48 of the United States’ 50 states just switched their clocks forward an hour for the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Firstly, if you call it “Daylight Savings Time,” you need to blow it out your pie hole. It is a time of saving daylight. Benjamin Franklin, or Ben to his friends, suggested waking up earlier in the long summer hours in order to use the light from the sun instead of candles.
It wasn’t until 1905 when William Willett actually “invented” Daylight Saving Time, causing problems and complaints for early risers in perpetuity. But is Daylight Saving good? In the years since Ben’s 1784 satire, candle usage has dropped, in the same way that the federal excise tax on your long distance telephone bill has more than raised enough money for the Spanish-American War. So for the candle recyclers, business is good. For candle manufacturers, business is bad. For the workers dependent on people’s buying candles, they’ve probably lost some jobs, per capita, over the past 224 years, and they’re needing more money to feed their families. Business is bad for them.
For the sun, it is good. The sunshine that lights the Earth in the morning during the summertime can be used, and not wasted. Because the sun, by sending light that will not be wasted, will last longer, or be more ‘green.’
However, in the past 224 years, we have these wonderful inventions in most homes, called “durable goods.” They are products that are durable, they will last, not be consumed. Things like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners. When people are home earlier, using more afternoon sun, in the heat of summer, they are going to use their air conditioners more. Since they’re home earlier, they are going to crank up the washing machine earlier. Overall energy consumption will increase.
Since there is more sunlight, there is more driving to do, increasing the demand for gasoline. Except, of course, in Ed Begley Jr.’s house, where he will need more electricity for his car.
Health is always a concern. I remember reading an article about either police or fire stations in a city that had the workers in eight hour shifts, and every week or two, they would rotate. The shift that had been working a midnight to eight am had rotated to 4pm to midnight. Once the shift rotated the other way, sick time and other health related incidents decreased. Of course, I can’t find this now (because I don’t feel like trying to look it up), but I remember reading it. In fact, The government of Kazakhstan cited health complications due to clock shifts as a primary reason for abolishing DST in 2005.
As an exercise for the reader, I leave the rest of the Wikipedia article about Daylight Saving Time. I also ask if calling Daylight Saving Time is not as correct as calling it Standard Time, since, according to US law, we’re in Daylight Saving Time for eight months out of the year. We’re in Standard time for half as much time as we’re not in Standard Time. Seriously, who was the idiot who screwed that up?
There is a proposal afoot to abolish Daylight Saving Time, but since the site hasn’t been updated in over a year, it’s hard to take it seriously. On the other hand, there was a proposal to keep California permanently on Daylight Saving Time, but it appears that it didn’t pass something. Now that’s thinking. Since Daylight Saving Time is really the standard time, why not keep Daylight Saving Time as standard time.
By the way, if you have a WordPress or Drupal site in the US, you need to go to the admin panel and change your time zone offset because most computer systems are too stupid to know when Daylight Saving Time happens, I guess.
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