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What’s wrong with Standard Time?

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Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour late tonight.

At about two a.m., Daylight Savings Time begins again.

Then for the next week or ten days, you’ll be able to blame the dark circles and bags under your eyes on the time change.

Ask yourself – Why do we reset our clocks at all?

Heilsgeschichte!

First, Daylight Savings Time is not a new thing.

Many, many ancient cultures adjusted daily their daily schedules to accommodate changes in season, planting and harvesting, etc.

Modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by New Zealander George Vernon Hudson but didn’t come into practice until Apr. 30, 1916 in Germany.

Like most big ideas, Hudson advocated for DST for selfish reasons.

An amateur entomologist who earned his living as a shift worker, Hudson wanted the extra hour of daylight in the evening after work the better to study his beloved insects.

It took an Act of Congress

Although Daylight Saving Time had been less formally observed before Apr. 13, 1966, the US Congress had not seen fit to legislate time shifting, so states and local governments were allowed to formulate their own policies and procedures for observing (or not) DST.

In 1965, some nominal confusion over when things happened across and within states during prompted Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which requires states to simplify how they observe Daylight Savings Time – if they do so – and to observe it for a specific duration.

It’s all about energy

While there’s a certain degree of logic, maybe, to the proposition that having extra daylight at the end of a long summer’s day might be useful, it occurs to one that perhaps the extra hour might come in handier in the winter when it gets dark early.

That, however, flies in the face of why we observe Daylight Savings Time to begin with.

Why all the fuss?

To save energy.

Not to give farmers extra daylight for cultivation and harvest.

Not to extend daylight for safer driving conditions in the evening as well as make for better outdoor sporting events, and so on.

Currently, usage of of electricity for residential lighting in the US accounts for about 3.5% of the country’s total energy nut.

During the OPEC energy crises in the 1970s, it was hoped that the extra daylight gained during DST lessened our dependence on foreign oil, and – to the tune of maybe .1% – it did.

Congress continues to use energy savings – no matter how many energy-saving innovations we their constituents devise – to rationalize clinging stubbornly to DST.

That, and there’s no statistical data to suggest that DST has really ever saved the country one thin energy dime.

And now, thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which increases the duration of Daylight Savings time by four to five weeks, depending on the calendar year – from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November – we have more daylight left over than we know what to do with.

Standards must be maintained

So, since Daylight Savings Time has never done what is was intended to, not matter what reason may have been given out at various times in history – then there’s no need to keep it.

Imagine it: You set your clock, and unless the power goes out, you never have to reset it.

The days get longer and shorter the way nature intends. The sun wakes us up, and then the darkness tells us it’s time to go to bed.

We won’t miss meetings or TV shows, and no one has to practice getting over a lost hour of sleep in the morning.

Join the growing movement to repeal Daylight Savings Time.

Here’s their website.

GJE

-30-

©2014 All rights reserved.

OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: kt.4examiner@yahoo.com

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