If you’ve noticed that people are a little more irritable lately, or maybe just a little more sleepy, you know what’s to blame. And for once, it’s not the exhausting political landscape currently plaguing… well, most of the world. No, people are so tired lately because of the awful social convention known as Daylight Savings Time. Before you start, no, it’s not about farmers. Ask a farmer why DST is a thing and they’ll shut you down faster than a fella can come up with a folksy simile. Don’t put the blame of your biannual exhaustion on farmers—they have enough on their plate. In fact, farmers were infamously against DST, presenting the only organized lobby against it.
If you’re looking for someone to blame, look no further than the founders of Oktoberfest and the inspiration for the bad-guys in the best two Die Hard movies: World War I era Germans.* DST was invented by Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, with the hopes it would help in the war effort. In spite of how Germany fared in WWI, a lot of other people thought this was a good idea and adopted it in their countries.
Regardless of whether or not it helped back then, it doesn’t now. Researchers at the University of Washington found that you save a bit of money on your electricity bill thanks to having more sunlight—but you end up paying way more in air conditioning anyway . Not to mention a study done by the New England Journal of Medicine found an increased risk of heart attack in the days after the time change—and another study shows that there is a significant increase in car collisions the day of DST.
So not only is this archaic system annoying and unnecessary, it’s dangerous. California recently voted to end Daylight Savings, freeing themselves from its iron grip. Arizona hasn’t done it since 2005. So why is Canada so far behind? How have we fallen behind Arizona? That’s just embarrassing.
*Little known fact: Canadians in Thunder Bay actually turned their clocks forward by one hour in 1908 and it was adopted by Regina in 1914, beating Germany and Austria by two years. But as anyone who has been to Thunder Bay or Regina can attest to, nothing done in those cities actually counts.
Ian Mitchell is a pro-wrestling fan who also happens to be in the second year of the Professional Writing program. When not telling his friends about how he would run the WWE, he can be found playing video games, doodling, and writing a rules system for a pro-wrestling tabletop roleplaying game.