Saturday, November 2, 2013

In Defense of Daylight Savings Time

The basic reason we set the clocks back on the 3rd of November is because if we did not then the sun would be rising at almost 8am in the morning, requiring first shift folk to do everything in the dark.

Length of daySolar noon
DateSunriseSunsetThis dayDifferenceTimeAltitudeDistance
(million mi)
Nov 2, 20137:46 AM6:42 PM10h 56m 12s− 1m 34s1:14 PM44.8° 92.229
Note: hours shift because clocks change backward 1 hour (See the note below this table for details)
Nov 3, 20136:47 AM5:42 PM10h 54m 39s− 1m 33s12:14 PM44.5° 92.206
Nov 4, 20136:48 AM5:41 PM10h 53m 06s− 1m 32s12:15 PM44.1° 92.182

But Wait! There's this thing called electricity. Electricity comes from fairies and elves in the forest mixing magical potions together to generate sparks that tickle lightbulb filaments. All is well with a limitless supply of electricity and...

Wait a second, Oggy, elves and fairies don't mix potions to create electricity!

You got me, dear reader. You're so fucking bright. YOU MUST'VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION IN SCHOOL. Electricity is produced by coal plants, nuclear plants, geothermal plants and natural gas plants that heat water to use steam pressure to spin magnetic turbines inside giant copper lined cylinders. Since elves and fairies are not part of this process what must happen is the collection of coal and natural gas and uranium to make these power plants operate. Because your television programming IS THAT IMPORTANT.

Ever since clocks were invented it was probably obvious that 7 am in June was quite brighter than 7 am in January. Unless you live on the Equator. And since humans are so clever someone thought, "It would be awesome if we could manipulate the clocks so the hours between 8-5 had relatively the same amount of sunlight throughout the year."

And it turns out there is a way to do this by simply turning the hour dial on the clock backwards in the fall and forwards in the summer. Now, on Monday, instead of the sun coming up over Austin, Texas at 7:47am...when most people will already be in the warehouse assembling computer parts...the sun will come up at 6:47am when people will be on their way to the warehouse. That means, for one hour of darkness, the warehouse will be empty and the lights can stay off...and we can save electricity.

That's the theory.

There are total idiots  who suggest no electricity is saved and it reduces productivity (waaaah) and even the cows are disturbed because they are milked at different times??? Yeah, cause the temperament of cows has always been a big priority in America. And these people are actually correct...but they are still idiots. Because the reason we don't save electricity is NOT because daylight savings time is a shameful scam. No, it's because our culture has actually grown to such cancerous levels that IT IS IRRELEVANT WHEN THE CLOCKS ARE SET. Those warehouses that are supposed to be dark when the sun is down ARE ALL FULL OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ASSEMBLING COMPUTER PARTS 24 HOURS A DAY. SO, of course it isn't going to matter what the clocks say. A June workday used the same electricity as a workday in January. The aluminum heat sink factory I worked in had no windows. It was cavernous and the three shifts plodded to work all day long. The clocks were irrelevant and so was conservation.

The only era the clocks weren't irrelevant was when daylight savings time was conceived of back when electricity was only in lightning. Ben Franklin suggested that if we started to get up earlier when the sun was rising earlier, like around March 9th...because at that time we'll be still in bed when the sun is already up, thus wasting the natural light...and if we set our clocks ahead then we'll be taking advantage of all the daylight available. Sounds reasonable

Mar 8, 20136:49 AM6:35 PM11h 46m 02s+ 1m 49s12:42 PM55.1° 92.292
Mar 9, 20136:48 AM6:35 PM11h 47m 52s+ 1m 49s12:41 PM55.5° 92.317
Note: hours shift because clocks change forward 1 hour (See the note below this table for details)
Mar 10, 20137:46 AM7:36 PM11h 49m 42s+ 1m 50s1:41 PM55.9° 92.341
Mar 11, 20137:45 AM7:37 PM11h 51m 32s+ 1m 50s1:41 PM56.3° 92.366

You still get approx. 12 hours of sunlight but you can manipulate when those 12 hours are placed in the human work day.

Again, this is irrelevant because of the 24/7 modern paradigm of production and consumption. We don't save any electricity because any number of candles that might have been saved in 1784 are now devoured non stop to produce chicken burgers and gossip magazines. And this is why I believe the concept of DST is important. True, it does not save any electricity but this failure should be a reminder of how incredibly irresponsible we've become. If you leave lights on when you leave your house and arrive at the office and it's already bright with florescent lighting even though it's empty then we've managed to defeat Ben Franklin's vision. I think he didn't foresee a day when the average citizen of America would be so selfish and ignorant of basic conservation habits that they would leave 1000 candles burning in an empty room or let their horse run in circles because it keeps the pillow in the carriage cool. These would be the acts of crazy people and Franklin's time manipulation theory was based on the usage by rational individuals.

I think it's a real testament to modern ethics that something as scientifically sound as DST can be rendered obsolete by generations of gluttonous and frivolous bastards...and those same people would one day call DST shameful. This is a paradigm of entitlement and waste that has spawned bad thinking. We lack the concept of's been weaned out of us by some diabolical methods. So, if you are one of the many who don't see the point of DST then congratulations, you live in a time and place when you can create and destroy something as precious as electricity and not see the consequences. But the consequences are merely passed on down the lines of generations, dooming some distant person to a life of hellish environmental conditions, guaranteeing Kentucky hill people are trampled by coal trucks, ensuring further warfare for faraway Africans who live over Uranium mines. Don't worry, that extra hour of sleep you have on Monday will be deep and untroubled for you to shit on the future thusly; you've condemned the future to a nightmare and you aren't even informed enough to admit it. If you think DST doesn't matter then it doesn't...and neither do you.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.