Change of DST's Start Date?

  • Thread starter baywax
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  • #1
baywax
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Can someone please explain the reasoning behind the changing of the Daylight Savings Time start date that's taking place this year? Is it because of changes in the earth's orbit or rotation?

United States and Canada will extend Daylight Saving Time from 2007, and probably other regions and countries in Northern America will follow. The new start date will be the second Sunday in March (currently first Sunday in April), to the first Sunday in November (currently last Sunday in October).
http://www.timeanddate.com/time/aboutdst.html
 

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  • #2
baywax
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I think the official explaination, and the most practical one, is that we are saving x amount of energy by setting the clocks back earlier than in past years.
 
  • #3
Moonbear
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Yeah, someone failed to noticed that if you shift the clocks an hour earlier to save energy by arriving home from work with an additional hour of sunlight, it also means you're starting your day with an additional hour of dark, so using more energy in the morning to balance what you save in the evening.

I'd rather they abolish DST altogether. Biologically, it just wreaks havoc on people's systems to have to abruptly adjust to doing everything an hour earlier.

Anyway, since this is a political/economic decision, and not based on anything particularly scientific, I'm moving this thread to General Discussion.
 
  • #4
BobG
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Yeah, someone failed to noticed that if you shift the clocks an hour earlier to save energy by arriving home from work with an additional hour of sunlight, it also means you're starting your day with an additional hour of dark, so using more energy in the morning to balance what you save in the evening.

I'd rather they abolish DST altogether. Biologically, it just wreaks havoc on people's systems to have to abruptly adjust to doing everything an hour earlier.

Anyway, since this is a political/economic decision, and not based on anything particularly scientific, I'm moving this thread to General Discussion.
I like DST. In fact, I think we should have 'Double Dog Daylight Savings Time' from the beginning of June through the end of August.
 
  • #5
turbo
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I like DST. In fact, I think we should have 'Double Dog Daylight Savings Time' from the beginning of June through the end of August.
Living in Maine and being stuck out on the hairy edge of the Eastern Zone (We should be in the Maritime Zone), I would prefer that we stay on DST all year long. In the winter, when I would travel to south Georgia for my consulting work, I often stayed in Dothan Alabama. With the change in latitude and going from the Eastern edge of the Central Zone to the far-eastern side of the Eastern Zone when I returned to Maine, I actually got jet-lagged on the return trip.
 
  • #6
baywax
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Yeah, someone failed to noticed that if you shift the clocks an hour earlier to save energy by arriving home from work with an additional hour of sunlight, it also means you're starting your day with an additional hour of dark, so using more energy in the morning to balance what you save in the evening.

I'd rather they abolish DST altogether. Biologically, it just wreaks havoc on people's systems to have to abruptly adjust to doing everything an hour earlier.

Anyway, since this is a political/economic decision, and not based on anything particularly scientific, I'm moving this thread to General Discussion.
I think what happens is that the sun sets later and also begins rising earlier after the winter solstice. I am still puzzled by the earlier start date for DST and if there is a logical explaination for the change I'd like to read it!
 
  • #7
Evo
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I am still puzzled by the earlier start date for DST and if there is a logical explaination for the change I'd like to read it!
Supposedly it's to take advantage of daylight an hour earlier for a longer period of time.

"Energy Policy Act of 2005, a sweeping energy bill signed by President Bush on Aug. 8, 2005. That law not only created federal tax credits for hybrid vehicles but also changed the beginning and ending dates of daylight-saving time starting in 2007."

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/local/sfl-ybtech26feb26,0,5684570.column?coll=sfla-business-headlines [Broken]
 
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  • #8
Moonbear
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Supposedly it's to take advantage of daylight an hour earlier for a longer period of time.
It only makes sense if you live in Washington, DC. Where I live, it's just getting light out when I wake up in the morning, and this just means an extra couple of weeks that I'll be thrown back into having to wake up in complete darkness. Usually, by the time DST starts, the days are long enough that this isn't an issue, but as far as I can tell, unless you get to sleep until 8 AM, it only makes things worse here. I'm not a morning person to begin with, so the idea of waking up an hour earlier makes me very grumpy just thinking about it.
 
