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Mike’s Musings: Daylight saving time makes no sense

In the immortalized words of David Coverdale, lead singer of Whitesnake, “here I go again.” It’s another year and another rant as to why daylight saving time should go the way of video stores and Oldsmobile.
As you can probably tell I’m not a proponent of daily saving time. In fact I think it’s downright archaic- once utilized for a time when it might have made sense. In today’s world it makes no sense, at least to this “early to bed, early to rise” writer.
In my household, “early to rise” usually means around 5 a.m. It could very well be 6 a.m. but the family pets have deemed 5 a.m. as the time the household must make their way to the shower. Now since we were told we must fall forward by one hour, 5 a.m. now becomes 6 a.m.
Gaining an hours sleep is nice (no complaints there) but having to do end of the day chores in total darkness is rather foreboding. Heck last night my girlfriend and I went to a 4 o’clock movie and were unpleasantly surprised when we exited the movie theatre and were searching for our parked car in total darkness.
Then there’s always the confusion as to when the changeover is to occur. It used to be later in October, but now those that keep our time, decided to change to back in November. And then there is social media. Yahoos everywhere have been posting the time change for every Sunday for the last month.
Idiot me actually believed that the time changed a week before it actually did. There I was, up at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning, assuming that the time had changed. I didn’t figure it out until late afternoon. I felt so stupid.
I guess, however, confusion has always been the norm when it comes to daylight saving. Here’s a few confusing facts about daylight saving:
Notice I have been using the term “daylight saving” and not the more common terminology “daylight savings.” Most people use the latter but grammatically, “saving” acts as part of an adjective rather than a verb, thus the singular use is correct.
Benjamin Franklin is often erroneously given credit for inventing daylight saving time. Franklin, however did propose changing sleep schedules to save the use of candles, but not time itself.
Englishman William Willett spent his personal fortune attempting to get the English clocks moved forward 80 minutes in the summer back in the early 20th Century. Parliament however, wouldn’t hear of it, and Willett died in 1915, without seeing his mission come to fruition.
A year later, however, Germany adopted daylight saving time to conserve electricity during wartime. How ironic that Britain’s enemy adopted Willett’s passion before his homeland.
Daylight saving time was not intended to benefit farmers, like most of us believe. Actually farmers fought against it. Farmers thought the sun not the clock dictated their schedules, so daylight saving time was very disruptive. Farmers had to wait an extra hour for dew to evaporate to harvest hay, hired hands worked less since they still left at the same time for dinner and cows weren’t ready to be milked an hour earlier to meet shipping schedules.
For decades daylight saving was a confusing mish-mash depending on what city or state you were located in. In fact Time Magazine in 1963 called the practice a “chaos of clocks.” In 1965 there were 23 different pairs of start and end dates in Iowa alone. Passengers on a 35-mile bus ride in Ohio passed through seven time changes. Order finally came in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act was passed by Congress.
To this day however, Hawaii and Arizona and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa do not observe daylight saving time. Worldwide, only one-quarter of the world’s population observes.
Maybe the other three-quarters know something we don’t. I seriously believe it is time our leaders take a look at eliminating the useless time change. Our elected officials are great at introducing bills that restrict this or add that. I wish once, a legislator would introduce bills that would repeal some of the insane laws we have the books that might have made sense in the 1900’s. I would ask them to start with daylight saving time. Repeal it, and you would be a hero among many of your constituents. Will any lawmaker take up the challenge?

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