Daylight Saving Time

August 10, 2023


I am a judgment recovery expert (a judgment broker) who writes a lot. Because today was Sunday, the slowest business day of the week, and it was also yet another silly Daylight Saving Time (DST) clock setting adventure day at my house, I decided to write this opinion article about DST. First, it is not Daylight Savings Time, it is Daylight Saving Time, abbreviated as DST in this article.

If I have the history right; DST did not start because of modern farming practices, or to help children get to school in the morning. DST started in the US by order of the federal government, during World War 1. The goal was to save energy, during the challenge of manufacturing and production in wartime; by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October.

In my opinion, a smarter and more common-sense alternative to Daylight Saving Time, both historically and now, would be to simply adjust certain government, work, and school hour schedules twice a year, to better match daylight hours.

During World War 2, the federal government again required the states to observe DST. After WW2, and until 1966, states and communities had the freedom to choose whether or not to observe DST.

In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized DST throughout the US and its territories and possessions; however it did not require individual states to use DST, although most did.

In 2007, instead of abandoning the potentially obsolete DST; we instead got the “Energy Policy Act in 2005” (15 US Code Section 260a). With few exceptions, this made DST mandatory nationwide, and increased DST’s duration by four weeks.

The asserted goal in 2007 was again to save energy. I would have chosen to abandon DST, and move to “summer and winter hours” instead. And, while DST might have saved energy 80 years ago, I do not think DST saves any energy in modern times. What energy is saved in the morning gets lost in the evening and vice versa.

DST is not observed in some US states and territories. Examples are Arizona (except some Indian reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Note that the closer to the equator you are, the less difference there is in daylight hours during the year.

Is the exact time of day always important to everyone anymore? When you must interface to society and the outside world, it sure is. However, gone are the days when we ate lunch at exactly noon. We tend to visit the restroom when nature calls, not when it is a particular time. In modern times, we seem to eat when we are hungry, watch TV when we want, etc.

In recent times, almost everyone has one or more computers, mobile devices, and/or smart phones. Many people now use their smart phones or other mobile devices as alarm clocks.

Some households with a multitude of computers and portable devices which set their time automatically, have tossed out most of their clocks. Even if you no longer have any more dedicated clocks, DST is still a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke detectors, etc.

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