The One Thing Conservatives And Liberals Might Be Able Agree On

Daylight Saving Time (boldface mine):

At 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, Floridians will “Spring Forward” and set their clocks ahead an hour to mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, but three Florida lawmakers want this to be the last time anyone in a Daylight Saving Time state has to do it.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan re-introduced the Sunshine Protection Act to make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round.

…the Florida legislators listed the potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent for the nation:

  • Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
  • Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
  • Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
  • Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
  • Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
  • Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.

The key thing about DST to remember is that it’s not the latitude, but the longitude.

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1 Response to The One Thing Conservatives And Liberals Might Be Able Agree On

  1. Joe Shelby says:

    “Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day”

    Thing is, it was *sold* to us in 2005 as being much bigger energy savings than it actually achieved. And the costs to corporations handling all of the IT impacts around it were FAR beyond any energy savings. Keep in mind that some major firms had to basically give away the updates just to keep the system operational at all. Millions of man-hours of code and testing, especially from Microsoft, Sun (Java, then the biggest web server platform), Oracle and Sybase (the main database players at the time), and it all had to be given away. Stocks in tech froze for quite a bit as the reduced profits from that became known, and may have been a contributor to the instability that led to 2008’s recession. Granted, today a change would be a little less disruptive, as much of the code required in those kind of environments was done (hence, much easier to deal with Russia’s back-and-forth on DST-365, the changes in the middle east, and the upcoming EU impacts, with the worst case there being if Britiain stays (with Portugal) but Ireland switches).

    As noted, the morning shift is a big problem, especially for kids in the north. Here outside DC, at peak winter, I get my kid up at 630, when she has to leave for school at 720…and the sun has barely even started to rise at that point. So moving off another hour means my kid is being driven to school in darkness…and kids are walking to school busses and walking to school, in darkness. A hell of a morale hit for starters, and for the 25% of those that are not in the slightest bit morning people, one that can lead to an increase in their already existing pressure-driven depressions from having to conform to a system that doesn’t believe they (well, we) exist.

    If anything, it will simply cause school systems and others to change their own hours if they can’t change the clocks, leading to many of the very same issues. But the alternative, kids going to school in total darkness, is not socially acceptable down here. (Yeah, I can see Canada, like Scotland and Alaska and the Nordic countries and Russia, all going “what’s the big deal?”, but that’s them, and they shouldn’t be judging us on their standards just as we shouldn’t judge them on ours.)

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