Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Push Forward Time and Save The Earth

March 12, 2007
The Electronic New Paper

CUT the air-conditioning and save the planet? Take the bus instead of driving?

It's all too difficult.

Energy-guzzling Americans are taking a painless path to conservation - they will cut greenhouse gas emissions by simply pushing forward the hands on their clocks.

At 2am today (3pm tomorrow in Singapore), the US will 'spring forward' one hour to daylight saving time.

This is three weeks earlier than usual.

It will stay on the daylight saving plan until 4 Nov, a week longer.


The four extra weeks each year of shifting an hour of daylight from morning to evening is expected to cut fuel consumption.

Demand for electricity falls during early evening peak hours, according to experts.

Democratic representative Ed Markey, who pushed for the idea, said the savings would translate into a 10.8-million-tonne reduction in carbon emissions over the next 13 years.

The move has its advocates and detractors.

Softball teams, which gather on playing fields after work, can start their seasons earlier, as will backyard barbecue enthusiasts.

Some in law enforcement think evening crime rates could fall.

But if you're an early riser or in the transport industry, the idea stinks.

Farmers will lose a precious hour of early light. Orthodox Jews, who wait until sunrise to say morning prayers, lobbied against the provision and airlines complained it would throw their international schedules further out of sync with Europe.

Owners of BlackBerrys and other electronic gizmos have had to scurry to download 'patches' to make sure their devices are aligned with the new time.

For US companies, the time shift is nothing like the Y2K problem eight years ago, when billions of dollars and countless man-hours were spent to protect computer systems as their clocks ticked from 1999 to 2000.

As risk strategist John Pironti pointed out: 'It is going to be a nuisance, not a disaster.'

And while 10.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions may sound like a lot, it pales in comparison to the 5.9 billion tonnes the US emitted just in 2004.
- Reuters.

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