We all got up an hour earlier today because Daylight Savings Time saves energy. Right? Not everyone agrees. A Tuft’s University teacher says we don’t really save energy in part we make extra driving trips to stores, golf courses and other recreational outings during that extra hour of sunlight. Daylight Savings benefits stores and golf courses, but it’s no big national energy saver, Michael Downing told KGO Radio show host Ronn Owens on the air this morning.
Downing, author of the book “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Savings Time,” said farmers aren’t the force behind the annual time change in spring and fall. The change ought to be called “Daylight Shopping Time,” he said.
Personally, I think a lot of people like that extra hour of daylight for doing things outdoors. I don’t play golf, but hiking on Shell Ridge in Walnut Creek is a better and safer experience in daylight than darkness. And I bet a lot of shoppers are happy to pack in more store time.
Downing, in a Huffing Post column last year, sees the upside to extra light at the end of the day. But he objects to Daylight Savings Time being touted as a big energy saver and part of our national energy policy.
“I’m all for a long summer days at the beach,” he wrote.
“But it is March, and it is cold here in New England, and I’m mindful of the Native American who concluded that daylight saving time is like cutting an inch off the bottom of your blanket and sewing it to the top to make the blanket longer.”