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Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend: Is It Useful?

daylight saving time ends this weekend.

Daylight saving time ends this weekend, but is it a useful practice? On November 3, we recover that hour we lost in the Spring. Yay! We can all do with that extra hour of sleep, right?

Daylight saving time was introduced by founding father Benjamin Franklin, who famously said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Remember learning that in school?

According to David Prerau, author of the book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time, Franklin came up with the idea when he was the US ambassador in France.

He woke up at 6 am one day and realized that the sun rose far earlier than he usually did.

“Franklin seriously realized it would be beneficial to make better use of daylight, but he didn’t really know how to implement it,” Prerau said.

During World War One, Germany was the first nation to implement the practice to reduce artificial lighting and save coal for the war effort, according to National Georgraphic.

In the US, the practice started in 1918, after a federal law was passed that established the beginning and end of daylight saving time, but not all states were required to follow the law.

However, during the second World War, the government made the law mandatory for all as a way to save resources for the war effort.

Since World War Two, daylight saving time has been optional and the beginning and ending of it has shifted many times.

During the Arab oil embargo of 1973-1974, the practice was once again mandatory and the country saw a one percent reduction in electrical use, according to studies cited by Prerau.

In 2005, the Energy Policy Act was enacted, mandating a month-long extension of daylight saving time starting in 2007.

Recent studies suggest that changing the time twice a year is more harmful than useful and doesn’t actually save energy.

As an example, a study by economist Hendrick Wolff of the University of Michigan conducted during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, when some parts of the country followed daylight saving time while others didn’t, showed a reduction of electrical use in the evenings for areas that did.

However, the savings were offset by higher consumption in the dark mornings.

According to Prerau’s book, most people are fond of the long standing process of changing time, whether there is a benefit or not.

“I think the first day of daylight saving time is really like the first day of spring for a lot of people,” Prerau says. “It’s the first time that they have some time after work to make use of the springtime weather.”

Don’t forget, daylight saving time ends this Saturday, November 3 at 2 am and you must move the clock back. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

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11 Responses to “Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend: Is It Useful?”

  1. CindyKerry Foley

    Daylight Savings Time needs to go the way of the Dinosaur. There is no savings brought on by its existence.

  2. Barbara Danley

    You aren't gaining any. If you get up at 5, you will now actually be getting up at 4, when it's dark longer. In the spring, you are getting up later, so wasting any earlier daylight.
    Why not just get up at sunrise, which even in summer is little earlier than 6? I know because that's what time I leave work year round.

  3. Terry Catledge

    I think people should work only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (an hour for lunch during that time) and still get paid for 8 hours of work during those 5 hours of work. Stores selling televisions should only have one or two television sets on (rather than 20 or more); Stores selling light fixtures (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) should only be allowed one or two lights on at a time during store hours (rather than all light fixtures at one time); ESPN should not be allowed to televise night games because of the extra light needed; Extra lighting at all sport stadiums should not be allowed (i.e., updating scores from around the country; advertising drugs; fan noise encouragement; video replays (if you missed it the first time shame on you); Halloween and Christmas electrical lighting should all be done away with (inside and outside the home); all overtime games in all sports having overtime should be disallowed (indoor games year round and outdoor games at night); all Las Vegas gambling facilities should be shutdown at sundown and opened again at sunrise; Only one television set allowed on at one time in each family home (two television sets allowed during sporting events); limited lighting in all restaurants, department stores, office buildings, etc., during the day and during the night; all fancy chandelier type lighting in homes should be disallowed; no billboard advertising allowed that incorporates lighting of any kind (the signs should be positioned where car headlights can flash on them at night to be seen); no flood lights allowed around homes, buildings, or gas stations; etc., etc. etc. The list is endless that could save money rather than tinker with daylight savings time. Remember, even the roosters aren't confused because sunrise is sunrise and sunset is sunset! Don't toy with nature!

  4. Tracy Mereschuk Flenke

    Barbara Danley Uh no, you are a moron and have that backwards. Why don't you either go back to school and learn how to tell time or think about what you are posting. If it is 9am when you go to work, and now you put the clock back 1 hr to 8am, you have 1 MORE hour until you go to work at 9am. So, if you usually get up at 7am to go to work at 9am, you will now get up at 8am to go at 10am. Only, since standard time is the REAL time, during daylight savings time you have really been going to work at 8am instead of 9am. Now to address the light and dark which you also got WRONG. Right now, with daylight savings, I know because I am a school nurse, it is dark at 6am. The high school kids wait for the bus in the dark. When we turn the clocks BACK an hour, it is LIGHTER at 6am so the kids have light while waiting for the bus. Therefore, although it gets dark very early in the evening, it gets light very early in the morning. And no, you are NOT actually getting up at 4am or anything else that you have stated, because #1, standard time is the correct time, and #2 if someone gets up at 5am, putting the clocks back would have them getting up at 6am (DST) not 4am. In the spring when the clocks are pushed ahead 1 hour, if you go to work at 6 am, you have to get up AT LEAST by 5am. Which is really 4am during DST. 4am is pitch dark. Leave the clocks at standard (REAL) time, and when you get at 5am (the real 5am) is should be getting light out. There is NO need for light at 9pm any time. It just causes problems with kids hanging out.

  5. Manus Bear Piggus

    Precisely. Back when they extended it by four weeks, they claimed it was due to high energy prices and the shift would help people save. This was a complete crock of shiat. Basically, it was the oil lobby bribing Congress into giving them MORE money. The first year of the extended daylight savings saw an INCREASE in oil consumption, because with that "extra" hour of daylight, people were getting in their cars and going places. They also say extending it into November allows kids to trick or treat safely when it's still light… like Congress gives a FOOOOK about trick or treating. It was and will always be about making money for the energy industry.

  6. Ryan Burke

    Barbara isn't the first person ive seen get this wrong today. "The Christian Science Monitor" website actually said "Daylight saving ends: Many commuters and school children will start their day in the dark next week after daylight saving time ends this weekend." Nobody stops and thinks for even a second before they post a comment or an entire article. Proof reading disappeared once the internet really took off. Its not just for spelling and grammatical errors. The Mike Judge movie "Idiocracy" is absolutely coming true.

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