With daylight saving time passed, inquisitive minds may wonder why it’s even in place. It’s such a hassle to change clocks twice every year and to lose a whole hour of sleep in the spring. That averages to 9.9 seconds of lost sleep every night. No wonder I’m so tired all of the time.
It turns out that some state governments have taken notice to daylight saving time’s irrelevancy. Recently, state legislatures in Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington have proposed bills — with varying degrees of success — that would abolish switching over from daylight saving time to standard time and vice versa throughout the year. As you can see, our state governments are tackling only the important issues.
Some states are proposing to permanently stay on daylight saving time while some want to permanently stay on standard time. This could create a time-telling problem across the nation where one state could be two hours ahead of a neighboring state. The time could even vary within time zones depending on the season. This would be nothing short of utter madness. If at least one state’s neighbor does away with daylight saving time, the whole country should do away with it.
Despite its ubiquity, many people have no idea why daylight saving time is even in place. We just blindly change our clocks whenever nightly news anchors, our friends or our parents tell us to. Because I’m in college and am currently questioning every aspect of my life, it only seems logical that I question something as un-controversial as daylight saving time. I only assume it’s not controversial, though — if you’re a hardcore daylight saving fan, I would love to meet you.
A good lesson to start with is the history of daylight saving time. A quick glance at Wikipedia or a Google search informs us that Europe first implemented daylight saving time during World War I to save valuable energy and fuel. By turning clocks back an hour, people would have been able to use natural light in the evenings instead of gas or electricity.
After the war, individual states and counties could decide whether or not to observe daylight saving time. This proved problematic for broadcast companies and mass transit. Since there was no uniform standard time, navigating the time between states was a mess. The U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966 to establish a standardized daylight saving period. However, if states felt like it, they could ignore it by passing an ordinance to establish their own daylight saving mechanism. That’s the government for you.
The basic system of daylight saving time as we know it was established around the time of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries’ 1973 oil embargo against the United States. Once again, daylight saving time was put into place to conserve energy. And it did. But only by about 1 percent each day, according to studies performed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in the 1970s.
But this is 2015, and daylight saving needs to get with the times. Although I appreciate the extra hours of daylight in the spring and summer, it seems ridiculous to go through with an antiquated tradition without question. And I want my 9.9 extra seconds of sleep. Let’s stop DST.