To the People

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Congress Throws Another Stick Into the Spokes of Commerce

In its 2005 energy bill, Congress put in legislation that was little-noticed at the time but is turning out to be a big pain in the ass, a mini Y2K.
Two years ago, when Congress passed a law to extend daylight saving time by a month, the move seemed a harmless step that would let the nation burn a little less fossil fuel and enjoy a bit more sunshine...

The change takes effect Sunday, as daylight saving time begins three weeks earlier (and ends a week later, on the first Sunday in November). And many companies are scrambling to reset BlackBerry e-mail devices, desktop PCs and big data-center computers used to automate payrolls, purchasing and manufacturing.

This puts the United States out of sync with the rest of the world for longer than usual this spring, almost certainly disrupting not only computers but also the business and travel schedules of companies, workers and travelers.
I don't understand, exactly, how we will burn less fossil fuel by being on DST for three more weeks. Does anyone?! Please tell me if you do. Turning on the lights in the morning versus turning them on in the evening seems to me to be a zero sum game. But I do know this shift is an expensive IT nightmare for corporations and a nuisance for individuals.