12 March 2020

The Evernighties Blog Challenge - Week 11

Keep Daylight Savings Time?

Simple answer...NO!

Spring forward, fall back.  It's the theory that if we adjust our energy output through the winter months, we'd spend less money. And while the ancient cultures did adjust their candle time according the sun position, the modern day version was proposed by none other than Benjamin Franklin.During his time as an American envoy to France, he suggested that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. He coined the old proverb "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".

Not true, Ben. So not true!

In 1916, during WW1, Germany became the first country to adopt the system to save energy for the war effort. Many countries across Europe soon followed suit. In the US, it was called Fast Time and was first introduced in 1918. However, it wasn't until 1942, at the height of WW2, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt reintroduced it, instituting year-round Daylight Saving Time in the US. Referred to as "War Time" it was in force continuously and the zones were called "Eastern War Time", "Mountain War Time", "Central War Time" and "Pacific War Time". After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the time zones were relabeled "Peace Time".

After the war, there were revisions for many years, and in truth, those revisions caused a lot of confusion, especially for trains, buses and the broadcasting community. Time schedules were adopted and discarded. Currently we're operating on a schedule introduced by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

There is a lot of rationale behind the practice of Daylight Savings Time, and I'm sure if you ask a hundred different engineers they'd all say DST works. But in my humble opinion, while DST might have had a solid reasoning behind it a century or so ago, I don't see the benefit of it now. We live in a society where cities never sleep (I'm in Las Vegas). Lights constantly blaze and energy is constantly wasted. Here is a map of the world with the current DTS:

Blue is the northern hemisphere in summer
Orange is the southern hemisphere in summer
Light grey is formally used DST 
Dark grey NEVER used DST

Clearly the US, Canada and Europe are in the minority. Two states don't even use it (Indiana and Arizona). It is an antiquated system that is falling out of favor almost world wide.

I say it's time to end DST.

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