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Speaking of Savings...

By (view all posts by stella.louise)
at 2:00PM Friday March 12, 2010
under Polls/Quizzes

This Sunday everyone in the U.S. (with the exception of the lucky souls in Hawaii and most of Arizona...) will "Spring forward."  Yup, it's that time of year again when we set our clocks ahead one hour (before you go to sleep on Saturday night...) and wake up an hour earlier the next morning.

Ugh.
This is not my favorite time of year and for all the perky morning people who chirp, "I love getting an extra hour of sunshine!," I want to scream:  "You're not getting extra daylight!  You're waking up an hour earlier!"

I mean, couldn't all these daylight-lovers just wake up earlier to enjoy the sunrise without inflicting it on the rest of us?

The practice of clock-changing originated in the U.S. in 1918 as an energy-saving measure after World War I.  It wasn't consistently practiced across the country until 1966 with a federal act that officially set Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October.

Since then, Daylight Saving Time has been experiencing something akin to the infamous Christmas Creep, gradually moving up the time it starts and pushing back the time it ends over the years.  Now, with a mid-March start date and beginning of November end date, DST is now officially longer than so-called "Standard Time."

What's up with THAT?!!!

As for the alleged energy savings--well, that may be just a myth.  According to a recent post on Walletpop, Daylight Saving Time savings amount approximately $12 a year. 

Not nearly enough to balance the cost of the extra Starbucks coffee you need to wake you up an hour earlier each day!

Over at Mainstreet, they enumerated a list of reasons Daylight Saving Time costs more than it saves:  from increased accidents to decreased productivity, DST may have outlived its benefits.  I've heard that the so-called "extra hour" was so that kids who lived on farms could help out after school with the aid of a longer day, but we're no longer an agricultural nation.  I've also heard that the meat industry perpetuates the lingering light as it encourages people to barbecue more, but that sounds a bit conspiracy theorist...

Whatever the reasoning, I think the practice needs to be reviewed and revised.  If it doesn't save energy, why the heck are we putting ourselves through this disorientation twice a year?  Personally, I'd like the whole "Spring forward, fall back" thing to be eliminated. How do you feel about DST?  Take the poll and/or vent your spleen in the comments below.