In this election year, when candidates are debating everything — second-guessing decisions made and programs launched by previous administrations — why is it no one takes on Daylight Saving Time? Who thought up this idea of losing an hour of sleep? This government-imposed jet-lag feeling we all will experience just one week from today?
Actually, Benjamin Franklin had the original idea that he outlined in an essay in 1784, but the United States first experimented with the concept during World War I. The plan was to lessen the use of electricity, primarily incandescent light bulbs. We do benefit from having more daylight hours after work and school but since the light bulb is such a small part of our energy use, any actual savings today might be debatable.
The correct term is Daylight Saving (no ‘s’) Time, though no time is actually saved, only moved around. And over the years, the period of DST has been lengthened to 7 1/2 months of the year. Citizens have become confused. “Are we on real time or DST?” is one question you hear. “Is it Fall forward or Spring forward?” is another.
Possibly one third of the world will transfer to Daylight Saving Time during the early morning hours of March 11. Every state in the union, except Hawaii and Arizona. Arizona stays on “real” time. Except for the part of the Navajo Nation that lies in AZ. The Navajo Nation recognizes DST. Except the Hopi Reservation that rests within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. The Hopis do not change their clocks.
Each Amish community can individually choose to observe Daylight Saving Time or not, making time-keeping in Ohio interesting.
Most of Brazil and Chili will move to DST, but since they are on the other side of the equator, when the USA springs forward, they fall back.
So next Sunday morning at 2:00 am (or more practically before you go to bed Saturday night) move your clock forward. Then, for the next week or so you’ll eat at noon when you’re not yet hungry and go to bed when you’re not yet sleepy, and arise in the mornings way before you’re ready to get up. But before you know it (sometime mid-summer) you’ll adjust to this rude change in your life.
Oh, and don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke alarm.
If you want to learn a lot more about DST go to http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/c.html