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We’re saving daylight, people…but why?

Why do we spring forward and fall back?
Why do we spring forward and fall back?
the Italian voice/Flickr Creative Commons License

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Today is the second day of Daylight Savings Time (DST), a process in which we all turn our clocks forward an hour and wake up with less time than we had yesterday. DST in the United States goes back more than a century when Benjamin Franklin advocated early to bed and early to rise as a way of saving candle wax.

Later, in 1918, the U.S created a federal law giving an official start and end date to DST and in WW II the government made it mandatory for the entire country. In the 1970s DST was extended to save oil during the Arab oil embargo.

At all of those times the point of DST was to conserve resources, whether it’s coal, candles or oil, but now a global economy have made experts question whether there’s still a point to DST. Studies have even shown that more energy is consumed during DST, especially in areas of the country that use a lot of air conditioning.

So, has Daylight Savings Time outlived its usefulness? Is it time to do away with it altogether or does it still have some merit in today’s world?


David Prerau, Author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Savings Time"