Here we go again. We’re messing with our clocks according to the custom our U.S. Government legislated in 1966. This evening, we “fall back” and set our clocks back an hour to go back to Standard time. (Actually, Daylight Saving Time seems to have become the “standard” since we’re on Daylight Time for 33 out of 52 weeks in the year.) This is a farce!! Why do we do this? I can think of no good reason to change our clocks twice a year. Let’s look at the reasons why we should just be like Arizona (except for the Navajo Reservation) and leave the clocks alone.
1) Let’s get it out of the way now–someone is going to say “tradition.” Okay, it’s traditional to change the clocks, you might say. Well, it’s been tradition for only 47 years and the U.S. has been a nation for 237 years. Also, time in the U.S. was not uniform until the railroads began making cross-country trips and there was a need for time zones. In addition, the government has been messing with this tradition for the past 35 or so years, anyway. Did you know that DST was first just six months long instead of the current eight months? DST was first from the last week in April until the last week in October. The dates have been changed two or three times since, the most recent being in 2007 when the current 33 weeks of DST went into effect. So, let’s just throw tradition out the window.
2) It saves energy. Really? There have been a number of studies looking at whether DST results in energy savings. The results have been mixed and the studies that show energy savings show those savings to be statistically insignificant. (Note the Indiana study in the links below.) The energy savings may have been significant 35 or 45 years ago but with 1) energy-saving technology and 2) any energy savings that might have been are cancelled with the proliferation of air conditioning in the summer and the increased use of heating in the waning weeks of DST. So, no, DST doesn’t really save energy.
3) It’s for the farmers. Uhh, no, it’s not. How this misinformation got started, no one really knows. Farmers were the one vociferous lobby against DST in the 1920s when the idea of using DST after World War I was proposed. DST actually disrupts agricultural routines twice a year. I’m sure farmers and ranchers would be more than happy to not to have to change the clocks and mess with milking the cows, feeding the pigs, and harvesting crops at different times of the day.
4) Let’s be honest–changing clocks twice a year is inconvenient. There is really no logical reason to do this. As our nation and world has become more technologically advanced and more of a 24/7 world, Daylight Saving Time no longer serves a useful purpose and should be abandoned. Besides, a majority of the nations of the world don’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Here’s my proposal: pick one time–Daylight or Standard–and stick with it 12 months out of the year. Arizona has it right–don’t mess with the clocks!
(When you read the links below, pay no attention to the Standardtime.com proposal to have just two time zones; that’s a little too radical, I think.)