General discussion


Daylight Savings Time - Why?

By Montgomery Gator ·
There is a proposal to extend Daylight Savings Time by 2 months in the United States.

The article included the quote "The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use". However, DST does not increase the amount of daylight. Just because the clock was adjusted 1 hour does not cause the total amount of time with daylight. The sun may set an hour later (according to the clock), but it also rises an hour later too, resulting in the same amount of daylight.

Also, if DST is such a good idea, why not make it year round? The "extra" hour of daylight for the evening commute could be used in winter even more. Changing the clock so the sun sets at 8 PM instead of 7 PM in the summer does not help the evening commute. Changing the clock so the sun sets at 6 PM instead of 5 PM does help in the winter, so the evening commute is during daylight. So, if it is a good idea, then have it year round. I would rather have one time, than keep on adjusting it twice a year.

Also, if DST is extended another 2 months, I would think an update would need to be provided by Windows so that Windows OS computers would know when to adjust the clocks in March and November, instead of April and October. This will provide another headache for IT people to deal with. If DST is just made year round, then the automatic adjustment in Windows could be turned off before the time Windows has it scheduled.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

The real answer is

by DC_GUY In reply to Daylight Savings Time - W ...

"Because we've always done it that way."

As Isaac Asimov put it, if the government issued an edict saying that every citizen must arise an hour earlier for the next eight months, the American people would march on Washington in a solid bloc and start tossing legislators into the Potomac until the majority started voting the other way. But instead, they deputized a stupid, lying CLOCK to tell us the same thing, and up we get like good little boys and girls. We won't obey people, but we trust technology. That, friends, is what's wrong with us!

The only rationale with a trace of validity is that people are more tired on the trip home so the extra light helps them avoid accidents. Well okay, that explains DST in the spring and fall. But why summer? It should be in effect in the frelling WINTER, when the sun sets really early!

I don't think they count the number of accidents people have, standing on tiptoe on rickety office chairs, trying to reach every clock in the building twice a year. Or the number of people who've been beaten up for arriving an hour early or an hour late at an important event. Or the number of people who've been beaten up for scheduling an important event on the Monday after the time change.

I really hate not being able to see my garden in the morning before I leave for work. Puts me in a rotten mood for the entire day, making it more likely I'll have an Industrial Accident.

And who wants to take their date out on a pleasant summer evening and try to steal a kiss -- in broad daylight?

Daylight Saving Time should be outlawed. If America were that desperate to save energy, we'd all be encouraged to telecommute.

Collapse -


by Montgomery Gator In reply to The real answer is

Especially when you said "It should be in effect in the frelling WINTER, when the sun sets really early!" That makes a lot more sense than having it during the summer.

Collapse -

depends on where you live

by gralfus In reply to Daylight Savings Time - W ...

In the north (Washington), the effect is more dramatic. For example, the sky stays fairly lit until around 10pm in the summer, so our light hours are extended compared with the southern states. DST only adjusts us a little more in one direction to try to take advantage of the lit hours.

Extending it seems rather silly to me, since the light starts dropping off noticably towards winter. It is so rainy here usually that the lights are on anyway during the day, so I think someone didn't think this proposal through.

Collapse -

Can't remember where I read it.....

by cp7212 In reply to Daylight Savings Time - W ...

I probably read this in Discover or some science mag. I read that if we don't have DST, we will lose something like 8 seconds a year and then there was some formula that we would lose a year by year XXXX. This was based on the Roman calendar. I'm not doing the math. If you're that curious and bored, you do it.

I figure I won't be alive to see it, so it doesn't matter to me. I just think some people have way too much time on their hands. No pun intended.

Collapse -

Leap year

by Bob in Calgary In reply to Can't remember where I re ...

That's why there is a leap year every 4 years It has nothing to do with DST. I might be wrong but i think there is also a leap second every once in a while.

Collapse -

2 month extension is silly to me..

by TomSal In reply to Daylight Savings Time - W ...

Well the idea of it saving electricity is a stupid reason for DST if you ask me. Heck if that's all it was about the government is being deceived bigtime. I know folks who leave TVs and lights on in their house even its a bright sunny day outside. My girlfriend always leaves her light on in the kitchen when we go out, even if its during the day.

And since the clock doesn't adjust to the sun, also because where you are on the planet you get a different amount of daylight -- the 2 month extension is simply stupid.

However you are wrong, if we didn't set the clock back we would in fact have less hours of daylight that are for lack of better term "useable". Because true the sunrise is earlier but if we never set the clocks back we would have less daylight hours to enjoy when we got home from work.

I really don't care all that much how sunny and beautiful its out if I'm stuck in the office all day long, its how it is outside on my free time that I care about.

Collapse -

Then why not year round?

by Montgomery Gator In reply to 2 month extension is sill ...

TomSal said: "I really don't care all that much how sunny and beautiful its out if I'm stuck in the office all day long, its how it is outside on my free time that I care about."

Therefore, if it is a good thing in the summer, than why not year round? Some of us might want to have an hour left of sunlight after work on a warm sunny day in the winter, also, instead of it being dark when we get out of the office. I prefer a 50-60 F day in the winter over a 100 F day in the summer. Some times, where I live, it even gets up into the 70s F in the middle of winter.

Collapse -

Here it wouldn't work that way though...

by TomSal In reply to Then why not year round?

That's the whole point though. There is a point to DST but I just think saving electricity is stupid reason for it. However there is value to the practice.

I think you are over simplifying it thinking well just make it one year "back" all year round that way you'll get more light in the Winter too. But you won't. Because the seasons (aka "mother nature") don't work that neatly to our clocks.

Hmmm...let me a see an easier way to explain this...up here in the North East USA -- because of the Earth's orbit (not because we humans set our clocks differently) there is more hours of sunlight during the day in the summer time because of the Earth's orbit. There is LESS hours of sunlight during the winter months because of the earth's orbit *NOT* because we set our clocks that way.

So in other words, the setting the clock back in summer saves us more time to enjoy the sunlight after work hours. Yet if you allowed the same practice in the winter the effect would be MUCH less dramatic (it would still be relatively dark or getting dark by the time I got home from work in other words).

Collapse -

But year round would work in much of the country

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Here it wouldn't work tha ...

I noted that during the Winter Solstice, the sun set at 4:45 PM where I live (Montgomery, AL). If we were on DST, the time would be 5:45 PM, and most people (getting off work 4:30 - 5 PM) around here would be able to drive home while it was still light if we were on DST during the Winter Solstice. During the Summer Solstice, sun sets about 8 PM DST, so it makes no difference for the evening commute. I am well aware how the seasons work with the tilt of the Earth, and the effect is more drastic the closer you get to the poles. But there are large parts of the USA where year long DST would enable evening commutes before sunset, and still have daylight during morning commutes.

Collapse -

Answer to why...

by Jessie In reply to Daylight Savings Time - W ...

If you actually care, and like to read, here's a good site that answers the question of who/what/when/where/why?

It was, a little bit, more than I ever really wanted to know about the whole thing.

As a parent, I find DST to be a bit of a pain in the butt... my 2 year old can't read the clock yet and he's up at 5:30 standard time most mornings... little twerp!!! I should beat him and tie him to the bed... or just get up with him and blearily watch Blue's Clues at 5:30 in the morning. He is awfully cute dancing along with Blue and Steve. I hate Joe.

Related Discussions

Related Forums