Despite the fact that the practice of beginning and ending Daylight Saving Time has been the norm for most U.S. citizens apart from those who reside in Hawaii or most of Arizona, many people still react to "fall back"/"spring forward" with eye rolls and overall confusion. It'll cause them to lose sleep, they say, and turning the clocks back and forward never gets less confusing — even though, in 2018, most devices reset their time automatically. Still, Daylight Saving Time has remained a solid mainstay — until now, at least for Florida. Daylight Saving Time haters in Florida might find themselves with a victory on their sides very soon, because according to CNN, lawmakers in the state of Florida have voted to keep Daylight Saving Time going all year round.
Basically, Florida lawmakers recently passed the Sunshine Protection Act — which features a condition for the "Sunshine State" in which it is to "remain sunny year-round" — and the bill is now on the desk of to the desk of Florida's Gov. Rick Scott. If he approves of the sunny, Daylight Saving Time forever amendment, it will go to Congress — and there, it will be ultimately decided whether or not the bill passes and Florida does away with ending Daylight Saving Time. But while it was easy to get the bill passed along to the governor (both Florida House and Senate members immediately passed the bill), the rest of the bill's journey will likely be less than expedient: While Congress might be aware of the fact that many people are not big fans of falling back or springing forward with Daylight Saving Time, they've got bigger concerns on their hands: Like saving energy.
While there are a multitude of psychological and health-related benefits to having an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day — in fact, this was Daylight Saving Time OG George Hudson's original inspiration for proposing the practice back in the day — the reason why we still cling onto Daylight Saving Time has nothing to do with those benefits. Instead, it's to save energy. Back in 1970, when industrial cities across the globe were experiencing petroleum shortages, Daylight Saving Time was enforced by Congress across all states to help reduce our daily reliance on energy.
But just how effective is Daylight Saving Time for saving energy now? That's the question Florida is going to be asking Congress.
In 2008, the Department of Energy presented a study to the U.S. Congress that showed significant evidence that Daylight Saving Time isn't saving that much energy — only 0.03 percent, to be exact. And, there was no reported decrease in traffic volume or vehicle gasoline consumption during Daylight Saving Time either. What's more, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reported that since 1987, when the study began, there's been a consistent increase in heart attacks — of up to five percent — occurring on the week following Daylight Saving Time. This is likely attributed to the body's circadian rhythm being thrown off by the time change.
Both Arizona and Hawaii have already been exempt from the Uniform Time Act of 1966 — aka, the uniform time zone system implemented throughout the country, ruled by the U.S. Department of Transportation — so Florida would be in good company if they, too, become exempt. But what's perhaps most interesting in all of this hubbub about Florida's request is the question of whether or not Daylight Saving Time is still relevant, and if the rest of the nation should pipe up, too. For, if we're not saving energy, and the adjustment period to the time change causes a significant amount of health risks, what's the use?