The clocks fell back this past weekend, and everyone enjoyed a glorious extra hour of sleep. Try and find a college kid anywhere who doesn’t appreciate the moment those clocks fall back, I dare you. Ask around again in the spring, and people will probably be feeling a little differently about Daylight Savings Time. Well, there’s a growing crowd of DST-opposers are out there who say that the practice is no good for us, at any point in the year.
Daylight Savings has been around since the late 1700s when Ben Franklin wrote half-seriously about it in a memo to the French. But these two times of years also bring up a lot grumblings… why do we change our clocks again?? Turns out, the answers aren’t really doing it for a lot of people anymore.
One of the big ideas behind Daylight Savings is that by extending light during the evenings by an hour, we would spend less money and energy on lighting. However—not that this is logical or anything—but it appears as though the energy used to light our buildings during the consequently darker mornings completely cancels out the gains made by the longer evenings.
On top of this, dairy farmers complain that DST throws off the internal milking schedules of their cows, PTA members claim that it puts children out on dark, dangerous streets when they walk to school in the mornings, and economists calculate that it costs our nation north of a billion dollars due loss of productive time when people switch their clocks forward or backward. Not to mention, some pretty great confusion ensues when trying to keep up with the countries, states, or even counties that adhere to the practice of DST and those that don’t.
DST opponents also cite health issues, effects on religious practices, and traffic accidents as reasons to do away with the practice. Poor DST has got it coming from all sides.
In response to all these complaints, a few bills have been introduced to the Senate with the purpose of ending DST once and for all. To many’s dismay, they haven’t made much headway.
So, DST may be here for now, but savor the extra hour of sleep while you have it. A lot of people have their sights set on taking it down.
You can check out a whole list arguments at National Geographic’s site, here.