Daylight Savings Time has more enemies than fans – Chicago Tribune

It’s commonly believed that the first person to suggest the idea of daylight saving time was Benjamin Franklin. It’s true in a way. In 1784, Franklin wrote a letter to the Journal of Paris in which he claimed to be astonished to discover that when he woke up, which was seldom before noon, the sun was already shining.

That’s right, it was a joke. He said that if people would get up earlier and use all that free light, they wouldn’t use so much expensive candle wax. To make sure that folks would get up, Franklin proposed a tax on window shutters and other equally silly measures.

So why do we perpetuate this nonsense today? Well, it’s sort of like Royal Jelly. It’s supposed to do a lot of things that it actually doesn’t do. From the time of World War I it was believed to save energy. In fact, it doesn’t save anything. In areas where people have air conditioning, DST actually uses more energy.

People who sell gasoline claim that daylight saving time is good for their businesses because it encourages folks to drive more, but there’s no real evidence for that. Also, many store owners believe that people shop more because of DST.

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