EDITORIAL: Death to daylight savings


Jacob L'Hommedieu

Illustration by Jacob L’Hommedieu

Jacob L'Hommedieu and Cristo Dulom

It’s that time of year once again where the clocks are reset and pushed back an hour in order to account for the day being slightly shorter than it was before. That’s right, it’s daylight savings time – that wonderful time of year that is completely pointless and should be done away with once and for all.

Let’s take a minute to consider what actually happens when daylight savings occurs. During fall, the clock is pushed back in order to account for the sun setting earlier in the day than before. In late winter, the time is then pushed forward to account for the sun rising earlier and staying in the sky longer. That’s it. 

There’s no change in the amount of time one actually spends awake versus asleep. It may be nice for one day to be able to roll back over in bed after realizing you have another hour, but it also means that, eventually, you will have to wake up one hour earlier in only a few short months. Rather than having to flip-flop between the two different times, why not just stick to one and let it be? 

But the U.S. government seems to have made that decision for us. In a hilarious turn of events, it seems that doing away with daylight savings is one of the  bipartisan issues that Congress is concerned with. With the passing of the Sunshine Protection Act, daylight savings will be the permanent time starting on November 5, 2023. The battle is over before it can even be fought. We have won. But considering that the ones who use daylight savings fall into a minority, was it even a contest?

For how omnipresent daylight savings is whenever it occurs in the states, the only other large part of the world that changes their clocks is Europe and Australia. As for the rest of the world, there isn’t much to really care about. For those close to the equator, the sun barely changes position in the sky, making following daylight savings pointless. Those in the regions closer to the poles experience the sun rising and setting to be so wildly different that changing the schedule to accommodate would just be ridiculous. As for countries in Asia, they just don’t use it.

Even in the U.S., switching between the times for daylight savings is becoming more and more obsolete. One of the foremost arguments for keeping daylight savings is that it is useful for farmers to keep track of harvesting seasons.

This is a myth. In fact, farmers have been some of the strongest lobbyists against daylight savings, with them preventing the passage of peacetime daylight savings until 1966 due to them losing lobbying power. The true proponents of daylight savings have been those arguing that keeping the archaic practice saves energy. This is also a myth. There is no basis in fact for whether daylight savings actually saves energy. 

In the end, daylight savings as a practice is something that should have been left behind in wartime. It’s not useful for anything and all apparent benefits that come with it are mired in falsehoods. It stuck around for far too long, and it is good to see it finally go. Bon voyage, daylight savings – you will not be missed.