Daylight Savings Time: Why?

Daylight Savings Time: Why?

Everybody who likes it being pitch black at 5:00 pm, raise your hand!

Oh nobody? Well more than half of the world agrees with you. Besides the USA, Canada, Europe, parts of the middle east and some areas of South America, no place uses, has ever used or continues to use daylight savings time. Everybody can guess the rationale for this 1895 idea proposed by George Vernon Hudson: more daylight in the early working hours of the day. And besides, everybody could use the extra hour of sleep, even for one day. But is it worth all of the hassell it creates for occupations relying on the sun and sporting events that take place in a dark afternoon?

It all started in 1916, the central powers implemented DST as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Soon, the other European nations followed suit. We adopted DST in 1918. In the years of peace, DST was abandoned, for it had no use. During WWII, it was once again implemented. Since then each country has independently tinkered with DST.

Proponents of DST generally argue that it conserves energy, promotes outdoor activity in the evening, and is good for physical and psychological health. It reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime and is good for business. Groups that tend to support DST are urban workers or professionals, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, tourism operators, and others who benefit from increased light during the evening.

Opponents argue that actual energy savings are inconclusive, that DST can disrupt morning activities, and that the act of changing clocks twice a year is economically and socially disruptive and cancels out any benefit. Groups that have tended to oppose DST are farmers, transportation companies and the indoor entertainment industry.

Each country has their own reasons for keeping or discarding DST, but the trend of the modern world is to abandon it. Europe, America, get with the trend.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email