Sunday, November 2, 2008

I still hate daylight savings time

Again, I wake today afflicted by daylight saving time. The fall DST ending is at least a little less onerous than the spring DST beginning. But I'll still find myself wanting lunch at 10:30 am and having to leave for work in the dark.

DST is basically a collective action motivated by a misplaced and unproven idea that we can save energy by making better use of daylight. In fact, DST is recognized as increasing energy use and costs. A new perspective on my aggravation at DST has emerged this election season as I see how very powerful collective action can be. A motivated group can have tremendous impact towards achieving a shared goal. What a shame that we waste that collective effort on something with so ambiguously beneficial as DST. What if instead we had a national event to "pick up one piece of litter" or "take a 10 minute walk"? We'd probably make a big change towards a cleaner environment or reducing American obesity with that effort - much more of an impact on those issues than we see on our energy use with daylight saving time.

If someone could show me a well-vetted scientific study showing that DST actually did have significant quantifiable benefits, I'd line up and comply without complaint. But as with many lemming-like popular movements, DST has not demonstrated that it has a real, measurable benefit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's what I'm talking about:

Eva Lyford has donated her status to remind everyone to vote today. Donate your status:

That's an example of effective collective action.