Spring Forward (Again)

Warning:  The included video uses hard language that some may find offensive…so if expletives offends your sensibilities then by all means do not read and move on.

Here we go yet another year…..

It is that time again….when a government mandate gives Americans jet lag twice a year….daylight savings time.

Personally I think this is the biggest waste of time (no pun intended) that accomplishes nothing but confusion and chaos.

Where did this stupidity begin?

Actually we can lay some of the blame on Ben Franklin…..

Benjamin Franklin gets some credit for the idea of daylight saving time, though his recommendation was really a joke.

In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, Franklin jokingly recommended the people get out of bed earlier in the morning to minimize the use of candles and lamp oil.

He never even mentioned setting clocks back or forth.

In 1895, George Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, came up with the modern concept of daylight saving time. He proposed a two-hour time shift so he’d have more after-work hours of sunshine to go bug hunting in the summer.

Hudson suggested moving clocks ahead two hours in October and then a two-hour shift back in March.

In 1905, William Willett, a British builder, suggested moving clocks ahead 20 minutes every Sunday in April and then setting them back every Sunday in September. That’s eight time changes every year!

What about here in the US?

In the United States, daylight saving time was first used in 1918 when a bill introduced the idea of a seasonal time shift. It lasted seven months before the bill was repealed.

During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt re-established the idea of daylight saving time. It was called “War Time.”

War Time began in February 1942 and lasted until the end of September 1945.

In 1966, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the idea of regulating a yearly time change. Daylight saving time would begin the last Sunday in April and end the last Sunday in October.

During the 1973 oil embargo, the United States Congress ordered a year-round period of daylight saving time to save energy. The period would run from January 1974 to April 1975. The plan did little to save energy and in October 1974, the U.S. switched back to standard time.

From 1987 through 2006, daylight saving time started the first weekend in April, running through the last weekend in October.

Now you know where this wasted stupidity began and who we can blame for our confusion.

I cuss this day every year….and start my vigil waiting for a return to normal time.

But what are the benefits?

This is the propaganda to keep it…..

  1. Saving Energy. During DST, the sun sets later in the day. This means people don’t need to use as much electric lighting in the evenings. It also rises later in the morning, but that doesn’t matter because the days are so long. By the time most people get up, the sun has already risen.
  2. Preventing Traffic Accidents. The time shift means that people do more of their driving in daylight. The DOT claims this reduces the number of accidents because people can see better.
  3. Reducing Crime. Crimes are more likely to take place when it’s dark out. The change to DST means people are more likely to be out and about during daylight, when crime is less common.

I have not seen these ‘good’ reasons to keep it in my region….have you?

Then there are the side effects of DST…..

Depression. Studies in other countries show that the switch to DST can make people depressed. A German study, published in Economics Letters, found that people’s mood and life satisfaction drop for about a week after the switch. An 2008 study in Sleep and Biological Rhythms found that in Australia, suicide rates rise in the weeks following the switch to DST. A BBC News story from 2011 reports that Russian officials noted the same problem, but in the fall rather than in the spring. As a result, Russia decided to stop setting its clocks back and use DST all year.

Heart Attacks. Several studies show that the number of heart attacks rises when DST starts. For example, a 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at heart attack rates in Sweden dating back to 1987. It found that during the first week of DST, the rate was about 5% higher than normal. A 2010 study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found an even bigger effect: Heart attack risk increases by 10% in the first two days after the switch to DST – and then drops by 10% after the switch back in the fall.

Activity Level. Some people argue that extra daylight in the afternoon is good for our health because it encourages us to be more active. However, studies suggest this doesn’t really work. A 2014 study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity measured the activity level of children in nine countries before and after the time change. It found that European and Australian children only increased their outdoor play time by about two minutes for each extra hour of daylight – and American children didn’t increase it at all. A 2014 study of American adults in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health also found no increase in physical activity during DST.

Lower Productivity. The loss of sleep right after the switch to DST in spring tends to make us less productive at work. A 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Pyschology shows that workers spend more time “cyberloafing” – that is, surfing the Internet instead of working – on the Monday after DST starts.

Problems for Farmers. There’s a common myth that DST was started to give farmers more hours of daylight for their work. In reality, most farmers oppose DST because it messes with their schedules. Having less light in the morning gives them less time to get their crops ready to go to the market. And for dairy farmers, it’s difficult to deliver the milk an hour early, because cows prefer to be milked at the same time each day.

Time Spent Resetting Clocks. Every time we switch to or from DST, we have to spend about 10 minutes resetting all our clocks. That’s 10 minutes we can’t devote to more productive activities. 10 minutes isn’t much, but multiply it by all the people in the country and it adds up. According to the American Enterprise Institute, just the act of changing our clocks costs our country about $2 billion a year.

Effects on Spending. There’s one group of people that DST is definitely good for: our nation’s retailers. It turns out that when people have extra daylight at the end of the work day, they’re more likely to go shopping. Businesses involved in outdoor sports, such as golf, are also happy about the time change. Michael Downing, a professor at Tufts who wrote a book on DST, says the golf industry lobbied hard for the expansion of DST back in 1986. Since it passed, the industry has been earning an extra $400 million each year.

There you have your answer…..profits…..is why this waste of time (no pun intended again) exists.

Commerce makes billions off an unpopular idea and after all that is all that counts, right?

You know Biden could end this nightmare with the stroke of a pen……but he does nothing….but then I would no expect a politician that makes millions off this in donations to do anything.

As frustrating as this issue has become….I will let Lewis Black give my feelings on ‘daylight savings time’…..

Warning:  Harsh language to come.

Have a day my friends….

Be well….Be safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

5 thoughts on “Spring Forward (Again)

  1. Our clocks do not go forward until the 27th this year. I have never been a fan of any time-changes, and do not believe all the reasons we are given why it is ‘necessary’. In Britain, it was originally supposed to give farmers longer to harvest crops. But now they use GPS-guided combine harvesters with headlights and night-vision cameras, so that argument no longer holds.
    You said the real reason in your post.
    Profits.
    It is always about profits.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Exactly and they is why it will be with us forever because business wants it….no matter how unpopular it is with us peasants. chuq

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