The180·The 180

It's time to stop changing the clocks

Most Canadians turn their clocks back an hour on Sunday morning. UBC economist Werner Antweiler says we should give this practice a re-think. He argues that the costs, in money and human welfare, outweigh the benefits.
Repealing the Daylight Saving Act would put Alberta on standard time around the clock. (Andreas Gebert/EPA)

Changing the clocks twice a year is an annual ritual that Canadians need to abolish. 

At least, according to economist Werner Antweiler.

When you have the shift in the spring, you're enforcing essentially a one hour jet lag on the entire population.- Werner Antweiler 

Antweiler, an economist at the University of British Columbia', says while most Canadians probably don't think twice about changing their clocks, they probably should.

It's not one of those things  you question until you look at the research data and ask what is the really the cost benefit here? Are the benefits outweighing the costs? Or is it the other way around? - Werne Antweiler

Antweiler has looked at the research and he says, the modern results show the energy savings — the original rationale for daylight saving time — are getting smaller and smaller. 

In addition, Antweiler notes the costs outside of energy efficiency are significant. He says that in the spring, there is plenty of evidence to show that motor vehicle accidents go up and productivity goes down. 

It turns out that on that Monday after the shift in the spring there is a drop in the stock prices and that actually calculates to something like $31 billion in losses on the stock market in just one day. It's later recovered, but on that one day, there is a very sizable effect. - Werner Antweiler

Antweiler says he would like to see Canada adopt daylight saving time for the entire year. 


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