There’s always one

If you look hard enough, you can find fans of just about anything, including, in this specific case, Daylight Saving Time:

Since I am an extreme evening person, getting much of my work done after most of the English-speaking world has gone to bed, I’m a big fan of Daylight Savings Time because spring and summer afternoons allow me to get out and enjoy the sunlight.

My ideal day would be Alaska in early July. My wife and I made a driving/camping tour of Alaska in early July 1988 and the length of the day fit our schedules well. About 10pm we’d be tooling along, and it would occur to us that we ought to look for a campground in order to pull over pretty soon to cook dinner and set up the tent before it got dark and the grizzlies came out.

Alaska in July is also good for golfing. I teed off at the Elmendorf AFB course at 6:20 pm on a cloudy day. The sun finally came out and provided us a glorious sunset as we were coming up the 18th fairway around 11pm. (Sunset in Anchorage on the 4th of July is at 11:35 p.m.)

I’m guessing this would probably not work so well in Ecuador.

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DST explained

You know the phrase “It’s all good”?

You’ve just seen its antithesis.

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Now with extra morning darkness!

I didn’t do a DST rant this year, perhaps dimly sensing that this idiotic government scheme, like most idiotic government schemes, will outlive me by many decades.

However, I’m happy to give you someone else’s DST rant:

I dislike these first few weeks of it (that it starts so early, too): I go from driving to work when the sun is up to driving to work in the dark. I was rather frustrated with the Weather Channel the day or two before, when they were talking about how we all got “extra sunlight” after the time change. No. There is no “extra” sunlight, absent the few seconds we gain with each day we get closer to the summer solstice. The only people who get “extra” sunlight are those who sleep in late enough to be up after the dawn during standard time. And, perhaps, the people who can get in a round of golf after work instead of having to grade or attend to life-chores like laundry or marketing. (And really: how many people in today’s America get to sleep through the dawn? And how many have enough free time in the afternoon to go have fun? Probably not most working people; probably not most parents.)

TWC’s absorption into Comcast/NBC killed what few brain cells they had.

Sunrise this week in Oklahoma City has been around 7:50. Pretty much everyone I work with has to drive in the dark to get there by eight. (I show up in the general vicinity of six-thirty, so I seldom see any sunshine on the morning commute: sunrise never comes earlier than about 6:15.)

And besides, laws are not enacted for the benefit of working people and/or parents, unless there’s some way to obtain the requisite quantity of graft and/or egoboo for the elites.

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The hour is at hand

Not that I expected much from it, but the petition section at whitehouse dot gov is actually one of the more worthwhile achievements of the Obama administration, inasmuch as (1) it costs comparatively little to run and (2) if your intelligence should be insulted by what you see, it’s probably not the government’s fault.

And once in a while there’s something I can support:

Daylight Savings Time is an archaic practice in our modern society.
The original reasons for the policies are no longer applicable, and the most cited reason for keeping DST (energy savings) has never been shown to be true… We should either eliminate DST or make it the year-round standard time for the whole country.

Apart from the gratuitous S at the end of “Saving,” there isn’t much here for me to complain about.

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The semiannual DST rant

You’ve probably seen several of those from me over the years. Here’s one from Doug Mataconis, titled “Bad For Your Health, Not Good For Much Else”:

The only benefits that can conceivably attached to Daylight Saving Time would seem to be ones that cannot be quantified, such as the psychic benefit of having daylight last longer into the late afternoon/early evening, meaning that people have more time after normal work hours for outdoor activities. Today’s sunset here in Virginia, for example, is at 6:15pm rather than 5:15pm. By mid-April, we’ll have daylight until well after 7pm. Is that a good thing? I suppose it is. Of course, if we just stayed on Standard Time, or for that matter made DST itself Standard Time it really doesn’t matter, we’d get longer days anyway since the days will become longer as we get closer to June 21st. Is there really all that much benefit from manipulating the clock every six months like this? I don’t really see it.

So there you have it. Moving the clocks ahead an hour, and then back again seven months later, is bad for your health, it increases the risk of road accidents, it increases energy use, and it has little if any real benefits to the economy or the environment. So, tell me again why we still have it?

Because the government can never, ever admit that it was wrong about anything: the whole freaking house of cards would collapse. Not that it’s standing particularly tall these days anyway.

