C.G.P. Grey — the guy who explained the difference between England, Britain and the U.K., and taught us that there’s no good way to figure out how many continents there are — has a new video all about Daylight Saving Time (DST), the curse of which is about to end in a couple of weeks, at least until next year. The video tries to be somewhat objective, but makes a few good points on why DST is bad:
- In hot climates, it doesn’t save energy. The biggest reason for that is the invention of air conditioning: in the summer when it’s hot out, people won’t enjoy the summer heat, but rather stay inside with the A/C. Now, they might not turn on the lights because the sun’s still up (and this is what DST was meant to do), but the A/C consumes more energy than a dozen light bulbs.
- Overall, there are conflicting studies that show both that DST saves energy and that it wastes more energy. In either case, the savings or waste is less than 1%, which is about 4$/year per household. Is that worth the hassle?
- No, it’s not, because there are a lot of human costs associated with the time change: heart attacks and suicides spike the week after the time change; coordinating international meetings (which is pretty common these days) is a productivity loser, because different countries change times at different dates and not even our techy gadgets can keep up with all of them. Not only that, but even within the US, there are places where DST is not observed — like Hawaii and Arizona.