It's time to turn back the clocks an hour early on Sunday, Nov. 1, but not because we're having a retro party. Yes, it's that time of the year again when Daylight Saving Time or DST is ending and majority of the United States get back one hour in their lives. Well, not really, but you can always repeat what you did for the past hour when 2:00 A.M. strikes if you're up to it.
What is up with DST anyway and is it really something we can't do away with? Here's some information that may get you to contemplate on whether you'd really hate DST forever or you'd give it a chance again.
1. First of all, it's not really "Daylight Savings Time." The correct term is "Daylight Saving Time," without the 's' on "saving," because we're supposed to be saving daylight. No, it's not that the sun is about to lose its light but that the practice of springing time forward and moving it back came from attempting to make full use of the day's natural light, and save on electricity or candles when DST was conceptualized.
2. Russia recently did away with following DST. To be precise, they stopped following it in 2011. In 2014, however, the International Olympic Committee asked Russia to implement DST but Russia refused because it was impractical.
3. A sunlight loving Englishman first proposed the DST to the English parliament in 1908 because it was such a shame that not everybody gets early morning sunlight — to be specific, those who prefer to sleep in. His proposal was denied in 1908... and in 1909, 1910 and 1911. William Willett sure loved his sunlight but he never lived long enough to see everyone else applaud or complain about DST because he died in 1915, which is a shame because it was finally implemented in 1916.
4. It may have been fortunate that Willett passed away before the implementation of DST because the first country to implement his proposal is actually Germany, which Britain was at war with at the time. Just think of the shock Willett would have experienced.
5. The eight month duration of DST, that of March to November, was only implemented in 2007 and prior to that, only two other changes had occurred: once in the 1970's and once in the 1980's.
6. Don't blame our farmers! Farmers had nothing to do with the lobbying of DST back in 1918. In fact, they didn't like it either but urban retail outlets won against their fight to repeal DST in 1919.
7. In connection with number 6, fastfood and tourism companies are some of the eager businesses that lobby for DST. Golf courses are also part of the group because they earn more when there's DST. In Michael Downing's book "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time," he mentions that the golf industry claims that an "additional month of daylight has meant more time on the links and an additional $400 million in revenue."
8. DST was designed to allow us to get as much sunlight as possible and also, curiously, lower the number of outdoor crimes. There was a reported 7 percent decrease in crime when the DST was extended in 2007.
9. Other than farmers, television networks also hate DST because ratings always go down during the first weeks of DST.
10. Lastly, there is an argument on whether DST truly serves its original purpose of saving electricity and making the most of natural daylight because studies have shown that the amount of savings in electricity just plays around one percent energy increase, which is the total opposite of its goal, to 0.5 percent energy decrease in 2008. However, if we look at it in the long term and with actual numbers, that's about 1.3 billion kilowatt hours, and that saved energy can still be used for more important things in the future.