Monday, November 6, 2017

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ended this past weekend. Time to fall back, as the saying goes. On one hand, doesn't it sound good? Get an extra hour of sleep. Oh no! It does not work quite that easily. There are a number of factors to work into this event.

Let me begin with the fact that this concept actually was a proposal about a change in sleep schedules made by Ben Franklin back in the 1700's, when he wrote an essay titled, "An Economical Project" based on his new invention. It was not until the 1800's that William Willett from London wrote a paper called, "Waste of Daylight"  that the thought of changing times during the summer time had been considered. 

Here in the United States, it was not until 1942 that the hour change took place in each time zone, which was then called 'War Time.' I really did not realize that it has been declared, then repealed, then organized yet again. Apparently, any state that has two time zones within the state may opt out of DST. There has been talk of other states wanting to do the same in recent times.

Let's examine some facts. The so-called main reason for DST was to make better use of daylight and to be more energy efficient. My argument is whether it is darker in the mornings or the evenings, electricity is going to be used, one way or another. Energy conservation is merely a rationalization. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, only 1% each day of energy is saved. By the way, this study was done back in 1975. (long before energy efficient appliances had been invented) Also, consider that most people arise before the sun rises, therefore using energy to get ready for their day. One way or another, day or night, energy is going to be consumed.

Another interesting fact is that crime was down 13% during DST because of it remaining daylight longer. Again, this study was done a number of years ago, and with the way crimes are committed more and more in broad daylight, not sure if this would hold true today?

Once the dust is settled on all of the studies, let's just forget about those. Let's focus on what it does to us as human beings living through these time changes of Spring Ahead and Fall Back. Apparently, according to scientists in lab studies, it takes our body clocks up to 10 weeks to recover from the time change. When we lose that extra daylight in the evening, more people suffer from a depression due to lack of light. Tiredness sets in from the playing around with the time. This truly affects pets and children. They can't tell time and their bodies still wake and sleep at the time they were accustomed to before the magic hour of switching the times.

There are many places where children still walk to school, only once the Fall Back takes place, they are walking to school in the dark or standing at the bus stops in the total darkness. Is this safe? (Of course, my other theory is that it is not a good idea for school to start at 7:00 A.M. and buses to pick up children at 5:45, as they do in my neighborhood.)  That is insane!

Every year there seems to be more and more talk of getting rid of these time changes. Just bring the petition to me and I will gladly sign it. Better yet? I will research how to get a petition started to have a vote on doing away with this archaic law. Do I hear an, "AMEN?"

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