, and I would burn 5 hours. The only way I would burn one hour more electricity during DST is if I stayed up two hours later.

You say DST only benefits "retired citizens or people who work 9 to 5 jobs." Well, the vast majority of working people have 9 to 5 hours (or thereabouts). I wonder if perhaps you work a late shift -- perhaps 8 pm to 4 am? In which case, yes, upon getting home you have one extra hour of darkness before sunrise. But very few people keep such hours, and that still doesn't explain how you are losing an hour of sleep each night -- there are still 24 hours in each day.

(You also mention this is the first time you have felt this way. But DST has been working the same way for decades. If you didn't suffer this way last year, then perhaps something else is making you tired?)

DST is not a "freak of nature," but a human creation. And finally, in a representative democracy, we elect people to make our laws. If we don't like what they do, we elect someone else.

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 7:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm so glad to see someone besides me that thinks DST is backwards. In the Winter, it gets dark at 5-6pm. In the Summer, it gets dark at 8-9pm. If we went on DST in the Winter, it would even out year round. As far as saving energy, before we go on DST, I get up in the morning and daylight is happening. After DST, I get up in the dark and turn on all the lights to see. I'm using more energy. In the afternoons after DST, I get home early in the heat of the day and turn down the air conditioning to cool the place off. Again, I'm using more energy that I did when I got home an hour later. I hear people saying it gives the farmers more daylight. I think, "yeah, right. Duh! Do you realize what you're saying?" As far as changing traffic patterns, please realize all outdoor workers plan their day around the daylight hours, not the clock. For example, hi-rise construction workers, roofers, farmers, brick layers, lawn service and landscaping services, tree trimming companies, home builders, no telling how many migrant workers, the logging industry, fencing companies, pool cleaning services, plant nurseries, satellite dish installers, well drilling and septic tank services, and on and on and on. There is, however, one distinct group of people that get a major benefit from DST. They are 100% for DST. These are the elite group of people that sit in their offices all day and still have time to play a round of golf before dark.

posted on Wed, 04/11/2007 - 12:34pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

OK, seriously -- is anybody even reading the comments anymore? Because most of this has already been discussed.

DST will not work in the winter. Today, April 11, the sun rose in Lansing, Michigan at 7:04 am, and will set at 8:15 pm (though no one will notice, due to the snow!) On December 11, it will rise at 7:58 am and set at 5:04 pm. If we had DST in the winter, and arranged it so the sun set at 8:00 pm, then it wouldn't rise until almost 11 am! You just can't save daylight if there's no daylight to save.

Burning an extra hour in the morning is only temporary. Beginning Saturday, the sun will rise earlier than it did at the end of Standard Time in early March, eliminating any extra electrical use in the morning until September. Besides, any "extra" electricity needed for lights in the morning is offset by the longer period of sunlight in the evening.

We already discussed elsewhere that the extra hour of air conditioning that some people need in their homes is offset by one less hour of air conditioning in offices.

I have never heard anyone say DST gives farmers more daylight. DST doesn't give anybody more daylight. It just moves the existing daylight around. Farmers, in fact, often do not care for DST, since they have to schedule their day around the sun, not around clocks.

Many outdoor workers put in regular 9-to-5 hours. Some seasonal work may go as long as light allows. But most of the occupations you mention observe normal business hours. (In fact, don't many construction crews start early and then knock off mid-afternoon?) In any event, even if all these people worked until sunset, wouldn't pushing sunset later in the day make rush hour lighter?

People who work 9-to-5 jobs are hardly elite, but rather the majority of workers.

And finally, as stated many times before, extra daylight in the evening benefits anyone who enjoys being outdoors in warm weather, for any reason, not just golfers.

posted on Wed, 04/11/2007 - 3:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You remind me of a radio talk show host I quit listening to. No matter what anyone says, there is an argument against it. Closed minds for closed minded people.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 1:30pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

OTOH, if you keep your mind open, your brains may fall out! ;-)

Facts is facts. It doesn't matter how many people try to tell me that 2 + 2 = 7, I will continue to correct them.

Same thing here. If you don't like extra sunlight, that's your prerogative. But all the arguments that have been offered are either logically flawed, or just plain factually wrong. And I have no interest in letting such obvious mistakes go unchallenged.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 5:39pm
Larry's picture
Larry says:

You're like the little boy with his finger in the hole in the dike, but there are so many holes. It's clear you're outnumbered by the ignorant or unthinking people. You must be quite optimistic to keep trying.

posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 2:28am
ianmiller's picture
ianmiller says:

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is not a new concept. In 1784, when Benjamin Franklin was Minister to France, an idea occurred to him: in that part of the year when the sun rises while most people are still asleep, clocks could be reset to allow an extra hour of daylight during waking hours. He calculated that French shopkeepers could save one million francs per year on candles. In 1907, William Willett, a British builder, Member of Parliament, and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, proposed the adoption of advanced time. The bill he introduced was reported favorably, asserting that DST would move hours of work and recreation more closely to daylight hours, reducing expenditures on artificial light. There was much opposition, however, and the idea was not adopted.

