COLUMN: Time's up for daylight saving
Sign the petition to end daylight saving time
Change is always tricky. Some love it and some hate it. Consider a change on Facebook for example - the company makes just one cosmetic change to the appearance of our newsfeeds and profiles, and many are suddenly annoyed and against it - at first. After some time though, we get used to it, start to like it and move on with our lives.
Maybe it’s time to consider changing daylight saving time. Better yet, let’s not change it. Let’s end it. I could definitely get used to not worrying about changing my clocks or waking up an hour earlier each spring (this year, it’s on March 10).
The first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909 but was opposed by many people, farmers in particular. Daylight saving time was first officially adopted on April 30, 1916, to replace artificial lighting in an attempt to save fuel for the war effort in Germany.
Inspired, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched year-round daylight saving time in the United States on Feb. 9, 1942, with intentions to save additional energy resources during World War II. After World War II ended in 1945, daylight saving time caused a number of problems - some problems that still exist today.
Daylight saving time has been implemented in the U.S. since World War II, but as of 2007, it has been nationally set to begin at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and end at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November each year (excluding Hawaii and Arizona).
Daylight saving time may have some minor positive aspects, but the cons cannot be overlooked. First, daylight saving time is an inconvenience. Clocks need to be adjusted, and software updates can be affected.
As if different time zones are not already a challenge, imagine the simplicity if transportation industries did not have take daylight saving time into account. Confusion is so easily created thanks to different regions of the country and the world that participate in daylight saving time on different dates of the year.
By changing the time backward or forward one hour, sleeping patterns and internal clocks are negatively affected because of the disruption of our natural circadian rhythm. In a statement from spring of 2012, University of Alabama at Birmingham associate professor of medicine Dr. Martin Young said the Monday and Tuesday after adjusting clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10 percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Young, who has a Ph.D. in the division of cardiovascular disease, noted this risk decreases by about 10 percent when falling back an hour in the fall. The decrease is great, but how can the effects be acceptable if the risks increase in March? We should get rid of daylight saving time altogether.
Daylight saving time is so often praised for saving energy, but some studies are showing that it is beginning to have an adverse effect. Daylight saving time may reduce the demand for household lighting, but depending on the location, it is being discovered that the hour-change increases demand for cooling on summer evenings, as well as heating in early spring and late fall mornings.
OU aerospace engineering senior Matt Smeltzer signed a petition with many others to end daylight saving time.
“I think that daylight savings time is pointless because we use artificial lighting to light up our cities at night anyways,” Smeltzer said. “We don’t really need to change the time that the sun is rising because everyone wakes up at different times. There isn’t a set time that everyone needs to have the sun up.”
Also, do not be fooled with the old myth that daylight saving time benefits farmers - most farmers are actually opposed to it. Like humans, animals, too, have biological clocks and the one hour change can have negative affects. Let’s hope the farmers remember to remind the roosters of the time change in March.
If daylight saving time would be done away with, most of us would easily be able to get used to living with the same time zone year-round. Our bodies would not even notice the difference. Daylight saving time is not necessary anymore.
If you agree that daylight saving time is a thing of the past, you can sign this petition and voice your opinion here.
Alex Niblett is a journalism junior.