Did We REALLY Save Daylight?
Did we save ANYTHING?
With the end of Daylight Saving Time this last weekend (for North Americans), a lot of people are wondering if it is worth the hassle.
Some scholars have proposed doing away with seasonal time changes because the rationale that it saves energy is no longer relevant with modern technologies. British Columbia is in the process of tabling legislation to eliminate seasonal time changes.
Why did we even start doing it? Here’s a little history:
We Canadians can blame ourselves! Though the first Nationwide implementation of Daylight Saving was The German Empire, a few hundred Canadians beat the German Empire by eight years. On July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario (today’s Thunder Bay), turned their clocks forward by one hour to start the world’s first DST period. When time changes began in Canada, they were widely adopted in North America and Europe during the First World War as an energy-saving measure.
The seasonal time shift is now observed by most of North America, except for Arizona, Hawaii, most of Saskatchewan a few communities in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, and some overseas American territories.
In addition to the hassle of adjusting the clocks twice a year, there has been persistent research showing the possible negative health effects of seasonal time changes. Academics have pointed to the disruption in people’s sleep cycles as the reason there are often more vehicle crashes, heart attacks, and workplace accidents following a time change. Shorter daylight in the evenings following the time change in the fall has been linked to increased depression.
The end result? More sunlight earlier in the morning, and a darker commute home. (but only for about 4 months…)
The big question is… is it worth it?