During World War I, in an effort to conserve fuel, Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916. As the war progressed, the rest of Europe adopted DST. The plan was not formally adopted in the United States until 1918. 'An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States' was enacted on March 19, 1918 (40 Stat 450). It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918. The idea was unpopular, however, and Congress abolished DST after the war, overriding President Wilson's veto. DST became a local option and was observed in some states until World War II, when President Roosevelt instituted year-round DST, called 'War Time,' on February 9, 1942. It lasted until the last Sunday in September 1945. The next year, many states and localities adopted summer DST.

By 1962, the transportation industry found the lack of nationwide consistency in time observance confusing enough to push for federal regulation. This drive resulted in the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-387). The Act mandated standard time within the established time zones and provided for advanced time: clocks would be advanced one hour beginning at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and turned back one hour at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in October. States were allowed to exempt themselves from DST as long as the entire state did so. If a state chose to observe DST, the time changes were required to begin and end on the established dates. In 1968, Arizona became the first state to exempt itself from DST. In 1972, the Act was amended (P.L. 92-267), allowing those states split between time zones to exempt either the entire state or that part of the state lying within a different time zone. The newly created Department of Transportation (DOT) was given the power to enforce the law. Currently, the following do not observe DST: Arizona, Hawaii, the part of Indiana in the eastern time zone, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

During the 1973 oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in an effort to conserve fuel Congress enacted a trial period of year-round DST (P.L. 93-182), beginning January 6, 1974, and ending April 27, 1975. From the beginning, the trial was hotly debated. Those in favor pointed to the benefits of increased daylight hours in the winter evening: more time for recreation, reduced lighting and heating demands, reduced crime, and reduced automobile accidents. Opposition was voiced by farmers and others whose hours are set by the sun rather than by the clock. With later sunrises and sunsets, they were unable to arrive at work on time after morning activities or participate in evening activities. Another major concern was children leaving for school in the dark. The Act was amended in October 1974 (P.L. 93-434) to return to standard time for the period beginning October 27, 1974, and ending February 23, 1975, when DST resumed. When the trial ended in 1975, the country returned to observing summer DST (with the aforementioned exceptions).

DOT, charged with evaluating the plan of extending DST into March, reported in 1975 that 'modest overall benefits might be realized by a shift from the historic six-month DST (May through October) in areas of energy conservation, overall traffic safety and reduced violent crime.' However, DOT also reported that these benefits were minimal and difficult to distinguish from seasonal variations and fluctuations in energy prices.

Congress then asked the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) to evaluate the DOT report. NBS found no significant energy savings or differences in traffic fatalities. It did find, however, statistically significant evidence of increased fatalities among school-age children in the mornings during the test period, although it was impossible to determine if this was due to DST.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 1:51pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Please cite your sources. The above seems to come from a report compiled by the Library of Congress.

Also, rather than re-posting the entire article, it's usually better to post a short excerpt, and then provide a link. Thanks!

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 9:23am
ianmiller's picture
ianmiller says:

It it really worth all this for an extended afternoons daylight???

Daylight saving time began three weeks earlier (and ends a week later, on the first Sunday in November). Many companies were scrambling to reset BlackBerry e-mail devices, desktop PCs and big data-center computers used to automate payrolls, purchasing and manufacturing.

This puts the United States out of sync with the rest of the world for longer than usual this spring, almost certainly disrupting not only computers but also the business and travel schedules of companies, workers and travelers. Most of Europe goes to daylight saving time March 25, two weeks after America, while most of Asia, Africa and South America do not observe daylight saving time at all.

Any device that has an internal clock looms as a potential problem and must be tweaked for the time change, usually with a software patch. Most internal clocks in computing devices are programmed for the old daylight-time calendar, which Congress set in 1986.

For consumers, the greatest potential impact will be on e-mail and calendar programs like Microsoft Outlook, used to schedule dentist visits, soccer practices, evening entertainment and other appointments.

For the roughly 7,000 public companies in the United States, Jeffery Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research, estimates the total cost of making computer fixes to deal with the daylight saving time shift at more than $350 million. “It’s causing a lot of corporate technology people sleepless nights,” he said.

The impact extends beyond computers themselves. For example, utilities have begun deploying sophisticated time-of-use meters that measure electricity consumption, often at 15- or 30-minute intervals. They charge different rates at different times of day — mainly for large commercial customers — as part of the utilities’ programs to manage peak loads on their grids. Those meters have to be reprogrammed for the daylight saving time shift, sending technicians out for on-site visits costing $40 to $200 each, according to Rick Nicholson, an analyst at the IDC research firm.

I have to remember the words of Pogo Possum.
"We have met the enemy, and he is us."

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 2:34pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The above was largely taken from an article in the New York Times.

Most of Africa and South America, and many heavily-populated parts of Asia, lie in the tropics, where the length of the day does not change very much throughout the year. No point to DST in those areas. The southern parts of Africa and S. America are in the Southern Hemisphere. They are in winter now, and thus don't have enough daylight to shift.

Adjusting computers and other devices to the change in DST is a one-time fix. Assuming Congress doesn't change the system again, these devices should be set for years to come.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 9:26am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm going to have to agree with Mr. Miller after finding this story.
What we're doing to our infrastructure is not worth what we're getting in return.
This has to be costing the country millions of dollars to allow people extra playtime.

