Buttle's World

8 March, 2009

Down with DST

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 17:38

I’ve hated Daylight Savings Time since I was a kid. My argument then, still a solid one I think, is that just because you want to go places an hour earlier doesn’t mean you should lie about what time it is.

A new study indicates that the main argument government busybodies have given for DST, that it saves energy, gets it backwards.

I like this comment, too:

Imagine commencing a thousand-mile journey and at mile 700, the odometer suddenly reads “800”. Is that somehow supposed to psychologically make me feel like I’m closer to my destination? Am I a moron or just that bad at math and/or geography?

Like Miller, I want my hour back.

I recently wondered exactly why we observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). For some reason, I had harbored a vague notion that it had to do with farmers.

Well, it turns out that DST had nothing to do with farmers, who traditionally haven’t cared much for it. They care a lot less nowadays, but when the first DST law was making its way through Congress, farmers actually lobbied against it. Dairy farmers were especially upset because their cows refused to accept humanity’s tinkering with the hands of time. The obstinate cud-chewers wanted to be milked every twelve hours, and had absolutely no interest in resetting their biological clocks—even if the local creameries suddenly wanted their milk an hour earlier.

As Michael Downing points out in his new book, Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, urban businessmen were a major force behind the adoption of DST in the United States. They thought daylight would encourage workers to go shopping on their way home. They also tried to make a case for agriculture, though they didn’t bother to consult any actual farmers.


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