The Real Enemy of Time

artsy shot of half a wall clock

While opposition to Daylight Saving Time grows, I present to you an argument for sticking with it. When you think about it, DST isn’t the enemy. It improves on Standard Time. So, having sprung forward, let’s just stay where we are now and be done with it.

DST has only been around for about a century. Apparently invented in New Zealand and adopted first in Germany. In Canada, residents of Port Arthur, ON (now Thunder Bay) switched first. The idea: to make better use of sunlight and conserve energy.

Shitake mushrooms growing in poop.
Shitake mushrooms growing in poop! By Edsel Little via Flickr

Changing to DST gives us longer evenings. That’s great for sports leagues and staying out (and spending money) longer on tourist activities. And for feeling like we aren’t mushrooms, growing in the dark under a layer of poop! DST does improve upon the regular time schedule. Farmers found it especially helpful. However, as explained in this Slate article, DST gets all the complaints when it’s Standard Time that’s the real problem. How many articles have you seen about abolishing DST? Many, I’m guessing. They’re aiming at the wrong target.

Petition-writers are correct in asking governments to consider the human toll of switching the clocks around twice a year. Fatigue, depression and suicide rates all rise after the move to DST. However, it’s not DST that’s the culprit. Standard Time – the one we will fall back to – is the sunlight-robbing schedule. So let’s stay with DST and just be done with it. End the petitions calling for its abolition. It’s the good one!

5 thoughts on “The Real Enemy of Time”

  1. 100% agree. Of course, I do recall hearing complaints from parents that it’s too dark for school around the time we switch back to standard time and people are grateful for the switch so I bet the argument that it’s dangerous to stay on DST would be made too. There is no perfect, but DST is closer to it than switching back and forth.

  2. since we move forward and back 1 hour, why not simply split the difference and come the fall, move back half an hour and stay there, the best of both worlds.

  3. I believe we’ll never change until or unless the US does. We’re so tied to them (from a media standpoint alone) that it’s unlikely we’ll do anything. And judging by what the US has done in terms of sticking to imperial rather than metric (I’m sure God decreed it thusly in the Bible/aka Constitution) that’s probably not going to happen. They don’t like change. It’s socialism! Like eliminating the penny. Anarchy, I tells ya, anarchy! But of course, I’ve been wrong before. I never thought a reality TV host would be elected president, so what do I know?

  4. Good point. There’s also “sleep stupidity,” which is the effect on your brain of the time change. You lose IQ points temporarily!

  5. I don’t like the switching around. Last week I left for work in the sunshine (hooray) & came home in the dark. Now I leave in the dark (boo) & come home in the dark. Blah. Just pick one & stick with it, like they do in Saskatchewan. The switch must be a nightmare for people who have to make schedules for planes, trains, boats, buses, etc. But, if that’s all I have to whine about, that’s a very good day!

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