Train Travel: To keep published timetables, trains can't leave a station before the scheduled time. When the clocks fall back one hour in October, all Amtrack trains in the United States that are running on time come to a stop at 2am and wait one hour before resuming. Overnight passengers are often surprised to find their train as a dead stop, and their travel time an hour longer than expected. At the spring DST time change, trains instantaneoulsy become an hour behind schedule at 2am, but they just keep going and do their best to make up the time.

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 8:15am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Well, we are all entitled to agree or disagree with whomever we like. But, re-reading Mr. Miller's posts, I don't see any examples of DST impacting infrastructure (generally defined as roads, bridges, airports, water systems, phone systems, electrical systems).

As for costs, we must make a distinction between the costs of having DST in general, and the costs of having DST start earlier this year. The costs of the former, as explained elsewhere, are minimal; are balanced by the savings; and are offset by the benefit of later daylight. The costs of starting DST early this year are also minimal (Miller cites a figure of $350 million -- or about $1.16 for every American); are paid only once; and are at least partially the fault of service providers who had almost 2 years to prepare for this change and didn't.

Again, the later daylight is not just "play time." (Though I personally would gladly pay $1.16 for one extra hour of playtime every day for 8 months!) I just now got home from spending the day out of town. There was a huge backup on I-94. Thanks to DST, I was driving in the sunlight. I could see the back-up before I hit it, and I could see how far it stretched. I could easily see the cars, and they could see me. I could merge with little difficulty. I could see the road signs clearly. Without DST, this would have all happened in the dark, and would have been considerably less fun.

As for trains: I travel Amtrak frequently. They are almost never on time. In fact, any trip that takes no more than an hour longer than scheduled is considered pretty good. Stopping dead on the tracks is a frequent occurrence, day or night. At 2 am, the passengers are sleeping anyway. And finally, how many overnight trains does Amtrak even run? A dozen? Two dozen? Not a major issue in my book.

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 6:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, gee, Mr. Dean.

All us ignorant, logically flawed and just plain factually wrong people extend our gratitude for your interest in our welfare. We sincerely appreciate you telling us how stupid we are.

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 8:30am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I never said anyone was stupid. I merely said they were wrong. I stand by that, and anxiously await the day when someone can provide a valid argument against DST.

And it's "Gene."

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 6:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Memo to: The American people

From: The People Who Control Time


You have probably already noticed that daylight-saving time began earlier this year, creating a whole new raft of problems associated with the clocks on your computers, cell phones, coffeemakers, DVD players . . . well, we don’t have to tell you. It was a mess. Everything has a clock, and now those nifty automated updates for daylight-saving time no longer work. You had to manually reset all of the 63 clocks at various locations in your home and office.

We’re so sorry.

Ostensibly, the reason you were forced to move your clocks ahead three weeks earlier than usual was the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Keep in mind that daylight-saving time lasts a week longer than usual this year as well. You might believe that Congress is evaluating the energy savings gained with this scheme and could return daylight time to its previous state.

We hate to burst your bubble, but that is merely a cover story. Please! Congress evaluating something? How likely is that?

The truth is, Congress merely does our bidding. The People Who Control Time are actually using this little experiment to see how amenable you are to doing any fool thing we tell you with your clocks.

It’s not that we’re mean, but just that we’re hardheaded businessmen who have seen little return on our investment.

See, since daylight-saving time was first conceived and first implemented about 90 years ago during World War I, we’ve only managed to bank about 18,000 hours - and there’s been some slippage because of those yahoos down in Arizona who refuse to play ball.

That amounts to a little more than two years, and I’m sure anyone would agree that a 2.2 percent return on your investment is just not good temporal planning.

It’s not like we’re hoarding that time either. Think of how long some of the basketball minutes have become in recent years or when you tell someone “just a second” and actually take three or four minutes. Where do you think that time came from?

That’s right, the International Daylight Savings and Loan.

So, this year, we’re looking for an extra month of daylight-saving time, a mere 30 hours of bankable time. How can this help us?

Simple. It doesn’t stop here.

In years to come, we will be making some more changes to your clocks and it’s going to take everybody’s cooperation.

Here’s the rough outline of changes we envision in the future:

2008: There will be two daylight-saving times. The traditional one will begin even earlier, on Feb. 14, and end later, on Dec. 25. A second, optional daylight time will be added on the spring equinox. The same adage, “spring forward,” will apply.

2009: We will begin daylight-saving time on Jan. 1 and conveniently forget to end it. Most people will be happy with the extra hour of daylight, and we’ll be able to increase our returns by a full 50 percent from the change. Also, every year has become a leap year, giving us 24 extra hours at no charge, and we’ll continue implementing more daylight-saving time each year.

2010: “Give the gift of time” will become our new slogan. Personalized daylight-saving time will allow anyone to enjoy more hours of glorious daylight with the simple setting of a clock. Say you wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. No problem. Just set your clock ahead to 7 a.m. and you’re good to go. Or maybe the workday is dragging on at 4 p.m. With a click of the mouse, it’s 6 p.m. and you’re on your way home. Use those hours when you really need them.

2011: Taking the idea of personalized daylight-saving time one step further, we’ll allow you to set up individual zones for home, work and recreation. Your calendar would look like this: 9 a.m., meet with repairman; 9 a.m., meet with boss; 9 a.m., go to kids’ soccer game.

