Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings

Daylight Saving Time (or Summertime as it is called in many countries) is a way of getting more light out of the day by advancing clocks one hour during the summer. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning, when people are usually asleep anyway, and sets one hour later in the evening, seeming to stretch the day longer. The reason DST works is because its saves energy due to less artificial light needed during the evening hours - clocks are set one hour ahead during the Spring, and one hour back to standard time in the Autumn. Many countries observe DST, but many do not.

Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but it was not until World War I, in 1916, that it was adopted by several counties in Europe that had initially rejected the idea.

It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. Many countries change the date and the desire to change the time due to special events or conditions. The United States , Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March (previously the first Sunday in April) through to the first Sunday in November (previously the last Sunday in October).

Note: Between March-April through September-November, it is summer in the northern hemisphere, where many countries may observe DST, while in the southern hemisphere it is winter. During the rest of the year the opposite is true; it is winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern.

As you can see, the subject is far from simple. For the full DST story, you can follow this link:

http://www.timeanddate.com/time/aboutdst.html

The Never-ending Daylight Saving Debate

Since its introduction, Daylight Savings Time has been a controversial topic debated by both by the general public and politicians alike. Here are some of the most popular advantages and disadvantages:

Argued Advantages:

  1. People can work later hours, exercise in the evenings or complete outdoor household chores such as mowing the grass, gardening or fixing windows or roofs.
  2. DST could be linked to reduced road injuries. A joint Transport Research Laboratory and University College of London study predicted that less people would be killed and injured in road accidents if one hour of daylight was transferred from the morning to the afternoon.
  3. It gives families time to socialize or enjoy an outdoor meal together.
  4. There are arguments on the idea that daylight saving time reduces electricity usage and promotes energy efficiency.
  5. DST could provide a financial boost for the tourism industry. Shifting that extra hour to the end of the day could boost outdoor activities and bring in an extra two percent in revenue from visitors.

Argued Disadvantages:

  1. Research showed that permanent daylight saving time would cost Indiana households about $8.6 million in electricity bills each year. The study also estimated social costs of increased pollution emissions that ranged from $1.6 to $5.3 million per year. Moreover, the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time was offset by higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.
  2. The extended daylight saving time in some parts of Australia and New Zealand has affected mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices, including major integrated telecommunication company Telstra's speaking clock. Many clocks needed to be adjusted manually or via software updates from device makers.
  3. Mixed flight schedules and inaccurate transportation timetables have caused confusion among travelers, for both personal and business purposes, and regular commuters. The transport industry incurred significant costs for adjusting to new time schedules.
  4. There are safety fears about the dark mornings, especially for school children waiting for a bus in some areas.

For me it appears that the there are no concrete truths here. Whatever your position, it is likely that your arguments are only beliefs. Both positions have research findings to bolster opposing sides of the same argument.

And what is my position? Well, I am rarely to be found in my workshop early in the morning. I'll take that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day all year round, please!