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Gary Thornock's Weblog » Energy bill extends Daylight Saving Time
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2nd Aug, 2005

Energy bill extends Daylight Saving Time


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Last week the Congress passed a massive energy bill [1] that, among other things, will extend Daylight Saving time by two months. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that extending DST doesn't really result in any energy saving. The Carter administration tried year-round DST during the last energy crisis, and guess what, it didn't work[2]. There's no reason to imagine that it will do any better this time around.

Then, too, there's the question of technology. Every computer system and every OS in use today depend on some calculation of DST to determine what time it is in the computer's current time zone. Mike Farmer speculates that a change in DST might, in the worst case, be another Y2K for the computer industry.[3] I hope it's not that bad. (I rather doubt it: different countries already use different dates for DST, so the various computer systems already have to be able to deal with that. Still, an update or service pack will be needed for just about every OS out there.)

I've argued for several years that Utah would do well to opt out of Daylight Saving time altogether. This would be a good time to do that.

[1]http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/07/22/congress.daylighttime.ap/
[2]http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_2906339
[3]http://backatthefarm.blogspot.com/2005/08/impending-daylight-savings-change.html

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