  • #9
Evo
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It only makes sense if you live in Washington, DC. Where I live, it's just getting light out when I wake up in the morning, and this just means an extra couple of weeks that I'll be thrown back into having to wake up in complete darkness. Usually, by the time DST starts, the days are long enough that this isn't an issue, but as far as I can tell, unless you get to sleep until 8 AM, it only makes things worse here. I'm not a morning person to begin with, so the idea of waking up an hour earlier makes me very grumpy just thinking about it.
Same here. It's stupid for all the trouble it's causing.
 
  • #10
baywax
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What advantage is there to baggy eyes and an extra cup of coffee in our systems? :rolleyes:
 
  • #11
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So here's a naive question. I'm fully in favor of DST. But if it saves so much energy, then why not have it year round?
 
  • #12
Astronuc
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Supposedly it's to take advantage of daylight an hour earlier for a longer period of time.
The last time that was done was 1974.

January 4, 1974, Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Act of 1973, establishing a trial, peacetime, year-round daylight savings time.

January 6, 1974, implementing the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Act, clocks were set ahead for a fifteen-month period through April 27, 1975.
http://dotlibrary.dot.gov/Historian/chronology.htm [Broken]

Most people wondered why we couldn't simply get up one hour earlier. :rolleyes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_savings_time#Rationales_for_DST
 
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  • #13
Evo
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So here's a naive question. I'm fully in favor of DST. But if it saves so much energy, then why not have it year round?
Because the number of daylight hours decrease in the fall and winter. That's why we turn the clocks back an hour in the fall when it gets light later and dark earlier.
 
  • #14
Moonbear
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Most people wondered why we couldn't simply get up one hour earlier. :rolleyes:
Not me. I'm wondering why we can't simply get up an hour later. Why can't businesses start the day at 9, not 8? :zzz: Waking up in the dark just isn't right!
 
  • #15
It only makes sense if you live in Washington, DC. Where I live, it's just getting light out when I wake up in the morning, and this just means an extra couple of weeks that I'll be thrown back into having to wake up in complete darkness.
That is the actual counter-argument: people start opening businesses later. More particularly, those with children really don't like their children walking to school in the dark. So the first thing (this happened when Carter tried it) is the schools start opening later. Then those parents that can shift their schedules at work around will do so relative to the school hours. Businesses start opening later to accomodate employees. It never went that far under Carter, but it's trivial to see how the system would have ultimately evolved.

The counterargument you gave earlier (that people simply turn the lights on in the morning instead of evening) doesn't really work. Most people get up more or less just in time to get to work. The lights are on in any case in the bathroom during a shower, etc. The energy savings right after DST kicks in every year are real and measurable. They are a tiny fraction of total consumption, so it is an almost entirely symbolic gesture, but they can be and have been measured.

Ideally, we'd all start our work day at 20:00. That way, even in the summer, we'd all be spending the eight hours at work (where the lights are usually on regardless of the sunlight) in the dark. It would be light whenever we were home, no matter what sort of "hours" we kept relative to the work day.

Personally, I agree, it is a crock. I find it an offense against reason that we currently spend more than half the year on DST already. There's just no rhyme or reason behind it, except for a marginal energy savings. If a small change is an unmitigated good idea, then a large change (e.g., redefine AM as PM) would be better. But the extremes show the problems, and those problem will show up eventually (and have shown up in past efforts under Carter) even with small changes. The problems are just less noticable, and cannot be measured immediately, while the (equally small) benefits can.
 
  • #16
Moonbear
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I also wonder how much it is costing to update all the computer systems to adjust their clocks to DST on a new schedule? I know we were getting a flurry of emails the past few weeks reminding people to install patches and update software so their calendars wouldn't be all screwed up (I'm not quite sure how it affects your calendar...isn't an 8 AM appointment still an 8 AM appointment, regardless of when relative to sunrise the clock reads 8 AM? But apparently, it confused the scheduling software a lot of people use).

t_e said:
Most people get up more or less just in time to get to work. The lights are on in any case in the bathroom during a shower, etc. The energy savings right after DST kicks in every year are real and measurable.
Well, "just in time" is about an hour before I need to leave for me...it takes me that long to wander around in a daze while pouring caffeine down my throat to wake up enough to drive. It's much easier if there's sun coming in the window.
 
