Environment Health Politics

Daylight Savings Time Is A Waste

Does “daylight savings time” save energy? Does it save money? Does it save lives? Does getting up when the sun is lower in the morning sky mean you have more time before you go to bed at night?

This is based on the statistic that more collisions occur in the dark. With DST, darkness is not repealed. People will still drive at night, meet people after dark, and choose to drink and drive.

Part of the pros and cons of DST relate to the latitude people live in. Besides the different daytime temperatures and energy use mentioned above, higher latitude dwellers see the effect of sunrise and sunset hours quite differently. Any benefits of changing the time of day are unconvincing. Alaska has a statewide movement to abolish it. Arizona and Hawaii do not change their clocks.

Conflict also appears to be along urban and rural lines. A farming lifestyle is more in tune with the natural and gradual daily changes, while the urban society works on mechanized organization at precise times. The earliest uses of time-keeping itself was the church clock and bell to summon residents to worship.

One of the least convincing arguments is that somehow DST is progressive, modern, and forward thinking. Opponents are called backward, old-fashioned and unsophisticated.

Whatever side you may be on, energy saving is not a justification. A consensus of time keeping is for convenience, but when you think about it the choice of time zone clock numbers, Swatch Internet time, or any time convention, is purely arbitrary.

If you live in the US but not Arizona or Hawaii, and want to synchronize with Federal and State time, put your clocks forward one hour at 1 a.m. on Sunday March 10; put them back again on November 2.

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