Thursday, May 2, 2013

Daylight Savings Time - Useful: Yes or No!

5/2/13 - Mimi's Treatise on Daylight Savings Time (DST) - goes along with my blog for today

Let's take a look at World Geography with respect to DST

The Earth revolves on its axis one full turn every 24 hours.  The Earth revolves around the Sun one full time every year.  How does this effect the hours of daylight and darkness in any given latitude on this planet?

At the Poles, the extremities of light and darkness are such that DST really would have no benefit or detriment to speak of at all.  And at the Equator the same would be true as there really are no extremities of light and darkness; the hours of each are equal throughout the year.  So, we're left with the middle of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres where there are differences in light and darkness dependent on the time of the year.

Much of the Northern Hemisphere (from the Equator to the North Pole) - North America, Europe, large portions of Asia - is 'modernized;' hence, electricity, coal consumption, candlelight, etc. aren't much of a consideration for the continued implementation of DST.`

As for the Southern Hemisphere (from the Equator to the South Pole) - much of the area of South America, Southern Africa, Indonesia, Australia and thousands of islands -  is third world and not modernized in terms of industry, etc.  It's much more affected by natural diurnal (daily) and seasonal increments in light and darkness.  Of course,  modern cities of South America, Africa and Australia would necessarily be considered as would much of the modernized Northern Hemisphere.


Modern History of DST

The modern concept of daylight savings time (DST) was first suggested by a New Zealander, George Vernon Hudson, in 1895.  It seems Mr. Hudson was an entomologist (bug guy) and thought it would be nice if he had more daylight time in the Summer to collect insects after he finished working each evening.  So, he presented a paper [oh, the ingenuity of some folks!] to the Wellington Philosophical Society.  after there seemed to be considerable interest in his proposal, he then had the proposal published in a paper - a popular way to communicate to the masses in those days.

The English, not to be outdone, often credit a gentleman, William Willet, a well known builder and outdoorsman in early 20th century england, who independently thought that many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer's day - time that could be occupied playing golf, his passionate avocation.  He also 'published' his proposal in 1905 and the concept was taken up by a member of the British Parliament, Robert Pearce, who proposed the bill - but it was never accepted up to the time of his death n 1915.

Now, fast forward to World War I:  Germany and her allies were the first to implement the practice of DST on the 30th of April, 1916 - as a way to conserve the use of coal during wartime.  They called it 'Sommerzeit.'  Britain, most of its allies, and several neutral countries implemented the concept soon thereafter.  The United States followed not far behind in 1918.

Observance of DST throughout the World*



World map. Europe, Russia, most of North America, parts of southern South America and southern Australia, and a few other places use DST. Most of equatorial Africa and a few other places near the equator have never used DST. The rest of the land mass is marked as formerly using DST.

Although not used by the majority of the world's countries, daylight saving time is common in the Western World
  DST observed
  DST formerly observed
  DST never observed




What does DST do for us in the US?

Added daylight - with the beginning of DST every year - benefits retailing, sports and other activities that can be accomplished during the extended light period after normal work hours.  However,  this increase in daylight can cause problems for types of entertainment and occupations that use natural darkness as an incentive - for instance, the Summer camping marshmallow roasting campfire, fireworks on the Fourth of July, being able to sleep later in the morning when school's not in session.


Detrimental Effects of DST

DST clock shifts complicate timekeeping, computerized adjustments in timing, can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment and sleep patterns.  


History of the concept of DST

The modern concept of daylight savings time (DST) was first suggested by a New Zealander, George Vernon Hudson, in 1895.  It seems Mr. Hudson was an entomologist (bug guy) and thought it would be nice if he had more daylight time in the Summer to collect insects after he finished working each evening.  So, he presented a paper [oh, the ingenuity of some folks!] to the Wellington Philosophical Society.  after there seemed to be considerable interest in his proposal, he then had the proposal published in a paper - a popular way to communicate to the masses in those days.

The English, not to be outdone, often credit a gentleman, William Willet, a well known builder and outdoorsman in early 20th century england, who independently thought that many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer's day - time that could be occupied playing golf, his passionate avocation.  He also 'published' his proposal in 1905 and the concept was taken up by a member of the British Parliament, Robert Pearce, who proposed the bill - but it was never accepted up to the time of his death n 1915.

Now, fast forward to World War I:  Germany and her allies were the first to implement the practice of DST on the 30th of April, 1916 - as a way to conserve the use of coal during wartime.  They called it 'Sommerzeit.'  Britain, most of its allies, and several neutral countries implemented the concept soon thereafter.  The United States followed not far behind in 1918.

The MPS / Mimi Opinion

I don't think there's any benefit to continuing the practice of 'changing our clocks' [Spring forward, Fall back] in the US of A.  And, although I'm not part of the majority, most people would rather live on DST all year 'round and not recognize Standard Time (ST) at all.   I personally enjoy the natural benefits that occur with 'natural' time that follows the sun and the rotation of the Earth throughout the year.  I love the outdoors and the fun of late evenings with friends at barbecues and other social activities in the Summer months.  I also love curling up with a good book for the evening when it's cold and rainy / snowy outside.  I like changes in weather / wardrobe / foods / activities.  I love the 'newness' of Spring - flowers, baby animals, a new beginning.  But I also love renewed vigor / crispness / re-initiation of indoor activities / football of Fall.

Benjamin Franklin published his opinion - that has become a well-known idiom:  "Early to bed, early to rise, keeps a man healthy, wealthy and wise."  Let's use our natural world with our modern conveniences, to enjoy life.

Questions:

How does the US (I can't use "America" now that I've become aware of how much geography the word "America" includes!) benefit from its non- unilateral use of the concept of Daylight Savings Time?

What's better in your life because of of lack of DST?

Comments?????

* Information collection from wikipedia


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