A Rant About Daylight Savings Time

Another Daylight Savings Time (DST) has come and gone, and I can’t help but sit back and question whole concept. Most people know the idea of DST is to conserve electricity by adjusting our clock so that we have more hours of sunlight during our waking hours, but do you know why such an adjustment to our clock is necessary? If we need to adjust our clock to give us more hours of sunlight, then how did our ancestors live and work in the hours that we do without the convenience of electric lightening? The answer is pretty simple: they didn’t. Before electricity, people’s lives pretty much revolved around when the sun was in the sky. With the advent of electric lightening, society began to wake up and go to bed later. Generations before electric lighting would pretty much go to bed soon after the sun went down. While DST was created to conserve electricity, the reality is it simply offsets the change that took place in society as a result of electric lighting.

When I read about this recently, I found it fascinating. I couldn’t help but wonder why we don’t just pick a year to shift our clocks forward an hour and leave it that way. Recently a change was made so that DST now begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. This means 34 weeks of daylight savings time as opposed to 30. The goal is, obviously, to have more afternoon sunlight. I guess that someone has decided that afternoon sunlight isn’t as important in the winter, since we end DST forcing people to drive home from work at 5PM in the dark. We should just accept the fact that society’s hours of operation have shifted, and therefore our clock should shift as well. I really can’t see the benefit we gain from switching our clocks back to normal time for 24 weeks in the winter. Since most people are at home during the evening, any potential energy savings are lost because it is dark when people get home from work. It appears we’ve just come to accept DST as it is and never question the logic.

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