Time matters

Yet another andquotsummer timeandquot or Daylight Saving Time was left behind, and we returned to andquotnormalandquot hours.
This year, the process of transition from one time to another was further complicated by the election. The summer time was extended for two more weeks, possibly because the transition should not cause andquotany nuisanceandquot regarding the Nov. 1 election. I am not sure if this two-week shift was really necessary, or if a similar result could have been obtained by simply changing the opening and closing hours of the polling stations. The decision was apparently andquotwell meaning.andquot But its effect was unknown. The cost of this andquotsmallandquot decision wasnand’t questioned, either. It is obvious that the cost includes thousands of emails, phone conversations and working hours. But it was andquotwell meaning.andquot
The idea of tinkering with the hour came to the agenda when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countriesand’ (OPEC) oil prices peaked in 1973. andquotSmartandquot French engineers talked about this idea as if they had heard it anew, although it had been debated and applied for about a century in the UK and Germany. They argued that with this Daylight Saving Time, they could come up with energy savings that would overcome the oil crisis. France implemented it first, followed by other European Union members and the countries that are interested in not distancing themselves from the EU, such as Turkey. Despite all the negative effects of this practice that went on in Turkey for about 30 years, the clocks are changed twice a year.
Today, clocks can be automatically adjusted to reflect the Daylight Saving Time scheme, but the practice certainly poses great problems for millions of people who, like me, stick to mechanical watches. These people are late home or for work, or miss their flight or appointment. It also causes confusion about praying hours. Most religious people tend to rely on their watches, instead of the sun, for performing their daily rituals, and they find it hard to adapt to the change. But there are certain institutions which ignore this hour-changing game altogether. The clocks that were installed by the Ottoman Empire in holy places in Jerusalem in 1852 with the intention of promoting inter-faith peace are not adjusted according to the daylight saving scheme. Why? To avoid confusion and to maintain order. It is because they know the disaantages of meddling with time.
Confusion is not the only side effect of messing with the hour. People who deal with animal husbandry find it hard to adapt to the change in the daylight saving scheme for weeks because of their established routines for milking the animals or feeding them. It is an ordeal for the animals. People suffer from health problems. The entire community is forced to undergo effects similar to jet lag, which is experienced in the form of insomnia and stress after a transatlantic flight twice a year. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) data regularly published by the United Nationsand’ World Health Organization (WHO) indicates an increase in cases of insomnia and heart attacks.
Aerse effects find particularly the people with existing health problems. Psychological effects are known to be an outcome.
Of course, it is impossible to discuss all of side effects in this article. But given the problems in transportation, communications, agriculture, health and scientific studies, the practice of messing with the time is very costly. In Germany studies suggest there is a rise in the number of traffic accidents on the Monday following the Daylight Saving Time change. What about energy savings from this practice?
You wonand’t believe this, but itand’s true The daylight saving scheme increases energy consumption. In the 19th century, electrical energy was novel and expensive, and the sense of the scheme then would have been to minimize illumination costs. But today, lighting is not a crucial component in energy consumption, and therefore the schemeand’s contribution to energy savings is negligible. In a survey of 224,000 households in the US state of Indiana, it was found that energy consumption increased by 1 percent with the daylight saving scheme. It was further found that people paid an extra of $8.6 million annually for energy, and the environmental bill was estimated to be between $1.6 million and $5.6 million. Umweltbunsesamt (Germanyand’s main environmental protection agency) found similar results. If we extrapolate the findings of the above-mentioned survey to the entire US population, we see that the daylight saving practices lead to a considerable waste of energy.
But why is this ridiculous, good-for-nothing practice still implemented? Are the people in charge morons? They are not. Despite the environmental agencyand’s negative report, the German government argues that they have to implement it as part of the EU program. When people take the wrong road, they really do walk to the end.


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