March 12, 2012 1 Comment
No, I don’t mean Congress will order the execution of 387 people today. I’d almost respect that more, because it’d be direct and therefore, in a sense, far more honest.
But, according to a snowballing body of science, the sleep deprivation you’re suffering today because of Daylight Saving Time ends up killing hundreds of people, and causing thousands of additional accidents…and government, like everyone else, is responsible for the consequences of the force they impose.
What’s more, after all that, Daylight Saving Time actually ends up wasting energy, instead of saving it.
While even the obsessively pro-big-government Washington Post says Daylight Saving Time is a Scam, and various usually-statist news sources run more articles each year outlining the harm it causes, like The Baltimore Sun, NBC, or the local news, what’s unusual is to see the death toll in real, human terms:
Sticking to only relatively conservative surveys, the stress caused by forcing 300,000,000 people to get up an hour earlier adds up to (1) a 10% increase in heart attacks for the first few days, (2) a 17% increase in traffic accidents for the first week, and (3) a 6% increase in workplace injuries.
Given (1) 500,000 heart attacks per year, (2) 34,000 automotive deaths per year, and some (3) 7,000 workplace deaths, that adds up to Daylight Saving Time causing a minimum of nearly four hundred needless deaths each year.
Of course this number is a rough guess, and simplified, but other surveys say it’s even higher, for example a 6% increase in heart attacks, but spread over a full week. That’s nearly six hundred deaths caused by DST, just from heart attacks.
I couldn’t find a solid number for the increase in suicides for this week every year, but let’s not forget that (4) little bonus.
And, as you probably have heard on the news by now, the trivial amount of lightbulb electricity saved is far less than the extra air conditioning electricity that DST causes people to waste. So it doesn’t even have a real reason to exist, in the first place.
Of course some government apologists will try to say blow off the death toll, denying responsibility. They will cry “but we’re not responsible for what people choose to do, even if our laws set the conditions! We’re not really killing those people”. But the consequences of their actions fall under what is called, in the world of justice, the Felony Murder Rule:
If you commit a felony, therefore a really inexcusable crime, and because of the situation action created someone dies, you can be charged for murder, even if it clearly wasn’t your intention that he died.
In other words, when you commit a wrong, you become responsible for all of that wrong’s unintended consequences. A concept that’s a no-brainer to anyone who doesn’t belong to the political class.
This was true when government banned the disabling of airbags by short people who would be killed by them, and is true of them needlessly forcing every single person to get up an hour earlier for reasons that, themselves, are false in the first place.