BY NATHAN JOHNS
The beginning of Daylight Savings Time (DST) approaches! Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 AM. The main purpose of this practice seems to be to ruin your sleep patterns and make you late to class. On a serious note, what is the real purpose of daylight savings time and how did it originate?
The true origins of DST are quite unclear, but the first popularized use is not. The first countries to make widespread use of DST were Germany and Austria in the 1960s. They did so in an effort to conserve fuel used for electricity during wartime. Soon after, many other countries followed. This seemed like a pretty useful concept at the time; shifting clocks forward an hour in the spring allows for more evening daylight, which results in less light usage in homes.
But we aren’t in wartime anymore, why do we still need daylight savings time? Most would agree we do not. Those who argue against DST say that it disrupts sleep, increases the occurrence of heart attack and suicide, and may even go against its original purpose and increase energy consumption.
Why haven’t we abolished daylight savings time then? Well, to end daylight saving time for good would require an act of Congress. This would take a lot of time and effort that most legislators would deem a waste when there are more important issues to discuss. So if we’re ever going to see an end to DST, it’s going to take a strong, unified effort.
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