Opposition and obstacles

Many people intensely dislike Daylight Saving Time. Frequent complaints are the inconvenience of changing many clocks and adjusting to a new sleep schedule. For most people, this is a mere nuisance, but some people with sleep disorders find this transition very difficult. Indeed, there is evidence that the severity of auto accidents increases and work productivity decreases as people adjust to the time change.

Some argue that the energy savings touted by DST is offset by the energy used by those living in warm climates to cool their homes during summer afternoons and evenings. Similarly, the argument can be made that more evening hours of light encourage people to run errands and visit friends, thus consuming more gasoline.

Protests are also put forth by people who wake at dawn, or whose schedules are otherwise tied to sunrise, such as farmers. Canadian poultry producer Marty Notenbomer notes, "The chickens do not adapt to the changed clock until several weeks have gone by, so the first week of April and the last week of October are very frustrating for us."

Many parents express concern that Daylight Saving Time results in early morning dangers, as children are less visible as they cross roads and wait for school buses in the darkness.

In Israel, ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Jews have campaigned against Daylight Saving Time because they recite Selichot penitential prayers in the early morning hours during the Jewish month of Elul.

A writer in 1947 noted, "I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves." (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)

Sometimes people recommend a "compromise," wherein clocks would be set one-half hour forward year round. While this may initially sound appealing, it is not a good solution. In the winter months, when daylight saving is not occurring, our clock is divided such that noon should be the middle of the day (although since time zones are so wide, this does not always happen). In the summer, when there are more daylight hours, we want to shift a full hour to the evening.

Some countries set their clocks to fractional time zones. For example, Kathmandu, Nepal is 5:45 hours ahead of Universal Time, and Calcutta (Kolkatta), India is 5:30 ahead. This is not an attempt to compromise and have half Daylight Saving Time year-round, but rather an adjustment made because the countries straddle international time zones.

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