Daylight Savings System (DST) involves changing the time on the clock an hour ahead or behind as per the changing seasons. The concept is to get as much sunlight as possible while conserving energy on indoor lighting. It originated in Germany during World War I and today, almost the whole of the United States and Europe along with some parts of the Southern Hemisphere adopts it.
The state of Massachusetts also have been following this practice for quite a while, but now the authorities are seriously mulling over moving the entire state to an adjacent time zone and getting rid of this hassle for good. They want to move Massachusetts from the Eastern time zone to the Atlantic time zone permanently. This step would put the state in sync with parts of eastern Canada, the Caribbean, and some of South America.
Sun sets in Massachusetts, Boston only a few minutes past 4 pm in the winters, making it a huge inconvenience for the residents, businesses, tourists and visiting students. According to the advocates of this move, watching the all dark and gloomy environment outside naturally kills your mood, and even if it is only 4 pm you just want to go home and finish the day.
This move will mean that the winter sunsets would arrive an hour later at the cost of an hour’s extra darkness in the morning. This move is also being promoted because of some of the reported physiological issues caused by the constant change of clocks. A 2008 study from Sweden found an increase in the number of cardiac arrests people suffered after clocks are shifted. Researchers pinned this unfortunate observation on the disruption of chronobiological rhythms and sleep cycles, which cause a host of health issues like weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. This one hour’s shift has also been noted to contribute towards more road traffic accidents.
Boston is host to some of the brightest students across the globe courtesy their high-class universities. Hence, this change can come as an added attraction and incentive for these students to come and live in the area.
Another way that has been suggested to overcome this confusion and crisis is by overhauling time zones and to get rid of them completely. This would put every place in the world at the same time, though observations on whether this will be beneficial to anyone are still to be determined.
A legislative commission by the state authorities has been set up which will look into the potential implications of changing to Atlantic Standard Time permanently, and only after that the final verdict will be passed. But is seems as though some people are already adamant on rebelling against the DST practice, as this facebook status shows:
Have you ever faced problems with DST in your area? Do you have any other suggestions for solving the problem of maximising sunlight usage?