The debate over having Daylight Saving Time

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin wanted people woken up by cannon fire to observe Daylight Savings Time, supposedly. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

There is some debate over whether Daylight Saving Time should be observed at all. The practice is easily seen as an anachronism. Most people don’t work on the farm, and people don’t rely on sunlight too much anymore. That said, there are some positive effects of observing DST. There are also, of course, some negative effect and some interesting facts about it.

Positives for Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time is about the amount of sunlight in the day. Sunlight is good for people, and sleeping through part of the day by not observing daylight savings time practices means less work gets done. Benjamin Franklin, for instance, thought that the good people of Paris should be awakened with cannons to get them up during fall. There is more time for leisure, and one of the chief proponents of modern DST was William Willett, wanted more time for golf. People will be less loathe to leave the confines of the home for the purpose of attaining more consumer goods. Since the U.S. and most of the developed world have heavily service and consumer goods based economies, this is a net benefit. Especially since the time change 2010 in fall is tonight.

The negatives

Having to change clocks back in winter means people are getting less sleep. One study, according to Wikipedia, found that there were more workplace injuries and accidents during autumn DST, and people got 40 minutes less sleep than normal. Health experts have complained before that people don’t get enough sleep and “fall back” means a lot of people won’t be as bright eyed and bushy tailed. Also, paying people to change all those clocks adds up to a lot of money.

Change is gonna come

When to “fall back” is Nov. 7, sometime between 1 and 4 a.m. Some people will even stay up, or have been up already, to watch their cellular phone clocks change from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m., which is actually kind of cool. In any case, daylight saving time isn’t likely going away.

Sources

Daylight savings time

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