  • #17
baywax
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Hst

Holiday Savings Time.

When I'm president of.... the world... I'm going to distibute all the existing wealth from all the economies to the 8 billion humans on the planet. This way we'll see a lot of small businesses that are open from whatever time they want to open til whenever they close.

Sleep all you want.

Never go to bed.

Whatever.

It will balance out in the end and we'll have an amazing diversity of companies to choose from for enjoyment, employment or investment.

By the way, each person would receive about $8 million at the inception of my incumbency. Thank you.

Move over Al.
 
  • #18
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HA! I don't have to worry about it :)
 
  • #19
BobG
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I also wonder how much it is costing to update all the computer systems to adjust their clocks to DST on a new schedule? I know we were getting a flurry of emails the past few weeks reminding people to install patches and update software so their calendars wouldn't be all screwed up (I'm not quite sure how it affects your calendar...isn't an 8 AM appointment still an 8 AM appointment, regardless of when relative to sunrise the clock reads 8 AM? But apparently, it confused the scheduling software a lot of people use).
It's a worse problem than Y2K was. What ever happened to the old days when folks just manually reset the clocks on their computers the same as they did the clocks on the wall?

I think Microsoft's software has gotten way too pushy. Beating my computer with a stick doesn't stop it from tabbing numbered subparagraphs nearly to the center of page. Now it threatens an open rebellion if I dare adjust the clock.
 
  • #20
Evo
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Microsoft is automatically pushing a patch to registered users of XP. Any OS before that needs to download the patch. Vista users don't need a patch.
 
  • #21
BobG
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To deal with other computer complications arising from early daylight-saving time, the Feb. 20 issue of the Los Alamos Daily News Bulletin also offers this advice: "Employees should check appliances, such as coffee makers, microwave ovens, DVDs, and videocassette recorders that have clocks. These items may have to be reset manually."
Aaaarrrrghh! Not the coffee!!!!! :surprised :eek: :bugeye: :surprised
 
  • #22
Moonbear
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Aaaarrrrghh! Not the coffee!!!!! :surprised :eek: :bugeye: :surprised
I have a nice, safe, battery-operated, turn the knob to change the time clock at home. It's very reassuring when there's a power failure or time change, because I can use it to verify whether my clocks have automatically changed on me or not (I have some clocks that don't blink 12:00 after a power failure, but just start from 12:00 and resume keeping time from there, so they can be 2 or 3 hours off by morning if there's a power failure overnight). I used to prefer it when my computer at least popped up a window that informed me the time changed for DST so I knew it had happened and could double check the time was right.
 
  • #23
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DST or daylight slaving time
is a Nixon plot to make us get up earlyer
making it longer is worse now
I want normal sun zenith is noon time
I doNOT want to spring forward or fall back
 
  • #24
I have a nice, safe, battery-operated, turn the knob to change the time clock at home. It's very reassuring when there's a power failure or time change, because I can use it to verify whether my clocks have automatically changed on me or not (I have some clocks that don't blink 12:00 after a power failure, but just start from 12:00 and resume keeping time from there, so they can be 2 or 3 hours off by morning if there's a power failure overnight). I used to prefer it when my computer at least popped up a window that informed me the time changed for DST so I knew it had happened and could double check the time was right.
A better option is to check out this website

This way, you have a back up if your batteries die during a power outage overnight and you have no batteries at home and all the stores are closed.
 
  • #25
baywax
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If you don't want to go through the change again here's a map of the world showing where DST changes, No longer changes and has never been in use. If you don't want baggy eyes in March, pack your bags for Africa, Eurasia, South America or what looks to be Louisiana and Saskatchewan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

There's been some heightened tension locally since last Sunday's switch. I don't remember if its any different from last year. Traffic accidents appear to have gone up but I don't know if that's increased over last year's stats. The sun appears to be rising and setting still.
 

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