Daylight Saving Time (DST) was proposed by William Willett, an avid outdoorsman that liked to spend his days playing golf. The concept of DST was inspired from a satirical piece authored by Benjamin Franklin when he was an American envoy to France. However, Franklin was not the one who invented DST. It was invented by Willett in 1907. However, Willett died from influenza without seeing DST become ratified into English law.
Willett had two reasons for inventing DST. The first reason was that he was disturbed at how many in London spend their summer days in bed. On top of that, Willett liked to be outside playing golf. He did not really like having to end his games because it got dark. In theory, DST would conserve daylight by setting clocks an hour back. When winter was over, clocks would get set an hour forward. The application of DST is supposed to be in conjunction with the winter solstice. When the winter solstice happens, the days are shorter. That means the day gets darker much sooner than expected.
However, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits of DST. The first drawback should be in regards to energy. DST originally had the good intention of conserving energy. However, it only focused on residential lighting.
That was one of the first flaws of DST in regards to energy conservation. It is revealed that residential lightning only consumes about 3.5 percent of electricity in North America. DST did not take account electricity use in other places. One has to factor the expansion of power grids. The use of electricity is also dictated by the following: geography, climate, economics, and government. In that respect, energy use differs from one place to another.
At the end, recent studies revealed that there was only a trivial reduction. Other studies have revealed that electricity consumption had also increased as a result. In the long run, DST has caused more problems in regards to energy conservation. The focus of the original concept was extremely limited. One also has to think about the various regions because daylight might last longer or shorter in that respect.
In 2007, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores made a successful lobby to extend the US’ DST by four more weeks. Overall, it benefited those businesses.
Unfortunately, other businesses ended up getting harmed in the process. Certain businesses will benefit from the extra hour or two of sunlight.
In regards to sports retail stores, they could sell more items because more people will engage in outdoor activities. This could be based off the original concept by William Willett. So far, the National Golf Foundation assumes that the golf industry could get an extra $200 million to $300 million with extra revenues. Golf was the main reason Willett came up with DST. He enjoyed spending his time outdoors and playing golf.
However, the economic costs do outweigh the benefits. There are adverse economic drawbacks to DST let alone in the United States. The agriculture industry takes a hard hit. Farmers work accordingly with the sun. DST affects harvesting and so forth. It takes awhile for other businesses to adjust to the DST schedule. More billable hours are created. In regards to computer, changes to programs need to be made. Overall, the costs outweigh the benefits of revenue to certain industries.
The major drawback would be in regards to health. Perhaps the health aspect is by far the most adverse drawback. It takes at least a difference of one hour to throw off a person’s circadian rhythm. If you set your clocks an hour back, you do get an extra hour of sleep. If you set your clocks an hour forward, you lose an extra hour. Regardless, it throws everything off. When your circadian rhythm is thrown off of track, your internal body clock gets thrown off.
If you are flying repeatedly through time zones, you are going to suffer through jet lag. DST could make the effects of jet lag far worse. Dealing with jet lag alone is a pain to deal with. But DST does nothing but agitate jet lag.
Increased exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer. It is revealed to hurt people that suffer from night blindness. There is the season affective disorder that needs to be factored in as well. In a nutshell, DST can do a serious number to a person’s health.
You have to manually set your clocks back or forward an hour. That can be a pain. You have to readjust your schedule. If you forget to adjust your clocks, you could be thrown into a world of pain as a result. However, this is remedied via computers with Internet connections and cell phones. That is due to the clocks automatically being updated as a result.
Overall, the drawbacks have proved to be bothersome. It is for that reason that most countries have done away with DST. Only a fraction of countries (including the United States) still observe DST.