Kill Daylight Savings!
Shôn Ellerton, Oct 9, 2022
What is the point of daylight savings time? I say, get rid of it!
I was racking my brains the other day. What’s the point of daylight savings time? It recently came around the other week here in South Australia, and it plunged me back into morning darkness going to work. Moreover, I lose an hour whilst my western neighbours in Western Australia get to stay on normal time.
As far as time zones are concerned, Australia’s a total basketcase. Adelaide and Darwin is one-half hour behind the eastern states and Perth another one and a half behind Adelaide. Whoever proposed this half hour seriously needed a head examination. Why not a whole hour at least? But this only applies to the winter months. In spring, when daylight savings kicks in, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia do not follow it as much of their landmass is situated in the subtropical and tropical zones. This means that Queensland, which is further to the east is now one half hour behind, yet New South Wales remains one half hour ahead. And last but not least, strange ‘no-mans land’-like outback towns like Broken Hill in northwest New South Wales follows South Australian time. I wonder how much time is lost in business resources due to these essentially useless daylight savings time changes. For three years, I worked in a job that required maintaining weekly automated scheduled pulling of judicial criminal data from a mainframe situated in New South Wales and pushing it to data servers in Adelaide. The scheduled job took several hours each weekend and, most assuredly, the job broke every time there was a time change.
As you may surmise, I’m not a fan of daylight saving time, so who is? I’ve asked the question to several others, and I get nearly the same reply. The reply being that it’s old-fashioned and rather pointless these days. But who likes daylight savings time?
Let’s start with that old chestnut. It’s because of the farmers. Really? Most farmers I know wake up at ‘silly o-clock’ in the morning so do they really need an extra hour of darkness? Maybe they do, I don’t know.
Here’s another one. It’s because of kids going home from school. I don’t think so. Kids quit school in the middle of the afternoon just after 3pm. Excepting those countries who reside in high latitudes like Norway and southernmost Chile, this is a lousy explanation.
Young families who want more time in the evening light? First off, most young families have working parents who need to get up in the morning to get to work, preferably in the light, and second, any parent who has had young children has probably come across the trials and tribulations of putting children to bed while it’s still light outside. And then you have to try to wake them while they complain it’s still dark outside in the morning. Can’t be this reason.
Maybe the elderly and retired like it as, I’m sure, most of them are party animals and want every lumen of light to quaff their daily wine. The thing is, that most of the elderly and retired tend to be, in general, early risers and go to bed early.
Oh! I’ve got it. Because we don’t have electricity and it’s more difficult to study and read under candlelight. Now I get it! Wait. Is that still relevant now? Eh, no. However, I relish the thought of spending more money and keeping the air conditioner on longer now!
The only possible group of people who seem to like daylight savings are the, not so-working hard or working at home, kind of middle-agey, slightly exercise-averse, wine-liking, social animals who tend to have children in their, say, mid to late teens or early twenties who, themselves, don’t have jobs and don’t have any urgency to wake up before lunch. It’s true, generally speaking!
And this is the thing.
Those same middle-agey, slightly exercise-averse, wine-liking, social animals tend to be those very people who have the time to nudge up and wine and dine with the politicians and make it abundantly clear that they want to keep daylight savings time as it is.
There have been very slow moves worldwide, Jordan being the latest, to get rid of it, but I fear that daylight savings time will be with us for some time.