Time is on our side

Daylight-saving time will be coming a little earlier this year.

Each spring we move our clocks ahead and each fall we move them back. It’s an inconvenient process that we all go through twice each year. While this process hardly deserves mentioning, 2007 is a significant year for daylight saving.

For the first time since 1986, daylight-saving time will be moved. In an act passed in 2005, Congress voted to move daylight saving to begin three weeks earlier, in March, and to end one week later, in November.

The institution of daylight saving was proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 as a means of conserving energy. His bright idea was finally adopted by the United States during World War I to save resources. The measure was unpopular and was quickly ditched. World War II demanded its implementation once again in 1942, and it was in place continuously until 1945. Since then, its implementation has been fought by farmer groups.

When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, they included an extra four weeks of daylight saving. Experts estimate that it will save electricity and approximately 300,000 barrels of oil per year. It works by simply shifting the clocks to more accurately mirror when people are awake and using energy. It is a simple strategy that makes a lot of sense.

In addition to saving energy, daylight time has been associated with reduced crime levels. This is due to higher levels of activity occurring during daylight instead of at night. Additionally, car crashes are reduced as more people are commuting while the sun is up.

Perhaps most importantly, the new change for this year will take effect March 11, which happens to coincide with the start of spring break.

So as you are sipping a piña colada over spring break, you’ll have a little extra sunlight on the beach. Just remember to tip your hat to Benjamin Franklin, and you can rest easy knowing you are saving energy.