Daylight (you might not be) saving time

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Another move coming to dump daylight saving time.

A Winnipeg sleep expert has advice for how you should spend the extra hour you’ll have when clocks roll back for daylight saving time this weekend – just stay in bed. ((iStock)) In addition to the decrease in robbery rates, the researchers found “suggestive evidence” of a decrease in the incidence of rape during the evening hours, as well. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development that year held several hearings, huddled with key industries and conducted a nonscientific 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. They submitted 574,000 words, nearly the number of words in the novel “War and Peace.” In the final tally, 67 percent of respondents favored keeping Mountain Standard Time all year, as Cox now proposes.

Tally it all up, and the three-week DST extension in the Spring of 2007 saved the United States $246 million, according to Doleac and Sanders. “Assuming a linear effect in other months, the implied social savings from a permanent, year-long change in ambient light would be almost 20 times higher,” they conclude, or several billion dollars annually. 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. Changing the clocks in any direction is a major disruption to our daily rhythms, resulting in increased rates of heart attacks, car accidents and work injuries. Stack all of these findings, plus the big savings in crime and social cost outlined in the new Brookings paper, and you have a really powerful empirical case for permanent DST.

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.

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