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I’m surprised I didn’t think of this

Especially since my antipathy toward DST is on the record and all:

Newspaper clipping containing DST rant

Or, as the lovely Goldie Hawn once said on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, “I wish they’d move Christmas to July, when the stores aren’t so crowded.”

(Poached from Rand Simberg.)

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About damn time

House Bill 1259, by Rep. Wade Rousselot (D-Wagoner):

SECTION 1. [NEW LAW] A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 70 of Title 25, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The standard time in Oklahoma shall be known as Central Standard Time.

B. This section shall not be construed to affect the standard time established by United States law governing the movements of common carriers engaged in interstate commerce or the time for performance of an act by an officer or department of the United States, as established by a statute, lawful order, rule or regulation of the United States or an agency hereof.

C. As authorized by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 as amended and notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary by the United States government relating to adoption of daylight saving time by all of the states, the State of Oklahoma elects to reject such time and elects to continue in force the terms of subsection A of this section relating to standard time in Oklahoma.

D. The rejection of daylight saving time as provided for in this section may be changed by future legislative action.

SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2011.

The chance that this will actually pass is next to nil, but I’m just delighted that someone actually considers it possible.

(Via this tweet.)

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And Congress resets the sun

Daylight Saving is over at last, saints be praised: the old VCR dug out of the catacombs, the one that spent the summer futilely blinking “12:00,” is now futilely blinking “11:00” instead.

One thing that doesn’t adjust itself, however, is WordPress. Under Settings/General/Timezone you find this:

Unfortunately, you have to manually update this for Daylight Savings Time. Lame, we know, but will be fixed in the future.

Since this text has been there as long as I can remember (14 months, in this case), I conclude that they’re waiting for the same thing I am: for the government to recover from its rectal-cranial inversion and put an end to this semi-annual clock-blocking.

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We’re saving what, exactly?

Certainly not daylight: we have pretty much the same amount of it no matter how we jerk the clocks around.

And apparently not energy, either:

Focusing on residential electricity demand, we conduct the first-ever study that uses micro-data on households to estimate an overall DST effect. The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that — contrary to the policy’s intent — DST increases residential electricity demand. Estimates of the overall increase are approximately 1 percent, but we find that the effect is not constant throughout the DST period. DST causes the greatest increase in electricity consumption in the fall, when estimates range between 2 and 4 percent. These findings are consistent with simulation results that point to a tradeoff between reducing demand for lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. We estimate a cost of increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $9 million per year. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions that range from $1.7 to $5.5 million per year. Finally, we argue that the effect is likely to be even stronger in other regions of the United States.

On the upside, you (or at least I) get the pleasure of driving to work in the dark a lot more often.

You can read the gory details here [link goes to PDF file] should you so desire.

(Via Coyote Blog.)

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Makes just as much sense to me

In case you hadn’t noticed, I am not a fan of Daylight Saving Time, nor am I alone in my disdain for it.

Still, this seems to be the definitive word on the topic:

My wife’s grandfather (an Illinois farmer) once wrote me a letter suggesting, if setting our clocks forward in the summer is a good idea, then a better idea would be to set our thermometers higher in the winter. That way we’d have fewer days of freezing temperatures.

Hey, we’re already turning up the thermostats, so this wouldn’t be much of a change, would it?

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Fall behind

On the general subject of Daylight Saving Time, I’ve always tended to agree with Robertson Davies, who, in his guise as Samuel Marchbanks, blamed the whole premise on “the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.” At least our computers can make the switch more or less transparently, though some patching was required this year, no thanks to Congress; I suspect that every last bit of energy that was supposed to have been “saved” was consumed in downloading those patches.

And some things evidently never did get patched. The phone system at 42nd and Treadmill has reverted to Standard Time, even though the server that administers it is a Wintel box that’s still on DST for the next week. I am, of course, delighted that the demented souls who always pop into the customer-service queue at one second past 8 am will have to cool their heels until the time is adjusted.

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Latest. Sunrise. Ever.

Even in the dead of winter, we could count on the sun coming up no later than 7:40 am, and in late March when the semi-annual Screw-With-The-Clocks-Fest kicked in, we’d still have sunrise by 7:30 or so.

Not today. In the interest of saving some infinitesimal amount of energy — about as significant as, say, if Al Gore blew a circuit breaker — we get to sit in the dark until 7:48.

As someone who tends to get to work around 6:45, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for this maneuver at all.

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