The Case Against Daylight Savings Time

Many people do not like the action of switching their clocks twice per year as part of Daylight Savings Time. We look into whether they have a solid case against the concept.

Daylight Saving Time Daylight Savings Time DST

Some people just do not like the notion of Daylight Savings Time, and they make some compelling arguments. (Image Source:  Flickr: rlanvin)

Tonight, people around the United States and Canada, except in the states of Arizona and Hawaii, the province of Saskatchewan, and small parts of Canada, will be performing a tried and true ritual:  Setting back their clocks one hour at approximately 2:00 AM local time, ending Daylight Savings Time.  Of course, many clocks now do that automatically, but it is the principle of the thing that matters.  While we here at Carbonated.TV are neutral to the matter of Daylight Savings Time, there are many who believe the practice of DST is old and obsolete, and should be replaced with either a standard time schedule, or permanent Daylight Saving Time.  Some are even radical enough to change the time zone structure to only two zones in the continental United States.  Let us look into their arguments.

One of the core arguments against Daylight Savings Time stems from the fact that it was never implemented widely, or countries that did add DST did not stick with it.  Outside of the western world of North America and Europe, only ten whole nations continue to use DST, referred to in Europe as Summer time, scattered throughout the world.  Two major nations, Australia and Brazil, only have parts of their country using DST, which certainly leads to confusion when going to different states.  The rest of the world has one time schedule throughout the year.  Many countries, especially those in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, never implemented DST.

Another key argument against DST is that the modern purpose of the concept, when it was implemented during World War I, is outdated.  The intent of DST was to save electricity and money from using incandescent light bulbs to a lesser degree during the summer time.  Of course, incandescent light bulbs are no longer being used regularly, and energy and electricity use is quite different in the present day.  Studies examining whether DST is still necessary have come up inconclusive, but lean toward no.

Finally, the things that do change the clocks automatically have a hard time adjusting to any changes to the DST law.  In particular, this is referring to computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices that adjust their clocks internally with software rather than hands.  The last time the DST law changed in 2007, extending it from the last week of March to the first week of November, computer makers had to rush to provide proper software upgrades that match up with the law, which is sometimes hard to do, especially if a company no longer supports a particular software that is still used by a large number of businesses.  That can extend to flying in the air as well.

However, there can be benefits to Daylight Saving Time.  We will discuss these in our follow-up.

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