It's DWT (Daylight Wasting Time) again in Alberta.

Twice a year I dislike the then current provincial government no matter what their political stripe. When 3 of my 4 little kids come in Monday morning an hour too early and wake me up. When 4 of 4 kids are exhausted in the spring when they lose an hour of sleep.

Update 2019: The current conservative government in Alberta is continuing on with this barbaric practice. Right now (as I write this) we are enjoying being the same time as Costa Rica. In a few weeks my various clocks will all be screwed up by the Conservative Government (and the NDP had a very good chance to stop the insanity but chose to continue to subject us to it.), anyway, most of my contacts (in forward thinking countries like India, Costa Rica, Philippines, China, some of my biggest clients in the USA) will all end up being shifted an hour from the current as we switch back into Daylight Wasting Time.

Recently (2017) the NDP government had a golden opportunity to stop the insanity. The reports indicate that over 75% of their voters are in favour of dropping the insanity (Apparently the other 25% are mostly 'big business' - I guess the big union companies - since I can't imagine any other reason they would ignore 75% of the population - I guess they figure it is the 'non-union' 75%.) They decided to continue with the insanity. So, today, we switched to DWT (Daylight wasting time) and next spring we'll switch back to Daylight 'Saving' time and the insanity continues.

Since I sent the letter (below) to the government, I have had a few additional thoughts:

Apparently studies have proven that there is an increased number of DEATHS due to things like heart attacks and increased accidents in the few days that follow the time changes. (Note for the NDP government: It was reported that this is mostly among people with very regulated lives - so this means mostly union workers are the most susceptible to the heart attacks and to causing the accidents. So this is YOUR voters. Those that are entrepreneurs, farmers etc.., aren't affected except when one of your voters crashes into them in an vehicular accident. Obviously not ALL Union workers are on a regulated schedule - so they are free from the damage you are causing the rest of your voters.)

Schools report that students due more poorly in the days that follow each change, and this is because of themselves - even non-union schools report the same problem, so the problem is not entirely caused by teachers also being out of sorts. This is lowering the effectiveness of the money spent training them.

So
  • Today: Sunday, I was early - I forgot to change my car clock.
  • Update (Monday morning): This morning I thought I was late getting up to get my 5 year old to the bus - my wife forgot to change the clock beside her bed.
  • And sometime I should go around and change all the clocks on the 30 thermostats (we have in floor heating and each room more or less has it's own thermostat.) That would be the environmentally FRIENDLY thing to do - but realistically, if I just ignore it for a few months, we'll be back to the time they are set, so I probably won't bother - after all - this is the oil capital of Canada - why would I worry about that when clearly even the NDP the government doesn't care. And really, it's only 2 hours a day that will be less energy efficient ... and that's less than 10%.... Yeah, I've got better things to do than to fix those clocks.

In 2015 the provincial government asked for advice on cost cutting. Part of my reply back then was this: (They never acknowledged it other than a form letter response: thank you for your comments, we'll give all due consideration to them.)

The only one I can see that I can suggest that should have no political fallout, and should be a cost saving starting with the very first time: Cut out the stupid daylight savings/standard savings time shift back and forth twice a year.

  • It causes accidents
  • It causes mistakes at work
  • it causes meetings to be missed
  • It causes exhaustion
  • It wastes energy in Winter (just like DWT does in the Summer in Southern locations)
  • It has virtually NO benefits up here (in Alberta).
  • It has COSTS only up here (in Alberta).

Daylight savings was designed to save electricity in the SUMMER so that people could stay up later in the Summer. Even down south in Airdrie, we have light until 10:00pm in the summer WITHOUT daylight saving time. Woo Hoo – we can have light to 11:00pm.

Back in the days when people worked earlier in the day – it might have made sense to go to daylight wasting time (er sorry, standard time). But most of the year many, I suspect most, people in Alberta WASTE the extra hour we get in the morning and spend money on electricity because we lost the hour in the evening that we would have used and instead, threw it away in the morning.

In the Summer – well, we have SO many hours of daylight, that any extra hours we would get by staying standard all year round would either not matter (because it is light so late) or is wasted (when you get closer to the Dec 20/Jun 20th dates.)

The time WE need to save daylight is in the WINTER. And we would still get benefit in the Spring and Fall from Daylight time. If we were going to the stupid switch back and forth, we should do the OPPOSITE of California (who NEEDS daylight saving in the summer) and WE should go to daylight saving in the WINTER and, well, who cares in the summer - light to 10pm is sufficient.

I’ve asked over 500 people over the years and not ONE of them likes the stupid loss of sleep/sleep pattern upheavals and every time we shift – people talk about the stupid government that puts us through this twice a year.

