Saturday, March 10, 2007

Same Time Today as Yesterday

I have never understood the logic behind daylight savings time. Oh, I know what I hear, and I listen to the great explanations about how it saves energy but really, what is saved?

The day is not any longer, or any shorter, whether we save our daylight or not. The sun rises and sets at the same intervals as it does every year according to its 365.2425 day cycle. There is no more, or less, light in each day. Nothing saved, nothing gained.

I was listening to a MPR news story on my way home from work on Thursday, and (I'm definitely paraphrasing here, but you'll get the idea & can research it more if it interests you to do so) that original daylight savings was implemented to save energy. The idea was that people could use natural daylight to do their chores and avoid being awake & using electricity during the dark hours (as I understand it). What really happened is that having more daylight at the end of the day meant people could be outdoors doing fun stuff, driving around, using more transportation fuel. And probably doing their chores when they got home later, still using the same amount of electricity because now it's dark... they're just more tired from packing more activities into a day. The other thing I heard was that because there's more daylight at the end of the day, people are more inclined to stop and shop after work. Great for the commercial economy!

I often wonder how people managed to get anything done back in the day... you know, when there was just the standard amount of daylight available, and people really did work until sundown and then quit. These days of daylight savings, we're working indoors, not dependent on sunlight at all, and we do not quit just because the sun goes down.

So, what do you think? Are we saving anything by turning our clocks ahead tonight? Post a comment, or email me with your thoughts!

Same Time Today as Yesterday comes from the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am in favor of daylight savings time in the evening, but against it during the morning!