No longer useful

As we have just gone through the ritual of changing our clocks in accordance with the advent of  daylight saving time, it is appropriate to consider the merits of changing the time.

The movement was started in 1907 by William Willett, but the idea was originated by Benjamin Franklin and had its inception during the First World War.

After a hiatus in 1919, during the Second World War it was widely accepted in order to save precious fuel. Then it was put in place. Still it did not conform to the actual sun time, even though the time for changing our clocks was amended twice.

Long ago it was widely believed that countless billions of dollars could be saved by moving the clock one hour earlier, postponing the use of electrical light. Workers then had the benefit of an extra hour for outdoor activities, working (at paid employment) or recreation.

The majority of city dwellers were delighted with the plan but farmers objected as it was impossible to care for the livestock and do chores at the usual time as urban people. Nevertheless, daylight saving time was accepted widely for four months or so of spring.

After analysis does daylight saving time make much sense in this era? Clearly fuel was saved but the after effects negate all the benefits and ignore the downside of this plan.  Shift workers have to work an extra hour when returning to normal time, which is particularly onerous.

It is not surprising that the number of accidents soar as clocks are altered. The police constantly warn of the hazards of getting up earlier as it takes a while to adjust to the new time.

Pedestrians are at particular risk when trying to adapt and all kinds of accidents occur more frequently. School children too are adversely affected by the time change upsetting their routine. Medical doctors note a sizable increase in the number of heart attacks during the adjustment phase.  

As the time changes, adults, children and animals take up to a week to synchronize their body rhythms which are not very flexible.

Commercially, most find that this era of daylight saving time entails many difficulties. Train, bus and plane companies have to go to the expense of altering schedules and the resulting troubles that take place, as well as trying to coordinate times with areas which do not adhere to daylight saving time. For example, Saskatchewan uses Central Standard Time all year.

Interest in the status quo will be less in the future and will diminish as we abandon this plan.

The general welfare of the entire economy will benefit.


Bruce Whitestone