First, I’ve never understood the need for “Daylight Saving Time.” Also, I thought it was “savings,” not “saving.” Regardless, If cities needed to save coal, gas, fuel oil or electricity by changing around entire time zones, wouldn’t it have been easier to simply say, “John, it’s getting lighter earlier. Starting April, the plant opens at 6 instead of 7.” Simple, right?
Well, with kids, shopping, mass transit and other necessities of life, it would be kind of hard to get ’em all back into sync, wouldn’t it? Also, every company would be starting earlier, but doing so on different dates…
In fact, that’s what happened, and the result was a scheduling mess, with entities from schools to coffee shops, breakfast joints and grocers all trying to adjust to one another’s schedules instead of keeping the same schedule, by simply adjusting clocks twice a year.
Ok, I’ve talked myself into it. It’s necessary to save energy in the morning.
And yet, with better insulation and LED lights, just how much energy are we still saving??? In fact, as it turns out, the energy savings argument is heavily disputed, and with leading edge lighting technology pushing 200 lumens per watt, the cost of lighting argument is largely moot.
Furthermore, “The manipulation of time at higher latitudes (for example Iceland, Nunavut, Scandinavia or Alaska) has little impact on daily life, because the length of day and night changes more extremely throughout the seasons (in comparison to other latitudes), and thus sunrise and sunset times are significantly out of phase with standard working hours regardless of manipulations of the clock.”
Since they’ve managed to throw off the trappings, if they ever burdened themselves with such trappings in the first place, why don’t we?
And then there’s the idea of “mass transit.” Sure would be nice if cities had the slightest clue as to how to plan for it. London’s Underground and Bus schedules are very complicated, but I was able to navigate all over London. The trains were running several times an hour and bus schedules largely matched. It was a thing of beauty, once you deciphered the spaghetti.
In contrast, I’ve been in major world metropolitan cities where I’d have to wait 43 minutes between connections to reach my connection in just under an hour when a comparatively cheap $4.30 taxi ride would get me there in about 12 minutes. Subway fare was about half that, but the subways were largely empty. Gee… I wonder why…
But how much mass transit do we actually have here in the U.S.? You know, I’ve only lived near one, the Metro in and around Washington DC. It worked well and a lot of people used it. I even knew one of the engineers on its design team. 🙂
But who REALLY uses mass transit? The closest I could get was, “One-in-ten Americans (11%) say they take public transportation on a daily or weekly basis,” but if you discount the occasional riders, that drops to less than 5%.
That’s right, only 1 in 20 people in the U.S. rely on mass transit on a daily basis. The rest of us either hoof it or drive.
So, what does this have to do with Daylight Saving Time? I dunno, but it sure was an interesting walk through related topics, wasn’t it?