I am one of the poor souls who absolutely cannot abide Daylight Saving Time.
I’ve hated it ever since I was old enough to understand it.
Perhaps at one time it was useful.
The original intent of it was to save energy.
When it was standardized in the US in 1966, DST began on the last Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October – 6 months total.
States are not required to observe DST.
Indeed, Hawaii and parts of Arizona do not, nor do Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, or Guam.
The theory behind DST is that less energy will be used in the evening, because people will be outside.
However, by the time you factor in such things as changing climate patterns and more household appliances, it really saves nothing.
What DST actually does is make certain retailers more money.
Lobbyists have worked long and hard to extend DST, thus making their industries more lucrative.
The federal DST law was amended in 1986, adding a full month to DST.
It would now begin on the first Sunday in April rather than the last.
According to Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, “This change was spurred by a large number of lobbies: golf and golf equipment, home improvement, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association and the gas and fuel industries, which saw a potential boon to their sales.”
Then in 2005, along with a host of other issues, the Energy Policy Act changed DST yet again.
Clocks were set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of on the first Sunday of April.
Clocks were set back one hour on the first Sunday in November, rather than on the last Sunday of October.
Downing says that “the change from the end of October to early November was not driven by energy savings, but by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), who wanted Halloween to occur during DST. It gave the children more time to trick or treat and eat more candy.”
There has been no definitive study done on whether or not DST actually saves energy since the 1970’s.
However, there is no doubt that DST makes certain retailers money.
As it stands currently, DST lasts for 8 months of the year – from March to November.
So if there are only 4 months of non-DST time, is that really ‘standard time’?
It’s questionable (and rather unlikely) that DST actually saves energy.
And in this day and age of global connectivity, it makes even less sense.
In the EU, DST or ‘Summer Time,’ begins on the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday in October.
While the US (and thus, SL) changed clocks last night, it will be another 3 weeks before the EU does so.
Australia and NZ are opposite (as are their seasons).
DST will end on April 5, 2015, and they will set their clocks back one hour (and thus then be two hours off of SL time?).
DST will begin again for them on October 4, 2015, when they will ‘spring forward’ one hour.
It’s all so very confusing.
Who has to be where when?
Although perhaps there was a point to DST in the beginning, I think it is an idea which has outgrown its use.
The only people seeing benefits from it appear to be businesses.
There are some who might argue DST has it positives, but for me, they are sorely outweighed by the negatives (sorry, Nai).
Yes, I enjoy an hour more of daylight in the evenings.
However, I now have to get up in pitch dark, and end up using more energy in the mornings just to see where I am going.
My children head to school in the dark (a teenager behind the wheel in broad daylight is scary enough, much less pitch black).
Let me reiterate –
I hate, I absolutely loathe, DST.
Will it change?
Probably not, because I’m not a lobbyist with millions of dollars from major industries in my pocket.
Resistance is futile.