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» Thursday, March 08, 2007
Idiot Manipulating
Saving Even More Daylight

Bold emphasis is mine:
"Our demand for power, whether through electric lighting, computers or TV, isn't really elastic," says Downing. "We just ask for it at different times." He points out that with the DST extension, Americans living in Grand Rapids, Mich., and farther west in their time zones won't see a sunrise in November until 8:30 a.m. — which means a lit-up house an hour or so longer in the morning, when most families wake up.

Even the Department of Energy (DOE) isn't convinced changing the clocks will make a dent in energy consumption. "The jury on the potential national energy-savings of extending daylight saving time is still out," Craig Stevens, press secretary for the Department of Energy, wrote to TIME in e-mail. "Our preliminary report, based on decades-old information, indicates a very small amount of energy savings."
Earlier in the article there is a comment that there's more need for daylight at 6 p.m. than 6 a.m. Eh? In case they haven't noticed, happy little families like Dick and Jane and Sally and Mother and Father have changed. Dick and Jane don't rise anymore at 7:30 to get dressed, have breakfast and walk to school before the late bell at 8:30 while Father who works in an office goes in at nine and Mother stays home and cleans house. People are on the move a lot earlier. Have you ever seen commuter traffic at 6 a.m.? There's a whole lot of it. Families who have kids to drop off at school/daycare frequently get up at 5 a.m.—or earlier. Bedroom lights, kitchen lights, the television to see weather and traffic reports, coffee makers, opening and closing the refrigerator—don't they use energy?

The excuse that people can go out and do things later is absurd. The sun still sets later in the summer. Without DST, it would simply do it an hour earlier. So what? As a kid, I played under streetlights. And it's cooler after dark.

Oh, yeah, it does get cooler after dark. People turn down air conditioning units and fans. So the lights go on, but the A/C may go off or use less power. Air conditioning guzzles power. Do the lights actually use more power than the air conditioning units?

By the way, if they are so concerned with energy use, why are more business/government buildings being constructed with small or no windows? There are schools being built around us that look like prisons. I remember schools with big windows to let in natural light and they opened to let in fresh air so an A/C unit didn't have to run all year round. Why do kids have to be ossified in buildings with artificial light and air? It's the same in the building in which I work. They have windows, but only for the outer offices, and none of them open. Air circulation in the building, frankly, sucks.

Daylight Savings Tine is a dinosaur. It was originally instituted so that World War I munitions and supply factories, which did not have the fluorescent and halogen lights we do today, could work later. It isn't needed anymore. but if they need to keep the fool thing, it should be where it used to be, last week of October and last week of April.

(So what's going to happen to trick or treat this year? Kids don't want to go out before dark; it's goofy. So we'll have a bunch of kids out later. Bright, guys...)