Americans all woke up the last couple of mornings an hour early thanks to daylight saving time. Many probably didn’t curse the heavens until they started the work week likely asked themselves in a dazed state, “How is this still a thing?”
Thanks to John Oliver, we now know why.
During Sunday night’s episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” his hilarious segment “How is this still a thing?” examined daylight saving and this is what we learned.
Many people grew up being told daylight saving is to help the farm industry, but as the segment points out, “it has nothing to do with farmers.”
“I don’t know one farmer who benefits from daylight savings,” one farmer told “Last Week Tonight.”
“The modern daylight saving was actually introduced during the first World War as a fuel saving measure by the Germans,” notes the segment’s narrator. “You lost an hour of sleep this morning thanks to Kaiser Wilhelm.”
“And while back then, daylight saving may have indeed saved fuel…”
“In the modern era, energy consumption is a little more complicated.”
“In fact, when Indiana adopted daylight saving in 2006, guess what happened?”
“The data shows that daylight saving actually led to a 1% overall rise in residential electricity.”
“But that’s not to say daylight saving doesn’t have any effects at all.”
“Studies show there is an increase in car accidents and work-related injuries the week after the time change. That’s right, what you lose in sleep you gain in mortal danger.”
“Despite all this, 70 countries across the world still observe daylight saving.”
“And yet going by local news reports, no one can tell you why.”
The segment then showed clips of man-on-the-street interviews with people calling daylight saving ridiculous,” “a pain in the arse,” and “complete nonsense.”
Watch the full clip below:
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