I’d like to talk for a minute about daylight savings time, especially the “Spring Ahead” change that happened not so long ago. There are probably endless arguments for the use of daylight savings time and how it saves energy consumption or some such other nonsense. But I for one hate switching to Daylight Savings Time. The older I get the harder it is to make up for that lost hour of sleep. The clock may tell me it’s 8:30 AM, but my body clock tells me it’s 7:30 AM. My cat Star has a problem with Daylight Savings Time. Star has a pretty good internal clock. She knows when it’s time to have breakfast and when it’s time for her evening snack. She doesn’t care about clocks, she starts pestering me to be fed when her body clock says it’s time. I say down with Daylight Savings Time.
Weird Facts About Daylight Saving Time
by Julia Hays Fri, Mar 11, 2016 1:50 PM
One thing is for sure, though.
If you live in a place that has to spring its clocks ahead an hour this weekend (2 a.m. Sunday, don’t forget!), no matter how many years it has been happening, it’s still super-weird to get used to.
Why, exactly, are we doing this again? Does anyone even own a clock anymore? Will this affect the Big Bang Theory episodes we’ve set to DVR?
We have a lot of questions, people.
Here a few things you should understand about the “holiday” when we’re forced to remember how to adjust our microwave clock…
It was all Ben Franklin‘s idea.
The founding father wrote about the subject in a 1784 essay.
His argument? More daylight would mean people wouldn’t waste candles by having to burn them longer.
It’s basically the same thing people argued during World War I, when Daylight Saving Time was first introduced, to help the U.S. and other nations use less fuel.
As to whether it works and if it’s a little outdated of an idea? That’s something that has been up for debate for years.
WHY End Day Light Saving Time ?
Why did daylight saving time (DST) start, and why does it still continue? When asking a random sample of people we heard two answers again and again: “To help the farmers” or “Because of World War I … or was it World War II?”In fact, farmers generally oppose daylight saving time. In Indiana, where part of the state observes DST and part does not, farmers have opposed a move to DST. Farmers, who must wake with the sun no matter what time their clock says, are greatly inconvenienced by having to change their schedule in order to sell their crops to people who observe daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time did indeed begin in the United States during World War I, primarily to save fuel by reducing the need to use artificial lighting. Although some states and communities observed daylight saving time between the wars, it was not observed nationally again until World War II.
Of course, World War II is long over. So why do we still observe daylight saving time?
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided the basic framework for alternating between daylight saving time and standard time, which we now observe in the United States. But Congress can’t seem to resist tinkering with it. For example, in 1973 daylight saving time was observed all year, instead of just the spring and summer. The system of beginning DST at 2 AM on the first Sunday in April and ending it at 2 AM on the last Sunday in October was not standardized until 1986. The rules changed again in 2007. DST now begins on the second Sunday of March and ends the first Sunday in November.
The earliest known reference to the idea of daylight saving time comes from a purely whimsical 1784 essay by Benjamin Franklin, called “Turkey versus Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle.” It was first seriously advocated by William Willet, a British Builder, in his pamphlet “Waste of Daylight” in 1907.
Over the years, supporters have advanced new reasons in support of DST, even though they were not the original reasons behind enacting DST.
One is safety. Some people believe that if we have more daylight at the end of the day, we will have fewer accidents.
In fact, this “benefit” comes only at the cost of less daylight in the morning. When year-round daylight time was tried in 1973, one reason it was repealed was because of an increased number of school bus accidents in the morning. Further, a study of traffic accidents throughout Canada in 1991 and 1992 by Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia before, during, and immediately after the so-called “spring forward” when DST begins in April. Alarmingly, he found an eight percent jump in traffic accidents on the Monday after clocks are moved ahead. He attributes the jump to the lost hour of sleep. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, Coren explained, “These data show that small changes in the amount of sleep that people get can have major consequences in everyday activities.” He undertook the study as a follow up to research showing that even an hour’s change can disrupt sleep patterns and “persist for up to five days after each time shift.” Other observers attribute the huge spike in accidents on the first Monday of DST to the sudden change in the amount of light during driving times. Regardless of the reason, there is no denying that changing our clocks has a significant cost in human lives.
While some people claim that they would miss the late evening light, a presumably similar number of people love the morning light. And projects, postponed during the sun filled summer, will be tackled with new vigor when the sun sets an hour earlier each day.
Congress appears to have felt we were not having enough of a difficult time so in 2007 they passed a law starting Daylight Savings time 3 weeks earlier and ending it one week later. This cost US companies billions to reset automated equipment, put us further out of sync with Asia and Africa time-wise, inconvenienced most of the country, all in the name of unproven studies that claim we save energy.
STANDARDTIME.COM SAYS: If we are saving energy let’s go year round with Daylight Saving Time. If we are not saving energy let’s drop Daylight Saving Time!
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