Saturday, October 30, 2004

Spring Forward, Fall Back: Its All About Economics

Spring Forward, Fall Back: Its All About Economics

A friend of mine and I were politely discussing the logic behind Daylight Savings Time this evening. She argued that it originated because farmers wanted more time to harvest their crops. I reasoned that this argument is ridiculous. Farmers don't "clock" in and out! (I'm imagining a guy in overalls climbing down from his combine singing "yabadabadoo!" when the whistle blows...).

Time is simply a construct that we've invented. And any law that requires a universal clock change must be more about uniformity and getting us all on the same page than about getting our work done before the sun goes down.

Of course, it turns out to be all about economics; specifically, saving energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes and for small appliances is directly correlated with when we go to bed and get up.

From this site:

"In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day....Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country's electricity usage by about one percent EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time."

The American law which, by the way, does not require one to observe Daylight Saving Time, is the Uniform Time Act of 1966. It just says that if we are going to have such a thing, it must be observed uniformly.

So why is Arizona exempt?

Maybe its those farmers in the desert....

Keywords: ECO110 and ECO120

No comments: