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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Saving Time

Most of the world's population fell back (or will be falling back) soon to accommodate daylight saving time. Despite practicing DST for a century, give or take, some don't understand it, some are enraged by it, and some simply don't care.


In 1907, William Willett wrote an article titled, "The Waste of Daylight," in which he outlined the downfalls of the standard time and the benefits of shifting the clock to allow for more daylight during the 'day.'  The United States implemented DST in 1918 as part of the war effort.  Between WWI and WWII, DST ceased to exist.  Since the end of WWII, however, DST has been with most of us in the US in some form or another.

The reasons for supporting DST vary, as does the information to back up those claims.  Touted mostly as an energy-saver, the option to observe DST is left up to the states.  Today, 49 of the states observe Daylight Saving Time (the only state that does not observe it is Arizona).  For more information on the controversial past of DST, be sure to check out this site.

Who really cares if we are running an hour ahead or behind?  I mean, it's easy to change a clock, right?  The ease of moving the hands on a clock is not the primary concern of those opposed to Daylight Saving Time, as illustrated by a journal entry from 1947, "At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves."  I understand the need to have a consistent method for telling time, but it seems that the government is constantly changing the dates for DST, which lends an air of doubt to the whole practice.

Daylight Saving Time is one of those things that may have been useful back in the day, but more and more people work odd hours, and with our technology and 24 hour stores, doing things after the sun sets is no longer as problematic as it once may have been.  I don't want the government telling me when to go to bed, or when to rise.  Can't we pick one time and stick with it?

© 2010 Nate Phillipps

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