2012: To accommodate all the changes from the past few years, we’ll add four hours to each day and one day to each week. This will provide plenty of opportunity for spare time, wasted time or quality time, all of which are somehow vanishing.

There you have it, a plan that will double the rate of return on daylight-saving time.

Of course, there will be a few minor inconveniences, like the sun coming up at noon or setting at midnight. We’re still working out the bugs.

Trust us. These are ideas whose time has come.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:18pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Very funny! But, you should cite your sources. This was an op-ed column by Chris Woodka in the Pueblo Chieftan.

When quoting someone else's work on-line, it is good etiquette to cite the original author and post a link. Otherwise, it can appear that you are trying to pass off that other person's work as your own.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

When Congress decided to tinker with Daylight Savings Time, it was pitched as an “energy conservation” measure. Now the results are in. Congress erred — and managed to impose significant costs on the economy in the process.

It turns out that electricity consumption did not change by any appreciable degree during the new early weeks of Daylight Savings Time. Americans’ use of electricity during darker, colder mornings offset reduced consumption during lighter evenings.

Unfortunately this was not an inconsequential trade-off. The calendar change for daylight savings imposed significant costs on all sorts of communications and other electronic systems, many of which required reprogramming to accommodate the change.

But don’t look for Congress simply to admit its error and make corrections. Congress almost never does that.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:19pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was an editorial in the Wheeling Intelligencer.

The author claims there is no energy savings during the three weeks of early DST, but offer no citations. They also claim the costs to the economy were “significant,” but, as we established earlier, they work out to about $1.16 per person.

If you have something new to add to the debate, by all means, please share it. But please do not keep re-hashing points we have already discussed.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It does not matter what man attempts to do. God is in control. The sun will set and rise when God is ready.
More so now than ever before, because our children are losing an extra hour of valuable rest time, my prayers are with them, as well as with the parents and the teachers.
Perhaps when they, the children, become leaders of tomorrow, they can bring common sense back to this issue of daylight-saving time.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:19pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was originally a letter to the editor of The Advocate, which appears to be a publication out of Louisiana.

The author says children lose an hour of sleep. This is incorrect. Everyone loses one hour of sleep the first day DST goes into effect. (You can usually offset this by going to be a little earlier that Saturday, and taking it easy that Sunday.) Afterwards, we are on a regular 24-hour cycle.

The original letter made many other points which were not copied here -- perhaps because we have already answered them.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Most people lose an hour's sleep when clocks spring forward for daylight-saving time. One western Pennsylvania teen lost 12 days of freedom.

Cody Webb, 15, says he was wrongly charged with phoning in a bomb threat to his high school last month because the school district didn't reset a clock on a phone system, something police overlooked during their investigation.
Webb spent 12 days in the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center before a judge dismissed the charges.
Webb, an honors student active in student council, tennis and the Japanese Club at Hempfield Area High School, had never even been given detention, his mother, Linda, told the Tribune-Review of Greensburg for a story Wednesday.
"It was a nightmare," she said.
Webb called a school district hot line to listen to a recorded message about school delays at 3:12 a.m. EDT on March 11, according to his cell phone records.
The next day, school officials found the hot line had recorded a bomb threat from a blocked phone number at 3:17 a.m.
School officials concluded Webb had made the threat because they also found a record of his phone call, his attorney Tim Andrews said.
The school's recorder, however, was still on Eastern Standard Time, meaning the bomb threat really came in at 4:17 a.m. daylight time, more than an hour after Webb's call, Andrews said.
When the principal asked Webb for his cell phone number later that morning and said, "We got him. We got him," Webb did not immediately realize what she meant. When Webb refused to confess, he was arrested on a felony charge of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and related misdemeanor counts.
He was detained for a total of 12 days, until a judge released him when a state trooper failed to show up at another hearing.
A few days later, on March 27, the judge dismissed the charges.
"The district attorney subpoenaed the cell phone records, and it didn't take more than a minute to see the times didn't match," Andrews said.
Hempfield Area School District solicitor Dennis Slyman said police investigating the bomb threat never asked school officials about when the clocks were reset.
"Whatever they did was with their own investigation and outside the auspices of the school district," Slyman said.
Trooper Jeanne Martin, a state police spokeswoman, did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday. Martin told the newspaper that the time change was an issue in the charges being dropped and said the bomb threat investigation was continuing.
Andrews said the boy's family is considering a lawsuit against the school district or police for false arrest.
"I wasn't going to admit to something I didn't do," Webb said. "Me and God know I didn't do it."

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:20pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was an AP story, based on a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

It is bad form to quote a work without citing the original author. It is doubly bad to quote the entire work, especially when it is of such length. Better to excerpt the highlights, and then provide a link for those readers interested enough to follow up.

