6:54:33 PM

The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







In This Issue

-=Issue Cover=-


Fleas No More!
By Gert Slabach

Freshwater Shrimp Harvest
(Local "Seafood" in Southside)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Make getting a Christmas tree an event)

Daylight Foolish Time
(End the Madness)



Editor's Page
(Scary Bridges)

Southside Gardener
(Monthly Tips & "To Do List")
By William H. McCaleb

South Winds
(Bats in My Belfry)

Ask Bubba - Advice



Festivals & Events

Nov - Dec Events

Christmas Parades

Farm & Ag Info

Farmers Markets Listing (FMs in or near SSVA)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Tree Sales & Farms)

Press Releases

Southside Master Gardeners
(Class of 2010)


Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.


Daylight Saving Time

Let's End The Madness



   It's that time again where we play, let's change the clocks and spend the next few days confused. That's right, the twice-a-year nonsense, when we go from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time and back again. I call it Daylight Foolish Time. Personally, I despise the time change. I see no good in it and plenty of bad. I contend changing the time is just plain foolish. I do not believe it saves anything and costs a lot in many ways.

   There is an old (politically incorrect) joke about attempting to explain Daylight Savings Time to an old Indian Chief, the old one said,

   �Only the white man�s government would be so stupid as to cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it onto the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.�

   This year I would like to see us roll back the clocks - to 1966 when there was no federal law regarding daylight saving time. And leave them there.

   I have never felt the positives outweighed the negatives. Personally, I get up early so it is always dark in the morning and I have never minded leaving home in the dark, but I despise getting home in the dark any longer than I have to.

   In order to support my argument that we should abolish this nonsense of the time change, I started doing some research.

   According to Wikipedia, "The practice [of daylight savings time] has been criticized. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun."

   In an article on WiseGeek.com "Why do we have daylight saving time" they state, "Daylight Saving Time has a long history of controversy, with vehement opinions on both sides of the debate. It is notoriously unpopular among farmers, who already have to deal with darkness in the morning and whose animals do not readily adjust to the clock change.

   I know our cat has a hard time reading the clock and still thinks we should get up at the old time. This causes some unpleasantness at 4:30 AM.

   Early goals of DST included saving energy in the form of lighting in the afternoons and evenings. Times have changed along with our energy usage. With lighting only consuming about 1% of the electricity used in American homes, the savings is really debatable. Many studies which previously claimed energy savings have since been revisited and the results often contradict the original findings.

   Potential energy savings aside, the loss of productivity, questionable safety issues and just plain aggravation overshadow any energy savings which might result.

   A 2010 Article published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health claims, "Recent research indicates that DST does not substantially reduce energy consumption and may even increase it. The research has also shown that transitions into and out of DST cause minor jet lag symptoms such as sleep disruption, fragmentation of the circadian rhythm, and fatigue. Since DST does not serve its original purpose and also causes a variety of disruptive symptoms, it is debatable whether there is any reason to maintain the practice."

   Without running over a lot of numbers and statistics, just think for a moment about safety and your daily commute. With each time change, things get weird for a few days until everybody gets back in the routine. If you've paid any attention, you have noticed it. Sleep disruption and pattern changes contribute to, traffic and workplace safety issues. This has been proven in numerous studies. We won't debate the percentages here, but there is a proven increase in accidents and injuries immediately following the time changes. I have personal experience with this. Several years ago on the Monday following a time change, driving down the highway in the morning, the sun was in a different place than where all the commuters were used to, and caught everyone off guard blinding many. Traffic came to a screeching halt; except for the driver behind me. No major injuries resulted, but some sheet metal got rearranged.

   To make matters worse, with the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; since 2007 the date of the time change has been creeping up, causing other issues.

   StandartTime.com, an organization dedicated to ending the practice of Daylight Saving time, claims this change has, "cost US companies billions to reset automated equipment, put us further out of sync with Asia and Africa time-wise, inconvenienced most of the country, all in the name of unproven studies that claim we save energy."

   Having worked in the late 1990's as a Y2K consultant for more than one major corporation, I know that any time-change creates major issues. I don't doubt the cost to industry is in the Billions.

   Think about your own household for a moment. Twice each year, you have to reset all your clocks. In our house, I estimate conservatively, we spend at least 30 minutes, remembering, finding and resetting all the clocks each time. Multiply this times a few million US households and you are starting to get the picture.

   In addition to all the clocks, consider computers and other consumer electronics. If you have older computers, you may have to set them more than once. Older computers with the time change dates built into the operating system automatically set themselves forward or back on the old dates, which puts them an hour off for the weeks between the old DST dates and the new ones, and requires a reset. These computers must then be reset once again on the new dates. The alternative is upgrading your computer.

    Now consider a larger business with hundreds of employees, clocks and computers and holdings in more than one time zone. Billions is starting to sound more realistic.

   I don't claim to have the answers, but I do wish we could end the foolishness of changing the time. Regardless of whether Daylight savings time actually saves or costs energy or safety, let's pick a team and play on it.

   I agree with STANDARDTIME.COM when they suggest, "If we are saving energy let's go year round with Daylight Saving Time. If we are not saving energy let's drop Daylight Saving Time!"


Quoted References:



"Why do we have daylight saving time"

"Daylight Saving Time Transitions and Road Traffic Accidents"
Published in the - Journal of Environmental and Public Health

Official Time Sources:

Official US Time

2010-2011 Daylight Saving Time or Summer Time with map for countries and territories

WorldTimeServer.com for Virginia, United States

US Naval Observatory Official Time

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Other Reading:

University of British Columbia
Reported in The New England Journal of Medicine

"Sleep Deficit, Fatal Accidents, and the Spring Shift to Daylight Savings Time"
Internet World Congress for Biomedical Sciences
Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster University








Discover Southside
PO Box 1061
South Boston, VA 24592
URL: http://www.discoversouthside.com
Copyright © 2008-11 Discover Southside