Now that we have adjusted our clocks and gotten used to the glorious sunlight, I think it’s time we take a logical look at the most illogical societal tradition we have: daylight saving time.
When daylight saving was first introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, it was a satirical suggestion that the switching of the clocks would benefit people by making more efficient use of their candle wax. But it wasn’t until World War II that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt constituted the shift for the whole country, in efforts to conserve energy resources for the war.
Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely see the advantages that the back-and-forth shift had at the time. The largely agrarian- and production-based society of the 1940s would greatly have benefitted from the extra daylight, and the saved energy was necessary to fight a war of that scale. And don’t forget the beloved extra hour of sleep we get in the fall.
But in our modern, technologically advanced society, the flip-flopping time is quickly becoming outdated and costly to both the environment and population.
According to the American College of Cardiology, the Monday following “spring forward” has a 25 percent increase in heart attacks compared to normal Mondays. That’s a one in four increase!
Additionally, a University of Colorado Boulder study about automobile accidents discovered a 17 percent rise in fatal accidents following the shift. So not only are we losing an hour of sleep, but when we leave the house in the morning we put ourselves at much greater risk to losing our lives.
Still don’t agree that the biannual shifting is asinine? Well then you’re in the minority. In 2014, only 33 percent of Americans saw the purpose of daylight saving time, and less than half don’t believe changing back and forth is worth it.
If that isn’t enough, consider this: a U.S. Department of Energy report sent to Congress shows a .5 percent decrease in power use nationally due to the later sunset. Doesn’t sound like much? That much cumulative energy could power 100,000 homes for a year.
We are no longer in a war. We have moved passed the days of farming and production. So why haven’t we moved past the biannual time changes?
The obvious choice is clear: let’s move to year-round daylight saving time. Not only will we save the environment and thousands of lives, but we will protect our sanity. Please, society, make the logical decision for once. It’s that simple.