Fun Facts Regarding Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

 

Reprinted from Cleveland Clinic

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12, so set your clocks ahead one hour.

The good news is you’ll get an extra hour of daylight. The bad news is you’ll also lose an hour of sleep. Unless you are in Arizona or choose to ignore clocks, you have no choice but to adjust.

 

Facts About Daylight Saving Time

Here are five facts,  And a bonus: it’s Daylight Saving, not Savings.

1. This is the 101st anniversary — sort of.

Daylight Saving Time started in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada, to squeeze in an extra hour of daylight. It spread to certain cities in Canada, then to Germany, which in 1916 was the first nation to adopt the idea. The thinking: In wartime, better use of natural light among civilians would save coal for more important uses. England and France joined in that year, too.

The United States followed in 1918, though over the years it tinkered with the idea – repealing it, re-instituting it during energy crises, changing the dates and sowing consternation. If you accept 1916 as the real start, because that’s when entire nations began using Daylight Saving Time, this year marks the 100th anniversary. (Yeah, we quibble with that too, but you’ll see it mentioned in some accounts.)

2. Thank Dubya.

Daylight Saving Time in the United States was extended by four weeks in 2007 – starting on the second Sunday of March and going to the first Sunday of November – as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed by President George W. Bush. The intent was to save energy, and the sporting goods and convenience store industries liked it, saying more daylight would be good for business.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and orthodox rabbis did not, saying children would have to walk to school or wait for buses in the dark. In fairness, this was a minor part of the bill, which was supported by Ohio’s two U.S. senators at the time, Republicans Mike DeWine and George Voinovich. Opposing it were then-Reps. Sherrod Brown, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur, all Democrats. They said the bill favored the oil and gas industries too heavily.

3. This is not for the dogs.

Most babies and dogs can’t read clocks. They know when it’s time to wake up, and time to eat, partly because they are creatures of habit and partly because of their internal clocks. Then along comes Sunday and the clock skips ahead – except no one told them.

Experts give the same advice to parents as to dog owners: Make small adjustment over several days. Start waking up 15 minutes early (sorry, since we’re telling you this only two days in advance). Adjust your lights to better match the coming waking-hour (or sleep-time) light.

As Parents magazine says: Take baby steps.

Adjustments for pets may be easier if they are used to waiting for their owners and following their commands. But pet owners still may have certain habits to contend with. Julia Szabo, a pet journalist, gave this advice on the Dogster.com website a couple years ago, and it still applies: Carve out “a few extra minutes in your morning this week to take your pup for an additional outing, just in case it didn’t get around to doing number two. If that still isn’t forthcoming, don’t be surprised if you’re met with a little accident when you return home (and do be nice about it — it’s not the dog’s fault that the clock got reset).”

4. Arizona is full of rebels.

Arizona doesn’t participate in Daylight Saving Time, except for the portion in the Navajo Nation. Why not?

The Arizona Republic, the newspaper in Phoenix, said it perfectly: “The short answer: The last thing Arizona needs to save is daylight. On a July day when the high is 114 degrees, do you really want the sun hanging around until 8:40 p.m.?”

5. So much for energy savings.

With more time for outdoor activity, we use less energy in our homes – or do we?

A study in California reached a similar conclusion. But rather than consider a single state, the U.S. Department of Energy looked at electricity usage nationwide, examining data from 67 utilities. The department considered electricity consumption in industry as well as homes. This led to the conclusion that the four-week extension of Daylight Saving Time from the 2005 legislation shaved 0.5 percent off the nation’s energy usage, according to Scientific American. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough to power 100,000 households for a year. The federal government uses that study to make its point today.

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