As most people no doubt noticed given that they were robbed of an hour of sleep, Sunday marked the beginning of daylight saving time in the United States, Canada, and several other countries and territories in North America. For morning people, daylight saving is a drag, depriving them of an hour of tranquil morning light. But for others, "spring forward" brings with it the promise of long, languid afternoons and warmer weather.
Like millions of other Americans who have slogged through an uncomfortably cold winter, I'm looking forward to the change of season. But daylight saving time is an annual tradition whose time has passed. In contemporary society, it's not only unnecessary: It's also wasteful, cruel, and dangerous. And it's long past time to bid it goodbye.
Daylight saving has been an official ritual since 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson codified it into law during the waning days of World War One. Nowadays, its ostensible purpose is to save energy: One more hour of sunlight in the evening means one less hour of consumption of artificial lighting. In 2005, President George W. Bush lengthened daylight saving time by a month as part of a sweeping energy bill signed that year, citing the need to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil.