[Write On] A Diatribe Against Daylight Savings Time

After spending a wonderful Saturday afternoon and twilight at the Glenoaks Canyon Trail, I woke up haphazardly Sunday morning to an eerie sight: it was supposedly 7 in the morning but there was no sun to be seen and no birds chirping the cats into conniption fits.  It’s not like the world was ending or anything, but boy – does Daylight Savings Time ever feel like it’s about to!  For the last two days, I’ve been sluggish and slightly more awkward than usual; there’s no bounce to my step and my mind tires easily.

We live in a genius era where our technology is just as smart, if not smarter, than the average bear – and with that, many laptops, cell phones, watches and computers involuntarily leapt forward Sunday morning at 1:59AM and when I reached for my phone at 4:00 in the morning, or 3:00…or..whatever…when I reached for my phone my brain was frazzled, attempting to dissect where the time had gone. And if you can’t tell from your Twitter or Facebook feeds, I’m definitely not the only one who feels this way.  The great consensus, is that DST should either go away entirely, or, we should stick with it – all year; and I wholeheartedly agree,  John Oliver on Last Night Tonight had an excellent rant for last night and it had me shaking my fist, and wondering why it felt so early when I was going to bed at 11pm.

The origins of Daylight Savings Time are a little muddled, so let’s break it down.  Historically, DST has been attributed to farm culture – and though it does have roots there, that’s not the whole kit and caboodle. Back in the late 1800’s, New Zealand Entomologist George Vernon Hudson suggested a two hour time shift to account for the extra summer sun but was ridiculed by the Wellington Philosophical Society where he’d presented his work.  After deliberation and debate, a one hour time change was finally accepted – but not until 1926, far after the official beginnings of DST.  Quite ironically, most modern farmer’s don’t even like Daylight Savings Time – not to mention, we’re the only species on the planet that’s even aware it occurs.

Enacted during the first World War by the Germans as an efficient mechanism to save money, electricity and coal, Daylight Savings Time has actually been around since 1916; meaning it’s been irking humanity for almost a century.  Maybe next year, on it’s 100’th birthday – we can commemorate the date by putting DST to rest, once and for all.

It’s been scientifically proven that there are significantly more car accidents and heart attacks the week after DST.  And Arizona, though not exactly a leader among progressive states, does set the bar on this issue.  Instead of flip-flopping hours on a biyearly basis, they just switch time zones!  I don’t usually say we should take a page out of Arizona’s book, but there’s always a first time for everything – right?

If you’d like to sign a petition to end Daylight Savings Time in the US – head on over!