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The Daylight Saving Debate

Once again, legislators here in Washington State are contemplating a measure that would do away with daylight saving time, but now they’re joining (or being joined) by several other states contemplating similar bills – and it seems like everyone is clocking in with an opinion.</br></br>If passed, Washington would join Arizona and Hawaii in not observing the time-honored tradition of warping time for the benefit of … who, exactly? Why does daylight saving time even exist, again?</br></br><strong>Daylight Saving Time History</strong></br></br>While there is a specific date when the U.S. began observing daylight saving time – in 1918, in case you were wondering – the idea of allowing sunlight to dictate timekeeping has been around since the … ah … dawn of civilization.</br></br>In ancient times, a general lack of organization and communication allowed our ancestors to simply divide daylight hours based on actual sunlight. This was because there was little concern over how the time of day impacted things like jobs, commerce and golf games (seriously), but these considerations came to bear soon enough.</br></br>In fact, one of the first pioneers of daylight saving time, an Englishman by the name of Willett, suggested it might be nice if his golf game could be a little longer and that a slight clock adjustment could help make that possible, but parliament passed on his proposal.</br></br>It wasn’t until a few years later, during World War I, that they were otherwise convinced by the Germans, who reengineered time not to enjoy more golf, but to save coal and make more weapons.</br></br><strong>Daylight Saving Time Fans</strong></br></br>History has a funny way of coming full circle, and it is now golf associations who are fighting to save daylight saving. The Golf Association of Utah, in another state considering doing away with daylight saving, has argued that millions would be lost without the extra sunlight for evening tee times.</br></br>A few states over, Washington State Rep. Han Dunshee (D) <a title="KOMO News" href="http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Bill-would-end-daylight-saving-time-in-Washington-290665541.html" target="_blank">has a response to such arguments</a>: “The idea that golf courses are determining when I get up for the day ticks me off.”</br></br>And, how! But, it’s not just the Golf Association willing to swing a club in defense of daylight saving. Many other industries that rely on energy savings and extra hours to turn a profit are similarly opposed, not to mention those folks who simply enjoy longer sunlit evenings.</br></br><strong> Daylight Saving Time Enemies</strong></br></br>On the other side of the time zone, there are those who say daylight saving is confusing, onerous and downright dangerous – sighting statistics that show how interrupted sleep schedules cause increases in <a title="University of Colorado" href="http://www.colorado.edu/economics/papers/WPs-14/wp14-05/abstract14-05.html" target="_blank">auto accidents</a>, <a title="Health Day" href="http://consumer.healthday.com/cardiovascular-health-information-20/heart-attack-news-357/study-ties-daylight-saving-time-change-to-rise-in-heart-attacks-686236.html" target="_blank">heart attacks</a> and <a title="Health" href="http://news.health.com/2010/03/12/daylight-savings-not-bright-time-all/" target="_blank">depression</a>.</br></br>Yikes.</br></br>Whether for or against, what’s most important is that you know when to adjust your <a title="Clocks" href="http://www.atgstores.com/furniture/living-room-furniture/clocks/" target="_blank">clocks</a>, and this year it’s March 8 at 2:00 a.m. – but only if you live in a state with daylight saving. Enjoy the sun!
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