It started, sort of, with Benjamin Franklin, as so many ideas did.
In 1784, he was in Paris, and wrote an essay about how the French could save on candles by getting out of bed earlier in the morning.
It is unclear how serious he was, since Franklin was known to have a very good sense of humour.
What some people may not find much humour in is that again this weekend, people in most of Canada will have to set at least some of their clocks ahead by one hour for daylight saving time.
It took me a few years to realize I didn’t have to get up at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning to do the clock setting. (I can be a slow learner.) Instead, I could do it before I went to bed on Saturday. That made life simpler.
Unfortunately, there seems to be more and more questioning as to whether there is still any reason for daylight saving time. The main reason for brining it is was, as Franklin kind of suggested, to cut down on the use of lights, especially incandescent, during the spring and summer.
Today, though, with energy-saving bulbs easily available and people’s patterns of energy use changing, it’s not clear whether that primary purpose still exists.
There are some groups which still benefit from the extra hour of sunlight in the evening, especially sports teams which can’t start playing until after the normal work day ends.
I have spoken with people from a number of different professions which have 24-hour use, and the way they get paid for the spring forward and the fall back varies. The majority seem to just get their regular eight or 12 hours of pay regardless of which end of the year they are on, on the basis (I assume) that it will all work out down the line.
One problem I have never run into (being a bachelor) was that of a friend of mine a few years ago. On the Saturday evening in March when the clocks spring forward, he went around and changed all the clocks in the house which needed to be changed.
A couple of hours later, his wife (unaware of how helpful he had been) did the same thing.
That was a rather confusing Sunday morning, I understand.
Whether you agree with it or not, it’s coming this weekend, so don’t forget to spring ahead.