Have I mentioned lately that I hate/resent/dread Daylight Savings Time? Always have. Always will. And here in The Sunshine State it’s an especial torture when, every summer, we take an hour away from the coolest part of the day and tack it on to the hottest part of the day.
So thank you National Geographic for putting it out there. First, the premise put forward in 1917 that DST would energy has little relevance 100 years later.
In their 2008 National Bureau of Economic Research study, the team found that lighting demand dropped, but the warmer hour of extra daylight tacked onto each evening led to more air-conditioning use, which canceled out the gains from reduced lighting and then some: Hoosiers paid higher electric bills than before DST, the study showed . . . During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, parts of Australia extended daylight saving time while others did not . . . the practice did indeed drop lighting and electricity use in the evenings—but that higher energy demands during darker mornings completely canceled out the evening gains. . .
“Everywhere there is air conditioning, our evidence suggests that daylight saving is a loser,” Wolff said.
And, oh yeah, gas.
“When you give Americans more light at the end of the day, they really do want to get out of the house. And they go to ballparks, or to the mall and other places, but they don’t walk there. Daylight saving reliably increases the amount of driving that Americans do, and gasoline consumption tracks up with daylight saving.”
Conventional wisdom is that DST was begun to help farmers. Not so. Farmers found it disruptive to livestock and crops. Who else doesn’t like it?
- Orthodox religions with traditional prayer schedules have long fought against DST
- The TV industry hates it and fights it, and
- Arizona thinks it’s stupid and does not participate.