DST cannot be blamed for bad police work.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Daylight saving hasn't met goal
Here's a big ol' not surprise. Preliminary indications are that moving up daylight saving time by three weeks did not cut American's energy usage. You may remember that, based on a study from 1973, Congress decided that extending the day in the evening would save energy.
A basic problem is that while the daylight at the end of the day might mean that people don't need to switch on artificial light sources quite as early, they still need to turn on lights at the start of the day in order to get ready for work and school.
Additionally, residential lighting accounts for about only 10 percent of the average homeowners' electricity use. It's the big items around the house — air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators — that suck up the most power, and when they run is not dependent on the clock.
When Congress decided to extend daylight saving time in the spring and in the fall past Halloween, it said it would later evaluate whether any energy had been saved or not.
Let's give it a couple of seasonal cycles before deciding whether or not to change the time changes back. It appears, though, as far as energy conservation is concerned, the whole exercise really seems to have been a waste of time.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:20pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Residential lighting, on average, consumes 9% of the electricity on your power bill. And overall, lighting consumes 22% of our electricity. That's no paltry amount, and it's mostly electricity generated by coal-fired power plants--the largest US source of greenhouse gases.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 8:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is an editorial from the Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn.

In addition to Liza's response, I would just add that the amount of extra electricity needed for lighting in the morning was minimal. Let us assume a typical commuter, John Doe, who rises at 7:00 am. (Yes, some people rise earlier. They will always need more light in the morning. Some people rise later; they will always need less. This is an average. And the patterns of consumption are the same for everyone.)

If John lives on the eastern edge of a time zone, say Chicago, he sees almost no difference. The sun rose at 6:11 on March 10, and at 7:10 on March 11. Given that the sky is already light 10 minutes before sunrise, no additional electricity is needed.

But what if John lives near the western edge of a time zone – say, Indianapolis? There, the sun rose at 7:04 on March 10, but 8:04 on March 11. So yes, John did need to have his lights on for an extra hour in the morning. However, he used his lights for one hour less in the evening, so it’s a wash.

But even in Indianapolis, the effect is short-lived. By the end of March, the sun was rising at 7:30. So, during those three weeks, consumers needed an average of 15 more minutes of electricity in the morning, and then only if they lived on the western end of a time zone.

A pretty small price to pay for such a huge benefit.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I actually have to adjust my store hours to compensate for the publics compensation to the time change! All other things being equal, we will conduct affairs at the same "natural" time. Leave the clock alone! If we, as a group or business, want more "daytime" after work, then we will adjust our own hours. I do not need a government screwing up things more than it already is! LEAVE THE CLOCK ALONE!

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:20pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was a response to Leaf-Chronicle item listed earlier, posted on the newspaper's blog.

What business has had to change its hours of operation in response to DST? The customers are on a 9-to-5 schedule, regardless of when the sun rises. (An exception might be farmers, whose work is scheduled by the needs of animals who of course live by the sun. But most of those issued have been ironed out over the decades.)

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You can always leave your clocks one hour ahead and enjoy late sunsets all year round. But then why stop at one hour ahead, make it two or three ahead and have sunsets at midnight. Lovely. Just like Alaska in the summer. As Einstein said, time is relative.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:21pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is yet another response on the Leaf-Chronicle blog.

Again, very amusing! But since most people want to go to bed around 10 or 11, there’s no need for having sunlight any later.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The spring gas hike hits earlier than usual this year in Colorado Springs. A new survey shows the unexpected rise may be due in part to early daylight saving.
The amount of gas used in March is up 2.8% over this time last year, leading to another gas hike for the tenth straight week in a row. AAA Colorado Spokesperson Eric Escudero says, "That's given us more daylight to go out and enjoy ourselves. That and warmer weather got people out and they're driving their cars which is great." What is not great, is an increase in demand from an increase in use. Escudero says, "It's up to 65 cents on average for regular unleaded since January 31st".

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:21pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is a news report from Channel 21 in Colorado Springs.

Gas prices fluctuate for a large variety of reasons. In Lansing, Michigan, they actually fell rather sharply from March 9 - 16. (I’d be willing to bet that the recent spike had a lot more to do with Iran kidnapping British sailors than with DST.) People would be out driving more in the evenings due to longer days and warmer temps, regardless of whether there is DST or not.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The funniest thing is that as Indiana politicians finally and belatedly decide to hop on the time-change bandwagon, the rest of the country is coming to the conclusion that the whole thing has been a waste of effort. Leave it to us to adopt a bit of so-called progress just when the rest of the country is deciding it's likely a waste of time.

I've been following this story from across the border. Ohio is too far west to really benefit from fast time (DST). I can't imagine why anyone in Indiana would ever want it in the first place. Indiana's meridians place it squarely in the Central time zone. When most of Indiana was on Eastern year round, this was essentially being on Central daylight year round. I found it very annoying to get up in utter blackness in March this year. I can only imagine why someone living in say the Sullivan area of Indiana would hate DST.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is a comment from a blog of the
Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel.

We’ve already discussed Indiana. As for Ohio being too far west – today, with DST, the sun rose in Columbus at 6:55 and will set at 8:10. Without it, the sun would rise at 5:55 and set at 7:10. DST has taken an hour of sunlight from the early morning, when almost nobody can use it, and shifted it to the evening, where everyone can use it.

The author says that the country is deciding that DST is a waste, but doesn't offer any citations to back it up? Other than one guy commenting on a blog, I haven’t heard much of an uproar. ;-)

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The argument for daylight-saving time as an energy saver took a real hit the other day.
Congress, in an effort to save energy, moved up daylight-saving time by three weeks this year.

