Most people reading this are like me; you have no clue as to who started “Daylight Savings Time” or why?!
I find it interesting how well educated intelligent people seem to follow a standard set by unknowns without raising a question. Ever since I was in Elementary School, I wondered why we needed to change the clocks? I have heard many a tale as to why we need to Spring Forward and Fall Backwards on our clocks; yet none of them made any real sense to me.
Even as a child I knew changing clocks shifted something inside of me. I felt as if someone turned me around on the inside. I did not understand why we were being tormented by people who had no clue as to what our lives were like.
Here we are again, March 11th to November 4th stuck in this “too early” for bed feeling, but must go anyway, or else it will be time to get up, and then I will awake to the feeling of being “too tired to move” because someone decided my life was better this way.
This is the year I have had enough of the government telling me my clock is wrong! I decided to do my own research. Okay, maybe you already know these things, however I just ignored it. There were far too many other things to be concerned with. This time, I said enough already! My nephews boarded their school bus in the dark this morning and that is unacceptable!
Whenever the government is involved we turn our heads and hope someone else will speak up. Today, I choose to be that someone. I began my research simply to discover who started this and why, and what I discovered is, like anything else the origin and intent were lost in the historical translations. There is certainly a ton of misinformation out there, but I was determined.
You see, DST was not the original name. It was called “War-Time.” Now, this made more since to me. Changing the clock had a specific purpose. It has been 100 years since DST was first introduced here in the United States as “War-Time.” The purpose was to have more daylight and save fuel, however after WWI it was no longer necessary, and time was reverted to normal.
Following the European model in 1918 President Roosevelt signed into effect the Standard Time Act which was meant to be in effect for only 7 months of the year to conserve fuel. After the war this act was discontinued nationally however some states continued to turn their clocks back one hour in the fall and one hour forward in the spring. During WWII the entire nation followed DST for one year, again many states continued to impose it.
Based on NASA’s report it was 1966 under President Lyndon B. Johnson where a law was passed that superseded all states individual standards. According to NASA, DST would begin on the last Sunday in April and reset on the last Sunday in October. This law was amended in 1986 and then again under President George W. Bush to be the 2nd Sunday in March. It has been over 2 decades, so we can expect more changes.
The supporters of DST argue that more daylight will get people out of the house during the evenings for sports or time with friends and family and would save energy given there would be more natural light after working hours. The critics think “hogwash,” people are not going to do anything differently than they would if the clocks were not changed. Due to the increase in electronics any energy saved is perhaps insignificant. Instead of my overly ranting here, allow me to reveal a few pros and cons.
The year was 2014, an official report from Rasmussen (Rasmussen Reports is an American polling company, founded in 2003. The company engages in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information) stated only about 33% of Americans agree there is a need for DST yet, more than 70% of the world use it!
- Longer Days in the Spring and Summer
- Tourism and Retail Profits
- Less Artificial Light
- Road Safety due to more day light
- Less Robberies are reported (Although thieves do steal in daylight)
- Does not save energy
- Can make people sick: changing the clocks even 1 hour has been noted to disrupt our body clocks, our circadian rhythm making us more tired. For some people this is the least of their worries, other suffer due to the lack of sleep causing miscarriages, accidents, suicides, and workplace injuries to name a grave few. Studies have also shown that there is an increase in heart attacks at the beginning of DST. However, there are studies to show a decrease in Heart Attacks at the end of DST.
- Once DST has ended the early darkness is linked to increased depression. Now, I am wondering if it is just the Holidays that cause depression or the combination that people must go home alone in the dark on a Holiday. What are your thoughts?
- DST cost money. In 2016 New York City paid 1.5M in the “Dusk and Darkness Safety Campaign.”
Think of it, the cost for health care due to changing clocks, the spiritual slump it brings over the entire population because we are all out of rhythm, and the numerous shifts in attitudes we must endure from each other! Is it worth it, I ask?
Not all states observe DST. Those who choose to say “no” are Arizona, Hawaii, and our overseas territory, and as far as I know, these people still get up in the morning and are managing their lives without changing their clocks.
NBC reports that some states are considering ditching DST, one being the sunshine state of Florida has a bill to end DST, Maine will ditch it if their neighbors Massachusetts and New Hampshire will do so.
Any state can pass a law to “opt-out” of Day Light Savings Time, and I have a feeling more will.
One day we will not be faced with DST, EST, CST, MST or PST or GMT for time will be no more forever, but for now, may I please have my Cuckoo clock back?