Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why do we still have Daylight Savings Time?

I'm grumpy this morning.  I feel like I've lost an hour's sleep somewhere. 

Wait, I have lost an hour's sleep!  It's Daylight Saving Time's "spring jump ahead."  I hate Daylight Savings Time.  It takes me most of the summer to get me used to waking up an hour early! 

I know my biological clock is an old, rusty timepiece, but I'm not alone.  Almost everyone I talk to hates Daylight Saving Time as much as I do.  Then why do we still have it?

There used to be a reason for it.  People liked that hour of daylight tacked on to their day.  In fact, during the Second World War we had double daylight savings time.  The theory being that if it was lighter longer in the evening, folks would use less energy lighting their home and they could do more outside after contributing to the war effort all day.  I don't think that theory holds water anymore.

Here are the facts as I see them;
  • I've heard that the Monday after Daylight Savings Time starts is one of the worst days of the year for traffic accidents.  What does that tell you?
  • I remember my kids asking me "Why do I have to go to bed when it's still daytime?" 
  • I've also heard that the Monday after Daylight Savings Time starts is one of the most unproductive days of the work-year!
  • Studies have shown that energy savings created by moving the clocks ahead one hour are negligible!
  • Saskatchewan doesn't do the daylight savings thing and they're doing OK.  Except maybe for those wearing watermelons on their heads and painting their faces green at football games.  But that can hardly be blamed on the lack of daylight in their evenings.  Maybe it's the water!
  • Agriculturalists don't use daylight savings time unless they're dealing with folks off the farm.  It appears that cows, pigs, chickens and wheat fields don't have accurate watches.
I remember many years ago one of my young students told me that his dad said that the extra hour of daylight was hard of the plants and animals.  I remember hoping he was joking.

Last year Beiseker Councilor Karen Ursu was toying with the idea of starting a province wide petition to kill Daylight Savings Time.  I think we had better encourage her more this year!

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