But the added daylight, accompanied by the unseasonably warm March temperatures through large parts of the nation, got Americans out of the house -- but all too often into their cars.
They golfed. They shopped. They drove about and enjoyed the added daylight.
What they did not do is comply with the wishes of the central planners and conserve. The disobedience to state planning is worthy of a cheer, even if the energy loss is not.
But there is another reason why many Americans used their extra 21 hours of daylight spread over three weeks in ways that the central planners had not considered.
As columnist George Will noted in his remarks last week at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for all the media and politician hand-wringing over "soaring" gasoline prices, today's gasoline prices when inflation is calculated are exactly where they were 20 years ago.
For all the attempts to micromanage social behaviors, the fact remains that the only sure conservation course is the market. When prices climb to the point where it hurts to buy, consumers will buy less. Conservation is achieved.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:23pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This appears to be an editorial from the Richman, Indiana Palladium-Item.

Man, I love those conspiracy theories! Keep ‘em coming! But they do make a valid point -- when you account for inflation, gas prices have stayed pretty steady for the last couple of decades. Which rather contradicts the earlier writer who claimed they were going up thanks to DST.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Daylight-saving time, a silly concept, got sillier this year. Let us examine this routine forced upon us by the infinite wisdom of our elected officials.
It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that there is no saving of daylight in DST, only the clock is changed.
DST was started during World War I to save electricity by countries of the Western world. If it made a bit of sense then, it does not make any sense now. An average consumer realizes that most of the electricity is guzzled by air conditioning or heating, followed by the washer-dryer, dishwasher and refrigerator, among other gadgets in the household. Only a small percentage of the electric bill is due to lights.
There is no change in the duration of lights on the streets and in many commercial buildings that remain illuminated.
Most workplaces use lights regardless of how bright it is outside.
True, most of the Western world and Muslim countries in the Middle East use DST, but that does not make it right. Most of the Asian countries, Japan, China, South Korea, India and others, do not have DST. Japan, China and Korea experimented with it and rejected it.
During the first week after the time change, more accidents occur on the highways because of it. Our biological clock needs a week to adjust. The productivity goes down.
It is about time we bring DST to DUST. Even if you partially agree with me, write to our congressional delegation.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:23pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

An op-ed column in the Myrtle Beach, Florida, Sun News.

Liza has already countered the idea that light savings are minimal. We have also discussed how air conditioning use is also only slightly affected.

Again, if there is a new argument, or new facts to be brought to bear on an old argument, please share them. But all this does is show how widespread the misconception is.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You might want to be a little more careful when driving after the country switches to daylight-saving time.
National and local statistics show traffic wrecks rise during that period, likely because drivers are not as alert because of lost sleep.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 1998 that wrecks increased 17 percent the Monday after moving clocks ahead one hour.
• 2004 — Wrecks increased to 74 from 64; up 15.6 percent.
• 2005 — Wrecks increased to 73 from 64; up 14.1 percent.
• 2006 — Wrecks increased to 70 from 37; up 89.2 percent.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:24pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is an excerpt from an article in the Decatur Daily. This is another netiquette faux pas -- if you are printing only part of an article, you must say so. Otherwise, readers will mistakenly think this is the whole thing.

Why is that a problem? Because the third paragraph talks about national traffic statistics. This is immediately followed by three bullet points. What is missing, however, is the passage from the original article which tells us the bullet points are for the Decatur area only. They may not be indicative of a national trend.

We also do not know what happens to crash rates throughout the year. Is this kind of week-to-week fluctuation unusual, or just business as usual? (For example, the enormous increase in 2006 – where did that come from? Did an ice storm just happen to hit that week? If so, then the weather obviously has a much greater impact on traffic accidents than the time change.)

Similarly, citing national statistics from one year does not establish a pattern. I cannot find the data on the NHTSA website.

However, if this data holds up, then we will have finally found a valid objection to DST! The question then becomes whether this rise in accidents (arguably small, perhaps temporary) is a good price to pay for the numerous benefits of DST. That, of course, is a matter of opinion -- everyone will weigh the costs and benefits for themselves.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am perplexed as to why we switched to Daylight Saving Time at an earlier date this year. To save energy is the apparent claim. As my family (and millions of others) ready themselves for school and work each morning, we need to turn on the lights for that hour since it is dark outside. However, the week before the change, during standard time, we did not need to switch lights on in the early morning hours.

Furthermore, more daylight probably translates into more driving and using more gas, not exactly an energy saving practice. But most importantly, did anyone give any consideration to the greater risk for our children, who now must make their way to school in the dark?

Florida needs to adopt the custom of Arizona and do away with this silly practice. At least return it to its original form of only having it for six months of the year.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 7:25pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was a letter to the editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

We've already covered morning energy use. As for children going to school in the dark, we’ve already noted how, over the course of the three weeks of early DST, the sun rises an average of 15 minutes later, for people living on the western end of a time zone. And, as I noted a couple of years ago, I went to school during the year-round DST of the 1970s, and no, it wasn’t that dark.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:32pm
Lucy's picture
Lucy says:

Ok, children.
It's obvious this has turned in to a battle of wills between two people about having or not having DST.
One of you wants it. OK, you have it. Let it go.
The other one is mad because you can't change it. And you can't. So you let it go, too.
Would both of you please just go away for a while and let someone else have some opinions on this site without getting a contrarian view from either of you. There are those of us that would like to participate, but will not as long as either of you dominate this site.
Can you be mature enough to do this?

