Page 5 - Contemporary ENERGY Vol2 No2 (2016)
P. 5

International Journal of Contemporary ENERGY, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2016)  ISSN 2363-6440

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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

                          Founding Editor & Editor–In–Chief         “Although most people adjust in a day or two, it can take
                                                  Zoran V. Stosic   some people up to a week to get used to the time
                                                                    change” says Dr. Plante, an assistant professor of
On last Sunday of October, at 3 am, we set the clocks               psychiatry at the School of Medicine and Public Health
back, gaining an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Savings            of Wisconsin University.
Time ends. The idea was first suggested by Benjamin
Franklin in 1784 and was originally established in the              A study conducted at Stanford University indicates an
U.S. during both World Wars in order to take advantage              increase in traffic accidents on the Monday following the
of longer daylight hours and save energy for the war                spring time shift change, and a small increase in car
production.                                                         crashes on days following the fall time change as well. In
                                                                    the week after Daylight Saving Time there was a 7%
Defenders of Daylight Saving Time suggest that                      increase in car crashes, according to the Texas A&M
extended daylight hours improve energy conservation                 University study. The boost in morning traffic accidents
by allowing people to use less energy to light their                was even greater – it was 14%.
businesses and homes. Opponents argue that the
energy saved during Daylight Saving Time is offset by               A 2008 Swedish study showed an increase of about 5%
greater energy use during the darker autumn and winter              in heart attacks on the three weekdays following the
months.                                                             spring time shift. In the 2014 Texas A&M University
                                                                    study of 42,060 people, researchers found a 21%
But, does the spring and fall time change affect our                decrease in heart attacks following the fall time change.
health? Or, does the extra 60 minutes we scored last                By contrast, they noticed a 24% increase in heart attacks
weekend in October gave our health a boost, or hurt it?             on the Monday after the clock springs forward.

                                                                    A 2009 study headed by Dr. Barnes, an assistant
                                                                    professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point,
                                                                    analysed the severity of workplace accidents in miners
                                                                    on the Monday following the time change. The
                                                                    researchers found a 5.7% increase in injuries and a
                                                                    67.6% increase in work days lost to injuries. Dr. Barnes
                                                                    said the results were likely to be similar in other
                                                                    workplaces with similar hazards.

                                                                    The 2008 Australian study found an increase in suicides
                                                                    among men following the start of Day Light Saving Time
                                                                    – an increase of roughly 0.44 per day. The researchers
                                                                    suggested the clock shift leaves many without morning
                                                                    sunlight, which perhaps promotes winter depression,
                                                                    which might lead to suicide. However, they haven’t
                                                                    verified the link between these two. A better-
                                                                    established finding is that spring is the peak time of the
                                                                    year for suicides.

                                                                    So, what is the bottom line?

                                                                    Is the energy saving caused by time changes twice a year
                                                                    real or fictive, and could we reliable quantify it? Are
                                                                    these time changes boosting or hurting our health?
                                                                    Could we quantify time change effects on our health and
                                                                    corresponding financial loss and compare it with energy
                                                                    savings? Are we interested in such analysis?

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A Word from the Editor–in–Chief
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