7:06 PM

'Springing Forward' in the winter

Most people reading this blog will most likely be moving their clocks ahead one hour this weekend. This change is coming 3 weeks early, and will be ending one week late. I was chatting with my good friend Barry about this a few weeks ago, and we were wondering just where exactly all the purported energy savings were going to come from. Being the resourceful guy that he is, Barry went and looked it up!

Turns out, the savings are supposed to come in the form of a 1% reduction in lighting use. But even this theorized savings has come under criticism. For example, this article regarding a study of energy use with and without DST claims that there are no real savings because any savings that might be realized due to using less lighting in the afternoon is offset by the need to use more lighting in the morning to function in a darkened household. There are also some in the mental health profession who are concerned that those suffering from seasonal mood disorder will be adversely affected by this change as we are now forcing ourselves to wake up in darkness, upsetting one's biological clock.

But whatever the experts might say about the benefits/harms, I personally think that the most interesting part is the fact that the Canadian government adopted this change so that we can stay in synch with the US, and not be an hour off for 4 weeks of the year. I haven't quite decided yet it that fact bothers me or not. After all, I do appreciate the fact that the US and Canada do a lot of business with each other. But does one hour really make a huge difference when I already have to look up time differences whenever I make a business call to the states anyway?

I dunno...I guess I was hoping that Canada would come up with a better reason, and the proof to back it up, other than "Well, they're doing it."

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