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 6:14am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Hi, Lucy.

Gene is part of the Science Buzz team (as am I). It's his job to look at things posted on the site, respond to them if they're not scientifically accurate, and to generally participate in and promote discussion.

But I would LOVE to hear from you. Please contribute, no matter who else is dominating the discussion.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 10:01am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

As my long-suffering mother would have told you, the answer to that question is "no." ;-)

But, seriously, opinions are fine. If someone simply says "I like DST" or "I don't like DST," that's cool. It would be nice to hear a reason, but I think we've heard them all by now.

If someone says "I've weighed the pros and cons, and I don't think DST is worth it," that's also OK. I may disagree with their reasoning, but it's up to each of us to weigh the factors for ourselves.

However, if someone spreads misinformation about DST, I will correct it. As Daniel Moynihan famously said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion; no one is entitled to their own facts.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 12:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Lucy, you make a good point.
I don't like DST for a number of reasons, but it doesn't matter at this point.
I apologize. I'm gone. Thank you and bye.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 10:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I aggree...DST is not appropriate

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 11:22am
Sarah's picture
Sarah says:

I hate DST. I hope it is not. It is to hard to go to bed in the light!

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 7:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Finally, a benefit of DST that even the most hardened opponent cannot help but support:

Early DST leads to less television viewing.

Well, the lousy shows this season probably had something to do with it, too...

posted on Wed, 05/09/2007 - 10:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Just last evening I was enjoying the fact that the sun was still shining when I got off work at 5 p.m. (Pacific) and enjoying the feeling that I wasn't as rushed to get home and get dinner on. Purely an emotional/psychological (not logical I admit) response. My family also enjoys my extra sunny disposition too. It seems to me there are many attempts to 'get Gene' so whether they admit it or not they are at least enjoying the repartee that an extra hour of sunlight in their day has allowed them. Grin.

posted on Thu, 11/01/2007 - 6:15pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I discovered what is a totally personal reason for not liking this change. Last night was Halloween and as I set up my lights for the trick or treaters I realized that had I already "fell back" that my light show would look cooler at 6pm on November 5 than it did at 6pm on October 31, as it would have been darker. Halloween is scary - we should fall back on October 30 every year just for Halloween!

posted on Thu, 11/01/2007 - 11:00pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I'll buy that!

OTOH, it was light out later, making for safer trick-or-treating.

posted on Fri, 11/02/2007 - 8:49am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I heard that from a lot of parents who were out with their kids, though I am not sure if the kids shared the sentiment!

posted on Fri, 11/02/2007 - 11:13am
Ron's picture
Ron says:

IM A delivery driver and usually out delivering in the dark during the winter months.I feel it would help make our jobs safer driving and walking up snow covered walkways in the daylight.That extra hour does help.

posted on Sat, 11/03/2007 - 6:53am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Here's an interesting article about the connection between DST and increased pedestrian accidents around dusk.

posted on Sat, 11/03/2007 - 8:11pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The one good thing about DST that I think everybody can agree on is how, once a year, you get an extra hour of sleep! ;-) So, everybody, tell us: how did you spend your extra hour on the night of November 3/4?

Me, I stayed up extra-late surfing the web, knowing I could sleep late and still wake up at my normal time.

(Other folks spent the evening in a bar. They normally close at 2 am around here. But 2 am became 1 am, and so they stayed open an extra hour. Which came in pretty handy, given the result of the Michigan-Michigan State game.)

In years when I've felt particularly goofy, I have rented some bizarre movie or TV show -- anything that runs less than an hour. I start watching it at 1:55, and finish at 1:49, or whatever. It's like it never happened!

Time can be fun!

posted on Sun, 11/04/2007 - 8:46pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I went to bed dreading the fact that my 19 month old daughter would be waking up at 5am instead of the already too early 6am. The extra hour got sucked into the same temporal vortex that has eradicated my "spare time".

posted on Sun, 11/04/2007 - 10:32pm
Cindy's picture
Cindy says:

PLEASE PLEASE - can't we just split the difference by a 1/2 hour and use the SAME time year round and stop this stupid "spring forward, fall back" joke!! It is stupid, crazy, unrealistic,.... Stop the madness and leave it the same year round!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 7:03am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Half an hour wouldn't make any difference in winter, when there's not enough sunlight to go around. In the summer, it would mean wasting a large amount of usable sunlight in the morning before everybody gets up.

posted on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 1:47pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Its really not that hard or crazy. Calculus, that's another story.

posted on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 9:33pm
J.R.'s picture
J.R. says:

The way to make everyone happy is compromise. Why not adjust the time 1/2 hour (either way) and leave it year around? Simple huh?

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 9:13am
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

when looking at the history of daylight time it's well known that it has been a variable thing over the years. in my lifetime they've extended it more than once. it used to begin in late april, now it begins in march. and it used to end in late october, now it's in early november.

no matter the length of daylight time during the year, it really only works if the change is a full hour.

in addition, some states don't oberve daylight time, like most of indiana and all of arizona.

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 10:56am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Re: a half-hour change -- see the comment from 5/6/08, which explains why this wouldn't work.

