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.