Let’s Dump Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time (DST)

I wish “daylight saving time” would go away!

Daylight saving time ended and we went back to standard time on Sunday November 5. This morning (Monday) I awoke when the sun came up. It was around 7:30 am by my internal clock but 6:30 am by the clock beside my bed. So, by the clock I got up an hour earlier than usual. This evening I will likely start feeling like it is bedtime way too early. A few days and I will re-adjust but this bi-annual change in time keeping is annoying. DST was conceived in the late 1800 and implemented in the early 1900. It was a good idea then but the world has changed significantly in the last 100 years. DST is obsolete in this day and age, and annoying. Yet governments that can never agree on anything, can not agree to abandon it. Granted, in the scheme of the world today, this issue is pretty insignificant; but it is still annoying. To muddy the waters even more, the powers that be occasionally change the dates of implementation.

Definition of DST

“Daylight saving time” is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. DST is implemented by adjusting clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjusting them backward one hour in the autumn to standard time.

The main purpose of DST is to make better use of daylight. This in turn is supposed to reduce energy costs. However DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks automatically, but policy changes by various jurisdictions of DST dates and timings may be confusing.

A Brief History of DST

Standard time, with the country divided into time zones was instituted in the U.S. and Canada by the railroads on November 18, 1883.

DST has been used in the U.S. and in many European countries since World War I. They began saving daylight at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916. Other countries and jurisdictions soon adopted this 1916 action: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and Tasmania. Nova Scotia and Manitoba adopted it as well, with Britain following suit three weeks later, on May 21, 1916. In 1917, Australia and Newfoundland began saving daylight.

The plan was not formally adopted in the U.S. until 1918. ‘An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States‘ was enacted on March 19, 1918. It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918.

Here are a couple of links if you want to explore the subject in more detail: