Daylight Savings Time…

You might think that Daylight Savings Time DST is a recent invention.  However, this excerpt from Wikipedia gives some background:

The modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson[2] and it was first implemented by Germany and Austria-Hungary starting on 30 April 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, most consistently since the energy crises of the 1970s.

The practice has been both praised and criticized.[1] Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours,[3] but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun (such as farming) or to darkness (such as firework shows).[4][5] Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity[6]), modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.[7]

Other problems sometimes caused by DST clock shifts are: They complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment,[8] and sleep patterns.[9] Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when DST dates are changed.[

The basic idea for DST is that it let’s people have a longer amount of daylight for activities.  This keeps people from driving to or from work in the dark, reduces lighting, heating and cooling needs during work hours, and when proposed, produced overall savings.  In hot areas, extra sunlight time during work is actually counter-productive, for instance increasing cooling costs for us Arizonans by having our workplaces and schools open during the hottest part of the day.  As a result, Arizona does not participate in DST.  Neither did Hawaii, my last home state, for the same reason.  The problem this created in both Hawaii and Arizona is that part of the year we are on one time zone and part the other.  Arizona is Mountain Standard Time, but sometimes we go to Pacific Standard Time, and I never know when, having spent most of my life without DST.

This map shows blue for areas that use DST, orange for those that did at one time but don’t now, and red for those that never have.








Personally, I think DST should be done away with.  In our modern economy, sunlight is less a factor in determining the work day.  Global business is conducted 24 hours per day.  Increasingly, work is performed from home or local areas through electronics.  My one voice might not mean much, but enough with the fall back, spring forward, or whatever it is I am supposed to remember, even though I live in a state that doesn’t do it.

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

One response to “Daylight Savings Time…

  1. pyrodice

    As someone who worked in Hawaii for 4 years, with family who moved to Arizona, I found it nice to know we were always exactly three hours apart. Would be nice if I didn’t have to calculate whether we were +1 or -1 depending on what month it is, for anywhere else.


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