This story was originally published on March 12, 2016. It has been updated to include videos, but has not been edited as daylight saving time is still rubbish.
When Benjamin Franklin proposed daylight saving time, he invented it, it was a joke. These days, it’s more like a practical joke that we play on ourselves every year. Time to end this stupid prank once and for all.
Franklin originally joked that he had been woken up after a long night (probably meeting Franklin, partying) and was surprised to see the light.
I looked at my watch, which is fine, and discovered that it was six o’clock; and still thinking that it was something extraordinary that the sun rose so early, I looked towards the almanac, where I found that it was the time given for its departure that day. I also looked ahead and found that I had to get up even earlier every day until the end of June; and that at no time of the year did he delay his promotion until eight o’clock.
Franklin, who introduces himself in the letter upon waking up at noon, goes on to write that if people used six hours of sunlight to do the job, they would need six fewer hours of candles. This is basically a blow to the French. (For more details, you should check this National Geographic Article.)
Daylight Saving Time Was Introduced For American War Efforts. Daylight Saving Time wasn’t introduced in America until 1918, when it was intended to save energy for World War I. The idea was, essentially, Franklin’s: that people tend to be more active at night, so the extra daylight would mean fewer hours where people lit their houses at night. After the war, farmers pushed for the law to be repealed; It turns out that agricultural work is easier to do when the rest of the world is also in the sun. In 1942, during World War II, daylight saving time was re-enacted, but throughout the year. After, well, the adoption varied.
DST was reintroduced by the federal government in 1966, although whether it was observed or not depended on the states (Arizona and Hawaii do not comply with DST, for example). And in 2007, a law passed by President George W. Bush extended daylight saving time by more than a month; now it runs from March to November.
Proponents of DST will tell you that it saves energy. This is because a study conducted in the 1970s found a 1 percent benefit for energy use in summer time. However, you might notice that the 1970s is 40 years ago and that the power consumption has changed a bit in the meantime. More recent research shows no difference in energy use in places where it does not apply, compared to places that observe daylight saving time. Some studies suggest that daylight saving time means more energy is used, rather than less. Take, for example, this 2008 paper looking at Southern Indiana: DST actually increases Electricity demand to the tune of $ 9 million a year in Indiana alone.
Then there’s the human cost: fatigue, and then there’s the physiological cost of DST: fatigue. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers insufficient sleep a public health problem usually – And the time you lose in spring makes it worse. About 60 percent of Americans feel the effects of sleep loss on Monday after they jump forward, according to the Better Sleep Council, the “consumer education” arm of sleep product makers. The survey found that nearly three-quarters of workers over the age of 30 say that sleep loss affects their work, often by lowering productivity. Several major disasters have also been attributed to lack of sleep, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and the space shuttle explosion. Challenger. Not all the effects of sleep deprivation are so extreme, but a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology notes that workplace injuries spike Monday we jump forward, probably because workers are missing, on average, about 40 minutes of sleep.
People are also more likely to have car accidents when they are tired, so it is not really surprising to find that there is an increase in traffic accidents after daylight saving time takes effect. The Monday after, car accidents spike, according to a 2001 study in Journal of Sleep Medicine. How much depends on the study; A paper presented at the American Economic Association showed that traffic accidents increase by about 6 percent nationally over the next six days after we advance our clocks. The increase in accidents is likely due to lack of sleep.
Some rogue elements will argue for a perpetual DST. After all, more people are awake and active at 7 PM than at 7AM. This annoys parents, who point out that children are more likely to be hit and killed by cars in the dark, and that going permanently to daylight saving time means much darker in the morning. Personally, I don’t care if we stick to daylight saving time or standard time. What I want, most of all, is to stop resetting my damn watch. The time change is literally a killer.