I asked some teachers – because the ONLY concern I was given was ‘what about children having to walk to school in the dark’, and the teachers ALL replied – much better that THOSE schools that start too early make a 1 hour shift, then deal with the 1 to 2 weeks adjustment period with kids coming to school even more tired than usual or late after being subjected to the change. They told me most schools start late enough that the kids could still walk in daylight if we switched to DST in the winter instead of DWT, so only a few would have to make a slight adjustment for the 2015/2016 school year.

No it’s not the big hot button issue, and it won’t make the difference between the person that follows you getting elected or not – but for 4 days a year – it is something that almost EVERYONE hates the government for – so WHY do you put us through this headache twice a year? What is your government’s benefit to this lunacy?

We should make ONE more change, switch to DST this summer, and then NEVER switch again. This will cause us to have to do three things this year:

  1. Change all the clocks that don’t automatically switch ONE LAST TIME.
  2. Change all our computers etc.., to the setting ‘don’t switch back and forth between Daylight saving and Daylight Wasting time)
  3. To the extremely small number of people who have scheduled their lives around Daylight Wasting time – they would have to make a 30 to 60 minute adjustment in their winter schedule ONE TIME ONLY.
  4. We waste hours switching clocks back and forth – and the errors are getting MORE common now, not less. Why? Because so many devices automatically switch that we FORGET the ones that don’t* – and now we have the mistakes happening 2 or 3 days later, not just on the Sunday and the Monday after the switch, because we forgot to change some devices and don’t notice until the mistake causes a problem.

    * While we have lots of devices that switch automatically, we have a lot MORE devices that need manual switching. Back in the 1990’s we only had a kitchen clock and a watch on our wrist. Now we have thermostats and all sorts of other devices that need to be manually switched instead of the 2 we used to have to switch. So I argue we are getting MORE devices we have to switch and that is the reason we are having more mistakes due to not switching devices twice a year.

    For those that have to go based on the sun (farmers, dairy etc..,) it just puts an upheaval into their days, because everyone else they deal with keeps switching on them.

    Last time we switched, I watched a news report with interest – they were showing the $$$ cost of mistakes and accidents and other issues with respect to the switching and how these were ‘documented’ reports. The report mused that maybe someone should launch a class action suit against the provincial government. Hmmm. I’ve never yet lost in court (I’m a business man and have had to go to court several times.) Maybe *I* should launch that class action suit… But I’ll give you some time before I do that, I just want the nonsense to stop, I probably make more money working than I would when I win that suit, so I won’t start it unless I see that is the only way to save my children from this ongoing lunacy.

    Is it perfect in EVERY way? No, those that deal with Saskatchewan, Arizona, China, India, Mexico etc.., (me) would get a very slight benefit in THOSE areas. And those that deal with Ontario and BC (basically no one cares about the rest of the country unless they have family there – not enough business to make a difference in votes) including me would have a slight problem trying to keep track of HOW many hour they are offset until those provinces smarten up and follow our lead. And it will likely always be a slight problem for people (like me) that deal with California, New York, Boston (I can’t spell that state name  ), Florida etc.., because the offset will keep changing twice a year. But that is minor compared to everything else – and most of us use computers to calculate the current time/time offset anyway so it isn’t a number we memorize for more than one or two other places.

    So … there you go, something that will save, yes only a small amount – a few, 10’s of millions at most, of money – but save money even more money for the citizens and corporations – and politically – it is a WIN – Tory Blue, Liberal Red, NDP Orange or any other colour – almost EVERYONE who lives this far North* wants this nonsense to stop.

    * I contacted 3 friends and 3 business colleagues who live in California before sending you this email, and asked them … They told me that THEY want to switch to DST and stay – THEY hate the constant back and forth as well and THEY want to stop wasting 1 hour every morning in the winter.

    So that tells me that this is a throwback to when we used to not have electricity and instead we got up with the sun and then, as we shifted from an agrarian culture to an urban culture (and started to sleep in on the weekends), we invented DST to get rid of SOME of the stupidity. Now that we are mostly an urban culture, we should switch full time to DST to get rid of ALL of the stupidity.

    Now, after all of this discussion, here is an interesting side note: There is very little benefit to me to that extra hour– I stay up working with staff in India until 3:00am, get up in the morning, work several hours, have a snooze, then get up and work again. The benefits are mostly for OTHER people. But I also sit on a Federal government board and make recommendations that HURT me because I think they are best for the country. I also spent more time writing this than I will gain in the rest of my life if you stop the stupidity. And I knew that, so I am doing this for altruistic reasons. (If I start the class law suit, it will be for mixed motives, altruistic and personal benefit.)

    I hope this helps you get closer to balancing the budget ...

Published: 2017.Nov.05     Last edited: 2019.Sep.10

Comments

No comments yet. Be the first to comment!


Add Comment