Start Saving Some Daylight

Tomorrow, March 8 at 2 a.m, will be the official start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) which is also known as “summer time” in Britain. By the way, the official name is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time, as you often see it written and hear it said. But at this point, you’ll hear daylight savings time or daylight time used in the United States and Canada.

Though it starts tomorrow many people put their clock ahead tonight. The phrase “spring ahead” has been associated with the March switch and “fall back” for the autumnal turning back of clocks.

I have been writing about DST for a few years explain the how and why there is even controversy about this practice of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight but mornings have less light.

I recently saw that it was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist. I read that and thought “How odd that an entomologist would propose it.” Hudson is credited with proposing it because his shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and led him to value after-hours daylight. He presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift. Eventually, a one-hour shift got wider attention and adoption.

Though many countries use DST, the details vary by location and change occasionally.

There are arguments pro and con for using this system. Probably all of us have had some problems when DST forces us to shift clocks and our sense of time. This might be exacerbated in a country as large as the United States where several time zones exist.

Adding daylight has benefits for extending retail business days, sports, and other activities that benefit from longer daylight. extending the business day. Some studies show that traffic fatalities seem to be reduced when there is extra afternoon daylight. DST may have some positive effect on health and may reduce crime in some areas. One of the original appeals of DST was to reduce the use of electric lighting.

I also see claims that the extra daylight causes some problems for farming, evening activities (like entertainment) and activities that are connected to the sun and daylight.

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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