We spend 66 percent of the year under the yoke of daylight saving time.
On Sunday, we went back on daylight standard time — or “natural time,” as some people call it.
Today is the first full day under daylight standard time. When it’s 8:30 a.m., it’s 8:30 a.m. — not the artificial 7:30 a.m., as it was under DST.
Daylight saving time has a long history, with its length varying a great deal over the years.
About a decade ago, Congress saw fit to extend the length of DST by starting on the second Sunday of March and running through the first Sunday in November.
DST gives us more light at night in the summer, which makes sense. But March is not summer. October is not summer.
DST supposedly saves on energy. The concept behind that argument is a bit convoluted but, to some degree, makes sense.
Except in the few weeks after we start DST and the few weeks before we end DST, when we’re probably using more energy because it’s still dark for a good part of the morning.
For many years, the internet has been an active sounding board for those in favor of and opposed to keeping daylight saving time — mostly against. Indeed, there are several online petitions seeking the abolishment of DST.
Killing daylight saving time kind of makes sense. Consider: We’re on DST for eight out of 12 months. It covers so much of the year, not just the summer months, so why not make it year-round?
But if that makes sense, then it would also make sense to simply stay on daylight standard time all year long and not bother with artificially setting time back one hour.
Below are a number of websites that can provide all you need to know about the history and battle over daylight saving time. You can find many more simply by searching “daylight saving time” in your favorite web browser.
Ben Franklin’s essay
Many point to Franklin’s 1784 article on saving daylight as the start of the move toward manipulating time.
Daylight saving time
Find good overviews of the history and impact of daylight saving time and how it is implemented around the world.
Prioritizing sleep health
Research suggests Americans do not have consistent, healthy sleep patterns, which results in any number of public health issues. Among the study’s recommendations: abolishing daylight saving time.
DST and traffic accidents
Research shows an increase in traffic accidents in the days after we start DST.
Heart attacks and DST
Research finds the incidence of heart attacks tends to rise when we shift to and from daylight saving time.
DST and energy
A report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Energy found that after extending DST in 2007, annual electricity consumption nationwide dropped by 0.02 percent.
DST and robberies
Research indicates a decrease in robberies shortly after we shift to daylight saving time.
End DST online petitions
Make your voice heard online if you oppose daylight saving time and want it eliminated. I looked for petitions aimed at keeping DST, but I could find none.
Keith Darnay is the Tribune’s online manager and has worked in the online world for more than two decades. His site is at www.darnay.com.