As You Suspected, Daylight Saving Time is Pretty Much Crap
10 months ago
If your grade school teacher told you that Daylight Saving was about giving farmers more sunlight hours, your grade school teacher was woefully misinformed. Farmers don’t care what time the clock says; if sun’s out, they’re out. Daylight Saving is actually supposed to be about energy conservation— but even that’s bogus.
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Like so much of the weird shit we get up to, Daylight Saving has its roots in World War II. The theory was that when the sun sets later, we all spend less time sitting at home with the lights on listening to our Victrolas. Perhaps that was sound thinking during the ’40s, but now that we’ve got central air, more sunlight means more AC use. These days, it’s unlikely that Daylight Saving causes any net conservation at all.
Economics prof Laura Grant wrote an article breaking down all the ways Daylight Saving is so much bullshit, from the workplace injuries that come with post-springing forward sleep deprivation, to the car accidents that result from commuting in the dark after clocks turn back:
Heart attacks increase after the spring time shift – it is thought because of lack of sleep – but decrease to a lesser extent after the fall shift. Collectively, these bookend effects represent net costs and strong arguments against retaining daylight saving time.
The only benefit to Daylight Saving that really holds up to scrutiny is the drop in crime that results when the sun sets later. With fewer people on the streets after dark, criminals have fewer targets for assaults and muggings. One solution to some of the problems with Daylight Saving may be to spring forward one March and just never fall back— that way we’d get to enjoy extended daylight hours all year. Some states are even considering doing just that. So if Daylight Saving drives you nuts, use the extra hour we just picked up to write your congressperson.