If you have not already heard, everyone needs to set their clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1st. Since Saturday is Halloween, this is good news for everyone who wants to get an extra hour to party, or sleep. Still, some might wonder why we have to change our clocks at all. Not surprisingly, Daylight Saving Time has encountered controversy since its beginnings. Keep reading to learn more about Daylight Saving Time.
#1 Daylight Saving Time Happens Globally
George Hudson, a British-born scientist from New Zealand, introduced the concept of daylight saving in 1895. It was not until April 1916 that Germany and Austria-Hungary arranged the first incidence of changing the clocks to get more sunlight. Many countries now practice a variation of Daylight Saving Time.
#2 Not All U.S. States and Territories Participate
As for the U.S., not every state follows Daylight Saving Time, which is correctly spelled "saving" without an "s." Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Arizona do not participate. However, Arizona territory that falls under the Navajo Nation does follow the policy.
#3 Daylight Saving Time Does not Exist to Save Daylight
The reasons for Daylight Saving Time (DST) span from sports, particularly baseball, to farming, and nearly every topic and industry in between. Of course, none of these reasons include “saving daylight,” so Daylight Saving Time is a misnomer.
DST enables Trick-or-Treaters to get an extra hour of sunlight to enjoy Halloween shenanigans in safety. It also allows baseball fans to watch an outdoor game without artificial lighting. Nonetheless, the main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to provide an extra hour of sunlight during the spring and summer months, capitalizing on the naturally longer days of summer. Instead of losing the sunlight at 6 p.m., we adjust our clocks forward so that the sun appears to set at 7 p.m., allowing everyone who relies on sunlight to accomplish more each day and enjoy daytime activities past standard working hours.
#4 Daylight Saving Time Saves Energy Only in Theory
Many proponents of Daylight Saving Time argue that longer days allow individuals to enjoy the benefits of natural light without having to rely on energy-sucking incandescents and other artificial light sources. City planners would see savings on a large scale by limiting the usage of street lights, and large commercial buildings would not have to rely on electric light as much. However, getting an extra hour of light in the evening only means we lose an hour during the morning. Individuals, municipalities and companies still rely on electric light during morning hours, which negates any potential savings. Plus, heating and cooling, not lighting, accounts for the majority of electricity usage.
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