Once again, it’s time for every clock in America to be messed with. According to the most optimistic estimates from the Department of Energy, this will provide a savings of 0.03% on the country’s annual electricity consumption. According to actual measurements from a study in Australia, it’ll achieve nothing. According to an NBER study of Indiana’s transition to observing DST, DST increases electricity usage by 1%. So, either DST achieves almost nothing, or it wastes energy, we’re not quite sure.

However, energy usage isn’t the whole story. According to studies the DST shift will cause around 17% more car accidents on Monday, with a smaller increase in the fall because it’s easier to sleep in than to get up early.

DST doesn’t benefit farmers either, in spite of what you might have heard. They lobbied against its introduction. Cattle don’t care what the clocks say, so DST just means the farmer has to get up and milk them at a different clock time.

For IT people, of course, DST is more annoying. It means checking every system that keeps time, to verify that it made the change on the correct date, and adjusting systems that don’t adjust themselves. That’s assuming your government doesn’t decide to change the date of the DST switchover, like the Bush administration decided to, causing hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent patching embedded systems, servers and desktops. (Since Java, Linux and IBM Lotus Domino all use their own independent time zone rule databases, I had to apply three separate fixes to some servers.)

Even non-IT people are starting to catch on to the fact that DST is an annoying waste of time and energy. Can we get rid of this stupid practice, please?