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Daylight Saving Time

Posted by Grace Youn on Mar 5, 2019 9:51:31 AM

First, let's get this straight: It's actually not called "Daylight Savings Time" -- not Daylight Savings Time. DST, for short. It's a common mistake, but it's no biggie.

Also, modern DST has been around for about 100 years, but the Romans used water clocks with different scales for different months of the year to adjust for solar time! So this is actually nothing new...

Blog Graphic_ DST
 

Just the facts!

  • On July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario were the first to turn their clocks forward by 1 hour to start the world's first DST period! (Go, Canada!)
  • During WWI, Germany and Austria were the first countries to actually implement DST on April 30, 1916 as an attempt to minimize the use of artificial lighting to save fuel.
  • Benjamin Franklin is commonly credited as the first to suggest modern DST in his letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784. But Franklin simply suggested that Parisians could economize candle usage by changing sleep schedules and not actual clock time.

Is it still useful?

Daylight Saving Time is now used in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over 1 billion people every year.

But in the United States, not every state uses DST: Hawaii and Arizona, with the exception of the latter state’s Navajo Nation, do not recognize daylight saving time!

And, well, according to the Smithsonian...

"In fact, the best studies we have prove that Americans use more domestic electricity when they practice daylight saving. Moreover, when we turn off the TV and go to the park or the mall in the evening sunlight, Americans don’t walk. We get in our cars and drive. Daylight saving actually increases gasoline consumption, and it’s a cynical substitute for genuine energy conservation policy."

Year-round Daylight Saving Time

In November 2018, California's Proposition 7 passed in November 59.8%-40.2%. But what does that mean for California? The "Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure" has yet to be approved by federal law, so it's still up in the air! What are your thoughts on the matter?

In support of year-round DST (Prop 7):

Rep. Kansen Chu (D-25), a legislative sponsor of the measure, described daylight saving time (DST) as an "outdated practice of switching our clocks in the fall and spring." He also said, “... voters will get to decide whether or not to eliminate the practice of switching our clocks twice a year. We started this practice to conserve energy during wartime, but studies show that this is no longer the case. We are no longer saving energy, and studies have shown this practice increases risk of heart attacks, traffic accidents and crimes. It is time that we as a state reconsider whether this is still beneficial to our residents.”

In opposition of year-round DST (Prop 7):

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19) stated, "First, if California wants it, the federal government is going to say ‘no.’ Second, the system we have really does the best to accommodate people. Third, with so many critical issues facing this state — housing, healthcare, the gas tax — to dive into the pros and cons of this diminishes the importance of more substantive ballot measures."

What are your thoughts on Daylight Saving Time? Is it still useful? Or should we try a new system?

Feel free to comment below!

Sources

History of Daylight Saving Time

The Real History of Daylight Saving Time

One Hundred Years Later, the Madness of Daylight Saving Time Endures

California Proposition 7 (Ballotpedia)

Topics: daylight saving time

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