Daylight Savings

What’s the point of Daylight Savings??
Back to Article
Back to Article

Daylight Savings

Uroob Saeed, Wed Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Most Americans are annoyed with the whole change in time that Daylight Savings brings. I mean, why does time have to go an hour back in one season and then go an hour ahead in another? It completely messes with your circadian rhythm and it takes a while to get used to  the new schedule. Are there real benefits to this system, or is America just like this?  

As you know, Benjamin Franklin is one of the most honored and respected individuals in American history. He was one of the Founding Fathers and played a major role in America’s victory against the British Empire. However, this man was the first to promote the idea of setting the time forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall in his essay An Economical Project For Diminishing the Cost of Lightwritten in Journal de Paris in 1784, although it was dismissed. In 1907, the idea was brought up again by Englishmen William Willett in his pamphlet “The Waste of Daylight.”  However, it was rejected by the British House of Commons. 

The United States began the tradition during the end of World War I in an attempt to save energy. The first official daylight savings was on March 15, 1918. Despite resistance from the public, the government enforced the law until 1919. Now, the states had the power to choose whether or not to observe this practice. During World War II, the law was reinstituted but after the war had ended, the decision fell into the hands of the states once again. Congress did not make anything mandatory until it passed The Uniform Time Act of 1966. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 made daylight savings time to start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. Hawaii and Arizona have never changed their time one hour ahead and Indiana did not start until 2006. 

Interestingly enough, Florida voters chose to have year-round daylight savings time just a few months ago. Proponents claim this would remove the annual drop in economic activity, as well as increase physical fitness among people because of the extended daylight. However, Congress has denied the “Sunshine Protection Act” because then, Florida would be the only state in the Eastern Time Zone to have different times among the rest of the Atlantic Coast States. Another main concern is that schoolchildren would be endangered at bus stops or while walking to school in the morning because of the darkness. Teenagers lacking driving experience would also have to commute to school in the dark for more days, increasing the risk of accidents. 

According to freshman Bilal Saeed, Daylight Savings is “unnecessary.” He said that “America would be perfectly fine without it.” And he’s right; there is evidence that shows daylight savings does not conserve a significant amount of energy. In fact, some sources suggest it actually increases the consumption of energy. Faryal Qureshi, a mother, likes the change in time because the longer nights allow time for more sleep. Unfortunately, I can’t say that about myself… 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email