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 11:59am
ckalter's picture
ckalter says:

Why don't we have DST in the winter? Is that when we most need to "save it." IN fact that is a medical condtion call seasonal affected disorder (sad) caused/affected by lack of light. I think many people would be helped by more sunlight at the end of the day.

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 11:11am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

We covered this exactly two years ago today -- see the comments of October 30, 2006.

In brief, we cannot save daylight in the winter, because there simply is no daylight to save. On December 21, St. Paul will only have about 8 hours and 45 minutes of sunlight. Total. If we changed our clocks so that the Sun set at, say, 9 pm, then it wouldn't rise until after noon!

DST works in the summer because there is so much more sunlight -- close to 16 hours in late June. Then, it makes sense to change our clocks so that, instead of having the Sun rise at 4 and set at 8, it can rise at 5 and set at 9.

Same number of hours. We just take the hour from 4-5 am, when few people are awake, and move it to 8-9 pm, when everyone can enjoy it.

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 12:20pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

The conventional thinking goes, we do more things outdoors in the warmer months for longer periods of time. DLS can give us even more time to do those things. In the winter, we're inside using artificial lights and don't need the extra hour of sunlight in our evenings.

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 11:24am
wilhelmina's picture
wilhelmina says:

I just wanted to find out when did Texas first start having DST

posted on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 7:52am
Winter needs longer days's picture
Winter needs longer days says:

Times have changed. There is no need to spring forward and fall back, rather...we need light later in the day on winter days. It seems somewhat backwards the way they do DST. It would even our days out more uniformly if it was Spring back and Fall forward. We need more daylight in the fall/winter months. The natural progression of daylight in the summer and winter, without human intervention thru DST is the way it was designed to best benefit our bodies.
October kicks off the beginning of the darker part of the year, as well as the holidays. With the interference of DST, it gets dark earlier which has many negative effects. It's been researched that there are more accidents during this season. For one reason, due to the holidays there is more traffic. Driving in the dark is proven to cause more accidents. Add to that, with early dark, those who drink start drinking and driving earlier.
Criminals use darkness as a cloak. Shopping for the holidays or being out to take advantage of holiday events in the early dark, provide many more opportunities for thieves. The time for DST changes is past. We need more daylight at the end of the day in winter. Studies have also shown that early darkness in winter uses alot more electricity usage with heaters turned on, which use much more power than lights.
It's a no brainer that this practice is outdated!

posted on Sun, 11/30/2008 - 7:11pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

DST ends at the end of October (or beginning of November). The early darkness in fall and winter is not a result of DST, but rather a result of us ending Daylight Saving Time and returning to Standard Time.

As we have explained several times on this thread already, you cannot have Daylight Saving Time in late fall and winter, for the simple reason that there is no daylight to save. Tomorrow, Dec. 7, 2008, the Sun will rise in St. Paul at 7:38 am and set at 4:31 pm -- a total of 8 hours and 53 minutes of daylight. This has nothing to do with how we set out clocks; it is an unalterable fact of nature determined by the tilt of the Earth's axis. Now, if you wanted to have DST in December so that the Sun didn't set until, say, 8 pm, you could do that. But then the Sun wouldn't rise until almost Noon! Any advantages of late sunlight would be wiped out by the disadvantages of early darkness.

No way around it -- DST simply does not work in winter.

posted on Sat, 12/06/2008 - 10:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I read quite a few of your most informative comments and found two that expressed my viewpoint clearly and concisely: try living in the South where it is horrendously hot and humid for long months each year, where the only hope of escape from this torture is nightfall, where daily confinement to air conditioned spaces tends to make one feel imprisoned, where fear of the ever increasing cost of the ENERGY required to supply the cursed frosty air brings about the suffering and /or death of many of our elderly each year. I loathe DST and do not believe it is of any particular benefit to anyone, regardless of where one lives.

posted on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:56pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

DST does not make the day hotter. It simply changes which hours of the day are hot. You need the same amount of air conditioning, DST or no DST.

Energy prices have fallen dramatically of late.

DST is of great benefit to anybody who enjoys being out and about after work. Which is to say, mostly everybody.

posted on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 4:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I wonder how dst would work if implemented in tropical countries. What could be its advantages and disadvantages. As you know, tropical countries usually have an equal length of day and night. Would those tropical countries have the same benefits as the united states?

posted on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 3:57am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

There would be no advantage. As you note, the Sun rises and sets at the same time every day, all year round. There is no extra daylight to "save."

This web exhibit shows which countries around the world use DST. Though it is somewhat out of date (it still shows the US starting DST in April), the map shows that, at the time it was written, most tropical countries did not observe DST.

posted on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How can I convince my husband that the snow is not going to melt faster with daylight savings time???

posted on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 7:32pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Tell him that even through the times may be different that actual amount of daylight isn't changing (aside from the fact that the days are getting longer now). DST does not add an extra hour of actual daylight - only the Earth's orbit around the sun and its tilt can do that.

posted on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 4:27pm
Anonymous 2's picture
Anonymous 2 says:

I feel myself better when it's DST time. Especially i don't get why many usa cites like New-York, Los-Angeles and Las-Vegas and also Boston put their clocks 1 hour backward! From logical point of view it will be better if they will stand on DST all year! Because winter sunrise is better at 5:25 p.m. rather than 4:25 p.m.!

posted on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 6:10pm

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