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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

will we ever get rid of Daylight Savings Time?


The U.K. got an extra hour of sleep last Saturday night; this weekend it’s the U.S. and Canada’s turn to change the clocks back to standard time. The idea of fooling with the clocks so that the extended hours of sun in the summer coincide with the clock hours that we’ve accustomed ourselves to being out and about during has been around for centuries, but it got started in earnest — in the U.S., at least — during World War II, started by FDR as an energy-conservation measure.

Whether there’s any real benefit to fiddling with the clocks is debatable, but there’s seems to be plenty of evidence that there are real negative impacts. From Jessica Damiano at Newsday:

A California Energy Commission report maintains that little — if any — energy benefit is actually attained when we switch to DST. ABC News has reported that the annual switch messes with people’s internal clock and can lower work productivity. And the New England Journal of Medicine has asserted that the annual shifts from DST to standard time and back can actually increase your chances of a heart attack.

So: Will we ever get rid of Daylight Savings Time? Would you want to get us all back on the same clock year-round? What would it take to make this happen?

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

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