5 Tips For the End of Daylight Saving Time

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Stop the time change,’ says B.C. couple’s petition.

Residents of Saskatchewan, Hawaii, most of Arizona and some U.S. territories don’t have to change because those places don’t observe daylight saving time.

A pair of impassioned B.C. residents are petitioning the provincial government to stop the twice-annual time change and keep the province on Daylight Savings Time all year round. However, it might be better if we permanently “fall back.” Making daylight saving time permanent — by “springing forward” and never “falling back” again — could save the country billions a year in social costs by reducing crime that takes place in the evening hours, according to a forthcoming paper by researchers at the Brookings Institution and Cornell University. Tara Holmes and Bob Dieno say there are plenty of health and safety reasons to scrap the practice of moving the clocks back and forth an hour every fall and spring. “When you say we gain an hour of sleep, I laugh, because for people who have sleep disorders, that’s really not the case,” said Holmes, who has problems “getting to sleep and staying asleep at the best of times.” “Absolutely, I slept right through it,” said Dieno, who, along with three other students in the same circumstance, was allowed to write the exam three days later. Chamber of Commerce on his idea to stop changing the clocks, but was shot down on the grounds that local businesses did not want to be out of sync with Washington, Oregon, and California in the United States, he said.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development that year held several hearings, huddled with key industries and conducted a non-scientific online survey that attracted 27,000 responses. Every crime carries a social cost — direct economic losses suffered by the victim, including medical costs and lost earnings; government funds spent on police protection, legal services and incarceration; opportunity costs from criminals choosing not to participate in the legal economy; and indirect losses like pain and suffering. In a separate 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Swedish researchers found a five percent increase in heart attacks in the three days following the spring time shift.

In D.C., Sunday’s sunrise and sunset move back to 6:35 a.m. and 5:08 p.m., respectively, compared to a 7:34 a.m. sunrise and 6:09 p.m. sunset on Saturday. She and Dieno are aiming to gather 10,000 signatures so that they can take their petition to the B.C. government and lobby for B.C. to stop switching the clocks. They do caution, however, that this is just an assumption and that more research would be needed to determine whether the drop in crime from enacting permanent DST would hold true year-round. However, unless you live in the western part of a time zone, are mornings really that dark – or is this just a reflection of our early-riser society? Many other countries at higher latitudes (Britain, Canada or Germany) have to contend with sunrise well after 8-8:30 a.m. during winter, even while they are on standard time.

For example, the state noted in its study last year that sports leagues would be challenged to fit in all their games without the extra hour of sunlight in summer evenings, and golf courses would lose money. But the dangers of standing around in the early morning hours are probably overstated — especially considering, as the Brookings paper shows, that many types of criminals don’t seem to be active during these hours. “Only the government would believe you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket,” goes a saying of unknown provenance. The Salt Lake Chamber and the ski industry also told the state they preferred the current system to reduce confusion with travelers and tourists by being on a different system than most of the nation.

Either way, the debate about whether we are best served by more morning or evening light shows that no matter how we shift our clocks, we’re entering the time of year when there’s not enough daylight to keep both early birds and night owls happy.

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