Daylight "Wastings" Time

For all the talk about energy savings in today's political environment, effective actions are few and far between. So when a simple opportunity to save millions of dollars in energy costs comes along, we should take advantage of it. North Carolina should abandon the outdated and misguided practice of Daylight Savings Time.

Two professors tackled the issue in today's New York Times.

Recently, however, we were able to conduct a study in Indiana, where daylight time was instituted statewide only in 2006. Before that year, daylight time was in effect in just a handful of counties. This change of policy offered a unique, natural experiment to measure the overall effect on residential electricity consumption. We could compare the amount of energy used by households in the late-adopting counties during the two years before they switched to daylight time with the amounts they used during the year afterward — while using counties that always practiced daylight time as a control group.

We found that daylight time caused a 1 percent overall increase in residential electricity use, though the effect varied from month to month. The greatest increase occurred in late summer and early fall, when electricity use rose by 2 percent to 4 percent.

Daylight time costs Indiana households an average of $3.29 a year in higher electricity bills, or about $9 million for the whole state. We also calculated the health and other social costs of increased pollution emissions at $1.7 million to $5.5 million per year.

What explains this unexpected result? While daylight time reduces demand for household lighting, it increases demand for heating in the early spring and late fall (in the mornings) and, even more important, for cooling on summer evenings. Benjamin Franklin was right about candles, in other words, but he did not consider air-conditioners.

I've always thought the practice of moving clocks back and forth was an exercise in delusion, but I've never had evidence to suggest it might actually be destructive. It seems reasonable to extrapolate from the analysis in Indiana to conclude that we in North Carolina could be flushing upwards of $15 million each year when we implement Daylight Savings Time - with literally nothing to show for it.

No one can point to North Carolina and say we're a hotbed of innovation and independence. But perhaps by taking a step in the direction of energy efficiency - by abandoning Daylight "Savings" Time - we can begin to pull our policies into alignment with our rhetoric.


This time you've gone too far, James!

Nothing to show for it???

How about the ability of us wage slaves to go home in daylight so we can walk our dogs, enjoy a beer in the sunshine, etc?

Even if it costs a bit more, not everything can be evaluated in terms of money, James. Sheesh....

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

making sense.

Pffft...damn liberals making sense all the time.
Facts are meaningless, they can be used to prove anything.

Left on 49

Mental Health

What might be the "cost" of diminished mental health that could come from abolishing DT? It is nice to have the sun set as "late" in the day as possible.

As far as changing the work schedule goes, I may be wrong, but it seems like changing the work schedule would have the same consequences as shifting time back and forth the current way.

Buy a Use Railroad Watch if you want the correct Daylite Time

What might be the "cost" of diminished mental health that could come from abolishing DT?SPLib

Nothing! Clearly Alaska is a perfect example of mental health with DT where it is 6 months totaly dark and than 24/7 with the all day Sun for another 6 months. As you can see, it has produce sane normal government leaders such as Governor Palin, her husband Todd, clearly the best snowmobile driver on the planet with Sunglasses on the Dark side of the Winter. Also, don't forget Senator Ted Stevens, a convicted 86 year ole felon.

DT was invented for the railroads before the turn of the 20 th century in order to get their act together after 8 million railroads accidents for 40 years......Ah......bring back Casey Jones and the Cannonball Express

I'm with you, James!

I blogged about this in March. I'm a standard-time curmudgeon and proud of it!

I highly recommend David Prerau's entertaining book on the subject, Seize the Daylight. It covers the colorful history of Daylight Saving Time.

Did you know Raleigh was one of the first cities in the South to implement DST? Then the pesky state government decided it didn't want little Raleigh dictating when its workers came to work and Raleigh scrapped it a few days later.

Just another example of the Raleigh and state gummints not playing nice. :)

Mark Turner

I realize this was just an exercise

in "imagine if this were real", but changing the timestamp on BlueNC came real close to freaking me out, James. :O

"Did I lose an hour of my life? What the f**k is happening to me! NGAAAAH!"

That will teach them to never EVER

fall back during a big election cycle again!

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I know, right?

Not to mention the fact that I've never been very "graceful", so I generally fall forward and spring back.

It's confusing.

Nixon's Year Round DST Boo-boo

Remember the mess Nixon's year round DST made? People forgot that the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon came at the expense of an extra hour of darkness in the mornings. So kids were waiting for school buses in the dark and being hit by cars. To compensate, school districts moved class times up an hour. Work hours for adults didn't change and family schedules were thrown into turmoil.

I agree with you James. I don't think DST accomplishes much of anything any more. I could see it if we were still an agrarian society with kerosene lamps, but we left that age long ago.

Plus I'm biased anyway. As an amateur astronomer, DST throws off my viewing schedule! :-D

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Amateur astronomer!

Seen any heavenly bodies lately?


CU, you should come to Moore County

October 12-19,2009 for the MASP (Mid Atlantic Star Party). In the northern part of the county we have the "Dark Park" where star gazers congregate for a long camping weekend to view the heavens in one of the last places on the east coast with no light pollution.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

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It all boils down to...

...when you wake up and when you come home from work. In the interest of saving all that energy and saving the planet, I hereby refuse to go by anyone else's arbitrary "time." From now on, I will stop at the bar on the way home from work and sit there drinking until it is dark. The next morning, I will not get out of bed until the sun has warmed the air sufficiently.

The government controls time itself!

Let's not forget the total amount of time spent by Americans, twice a year, adjusting their watches, ovens, microwaves, car clocks, and all other time-keeping devices. If the average person spends only 1 minute a year (low ball) doing these things, that is 50,000 hours of work wasted. Not to mention all the people that inevitably miss appointments, run late (speed to work), or otherwise get screwed up because the government dictates a change in time itself.

Unintended consequences.


Whatabout when the calendar year changes? Think about all the time wasted writing in the old year, scratching it out, and writing in the correct year. If we got rid of years, we'd save time and ink!

Go for it.

Lobby congress to abolish the year!

Let's abolish February!

We already add a day here and there every four years, so why not kill a whole month? Just add 28 days to March. Wouldn't that be much more satisfying?

At least leapday!

Think of the millions of people who take SEVERAL minutes to adjust the date on their watches. We should do away with Leapday. Of course, if we did it would mess up the calendar eventually. Then, I guess we'd have to come up with completely new calendars, which might mess things up even more.

Why don't we do away with days! Everyone just live according to the earth and skies. With the only measurements "dawn", "day", "dusk", and "night".


This space for seriously, you can have my sig line to advertise your positions/goods for the right price.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Noooooo...not February!

That's my birthmonth and I demand that my family and friends celebrate my birth all 28 (or 29) days!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions