Increase in cluster headaches, suicides, greater risk of heart attacks and strokes, more car accidents and workplace accidents:

Welcome to Daylight Savings Time!

But don’t blame it on the farmers: They lobbied against it, from the start.

Via Washington Post: Five myths about daylight savings time

1. Daylight saving time was meant to help farmers.
Many of us heard, at some point in elementary school, that DST was developed because of farming. The idea that more daylight means more time in the field for farmers continues to get airtime….

Even Michael Downing, who wrote a book about DST, has said that before researching the subject, “I always thought we did it for the farmers.”

In fact, the inverse is true. “The farmers were the reason we never had a peacetime daylight saving time until 1966,” Downing told National Geographic. “They had a powerful lobby and were against it vociferously.” The lost hour of morning light meant they had to rush to get their crops to market. Dairy farmers were particularly flummoxed: Cows adjust to schedule shifts rather poorly, apparently….

2. The extra daylight makes us healthier and happier.
….A little more vitamin D might be healthy, but the way DST provides it is not so beneficial to our well-being. Experts have warned about spikes in workplace accidents, suicide and headaches — just to name a few health risks — when DST starts and ends….

3. It helps us conserve energy.
…in a follow-up study on the effects of the extension, the California Energy Commission found the energy savings to be a paltry 0.18 percent at best. Other studies have indicated that people may use less of some kinds of energy, such as electric lights, but more of others. More productive daylight hours might be meant to get you off the couch and recreating outside, but they’re just as likely to lead to increased air-conditioner use if you stay home and gas guzzling if you don’t…..

4. DST benefits businesses.
We know that businesses think daylight saving time is good for the economy — just look at who lobbied for increased DST in 2005: chambers of commerce. The grill and charcoal industries, which successfully campaigned to extend DST from six to seven months in 1986, say they gain $200 millionin sales with an extra month of daylight saving. When the increase to eight months came up for a vote in 2005, it was the National Association of Convenience Stores that lobbied hardest — more time for kids to be out trick-or-treating meant more candy sales….

But not all industries love daylight saving time. Television ratings tend to suffer during DST, and networks hate it….

Airlines have also complained loudly about increased DST….

5. Standard time is standard.
Guess what time we’re on for eight months of the year? Daylight saving time. In what universe is something that happens for only one-third of the time the “standard”?….


Vox: Another reason to hate daylight saving time: Car crashes


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3 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Alain41 says:

    Solution: Call DST, Standard Time, and call winter time, Early Daylight Time. The 1 hour change has an effect on people, but there is nothing magical or physical about Standard Time. You can’t tell the difference when the sun is highest at 12noon on the first day of summer at the equator and 1pm at the equator on the first day of summer.

    One of my uncles was a western NY dairy and apple farmer. Holsteins and macintosh. Died 2 years ago at age 101. He used to say about DST, the cows want to be milked when the cows want to be milked. Milking and time didn’t much matter to the cows or him. When DST does affect farmers is the summer hours in the field. When you’re working/harvesting till after the light goes away, that one hour longer means that you see less of your family. Farmers would rather start before their family is up and see them in the evening. The cows say Mooooo.

  2. Alain41 says:

    Good short article by Chriss Street reminding how DST came about from Nixon and Congress. 1973 Middle East oil embargo, and Congress Had to do something! So they passed an Emergency Act creating DST. I like DST, but useful reminder that legislation passed in a hurry does not have the consent of the governed. Probably the best reason for rescinding. Would be a good example for rescinding other legislation passed without the consent of the governed (hint to Congress, Ocare).


  3. mdannyg says:

    I don’t understand how a one-hour change twice a year can be such a big deal for people. Does everyone go to bed and wake up at the exact same time every day of their lives? I’m always getting up and going to bed at different times of the day depending on my work schedule, not to mention the weekends where I sleep in and throw out any sort of sleep sechedule I may have had.

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