Daylight Savings Time

Three years ago I moved from an area of North America that does not use DST to an area of North America that does. After living my whole life without DST, I find it, among other things, annoying.

Knowing this is one of those issues that most people probably think they understand but really don’t, I asked a few people in the office why it’s done. I can group all the answers I received into three categories: 1) something to do with farming, 2) something do to with energy conservation, and 3) something to do with childrens’ safety (walking to school in daylight vs. walking to school in the dark).

All the answers I received don’t seem particularly important or relevant these days. I came from one of the largest farming areas in North America, and the communities there don’t use DST. The energy conservation answer doesn’t make any sense at all because the same number of lights are on in offices, stores, or factories whether it’s dark outside or not. To conserve energy it would make more sense to add hours of daylight at the end of the day so people could use less lighting inside and outside of their homes in the evening. The childrens’ safety reason makes the most sense to me, except that most children ride school buses to school or are driven by an adult. Furthermore, crimes against children are more likely to occur in the afternoon or evening hours than in the morning.

So, why DST? I lived without it for the first twenty-seven years of my life. Whole countries like Japan don’t use it. Is it possible that DST is one of those things certain communities started doing decades ago for some particular reason, but really is no longer necessary?

I’d love to hear anybody’s view on this matter.

Explanation of Daylight Savings

I read through the explanation that I provided, and don’t buy the energy argument either. If I get a chance, I’ll pull up the article by Ben Franklin to which it refers. Maybe that will provide better insight into the issue.

Isn’t this what daylight savings does? Takes daylight from the mornings and add it to the evenings, since you don’t need all that extra daylight in the summer if you’re going to wake up at the same time anyway.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Everyone intelligent, i.e. everyone on the SDMB, agrees that DST is dopey. Let’s use the Web for what it was intended; let’s band together and crush DST!


How much energy does it really save? A lot of equipment requiring electricity are not light sources, such as the computer.

I hate Daylight Savings and always have, but I’ll take a shot at answering this.

First, it’s not because of farming. Farmers don’t like DST which is why some agricultural states, like Indiana, have regions that don’t change time.

There must be something to the idea of energy conservation, because during the oil crisis in the early '70s we were actually on double DST for a while there. I don’t think that’s why we still use DST, however.

I think the reasoning is that it benefits the average Joe and Joess who have regular 9 to 5 jobs. They get home from work at the usual time, but during the summer they get an extra hour of sunshine to spend working in the garden, or playing outside with the kids, or just plain basking.

Even though I hate it, I don’t complain too much because the change back to standard time always comes near or on my birthday and I always use that extra hour to celebrate.

This confuses me. Since Reagan screwed with it Standard Time is now five months in duration to Savings Times seven months. Dosen’t seem right. I’ve always hated savings time.


When in doubt, don’t muck about - search Cecil’s archives. The search engine in there works just fine. Really!
[Note: This message has been edited by Nickrz]

Krish, thank you! The article you provided answered my question about the whole practice being basically out of date. Now I can turn my energy to having it abolished.

Boris, indeed you are right. At this time of year we are not in daylight savings. However, my enthusiam for this cause has not been dampened by your gentle slap to the back of my head. The silly part of this whole thing is that we should be adding hours at the end of the day in the winter when the days are naturally shorter.

Putrid, you have cut to the heart of this whole issue. Let’s stop it!

No, please, no. I’m already getting up while it’s still “night”, don’t make me drive to work in the dark, too!

Your Official Cat Goddess since 10/20/99.

I’m confused. If we abolish DST, does that mean that the sun will still go down at 9:30 in the summer, or will it go down at 8:30? (feel free to substitute with your own local variations)

If you add hours in winter time, then you have more dark mornings. Society seems to prefer dark evenings to dark mornings. At least I do.

Ok, ok. Here’s the really, really, simple answer that summarizes Cecil’s cogent answer:

You get up with the sun each morning in the winter… it’s natural.

As Summer comes, the sun gets up earlier. You want to get up earlier, too, with the sun, otherwise the sun will shine in your window and get you up too early.

So… you turn your clocks ahead by an hour, so that you’re an hour ahead of schedule, and so that you’re getting up an hour earlier… with the sunrise!


Spring ahead. Lose an hour.
Fall back. Gain an hour.

Frankly I have no problem with daylight time, have no problem adjusting to it etc. I do think it is an energy conservation thing. I’ve never talked with a farmer who has raged or raved one way or another towards daylight time. I like the way daylight time works out with my shcedule but if it wasn’t there I could just change the schedule to work around it. Oh and by the way, do any of you Moderators want to post links to the last dozen threads that have been started on this subject in the past month?

DST RULES, man! Any light that shines prior to 10:00 a.m. is basically a waste, as far as I’m concerned. Especially on weekends. Keep the sun up and the streets lit until midnight!

The best time of my life was back in the ‘70s, when Nixon put us on permanent DST for a couple of years. There is nothing more depressing than walking out of the office at 5:00 and finding it’s ALREADY FRIGGIN’ DARK!

Impertinently yours,

It seems to me most people who complain about Daylight Savings Time are really complaining about Standard Time. Does anyone here really not like the sun setting after 8:00 pm in the summer? You’d rather have sunrise at 4:30 am? I think most people complain when the clocks change in the fall and it starts getting dark around 5:00 pm. However, the alternative would be to have DST year round, and then the sun won’t rise until almost 8:00 am in the winter (or almost 9:00 am if your in the Western part of the time zone, like Cleavland). No one wants to drive to work in the pitch-dark, do they? It’s seems to me that DST in the summer and ST in the winter works out pretty well for most people.

“For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes” - Francis Bacon

It seems to me most people who complain about Daylight Savings Time are really complaining about Standard Time. Does anyone here really not like the sun setting after 8:00 pm in the summer?[\quote]
Yes, I would. Spent much time waiting for dark, to go out and have fun.

As a parent I like having the kids stand at the bus stop in the light versus the dark. And in the summer I like having it stay light til 9pm. It makes it nice for outdoor activities.

So I like DST.

I just hate the switchover to DST and losing an hour of sleep. Of course, the next day is a Sunday, so I can sleep in.