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Since moving from The Daily Show to HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver has gone from being a delightfully snarky correspondent to a frontrunner in pointing out the myriad problems facing modern society. For one of the show’s latest lambasting-filled segments, daylight savings found itself in the crosshairs. Check it out!
Sadly, John Oliver wasn’t even a part of this bit, but that doesn’t take away from its intelligent approach to one of the world’s weirdest time-related conundrums. And that approach was basically: “Daylight savings is a bunch of bullshit, yo.” Hard to argue with that, whether we’re springing forward or falling behind or wintering sideways.
People tend to cite famers as those responsible for getting daylight savings time into the mainstream, but that isn’t quite the case at all. (Proof: Last Week Tonight got a random farmer to say it doesn’t help them.) Daylight savings as we know it actually originated in Germany, which put forth the change in April 1916 as a way of saving fuel during World War I. As the video so wonderfully put it:
That’s right, you lost an hour of sleep this morning thanks to Kaiser Wilhelm.
So, fine, it was put into effect almost a century ago to help problems that are entirely related to how things worked a century ago. People consume power completely differently now, as evidenced by flat-screen TVs taking over jobs formerly held by standard signs, so there’s no reason to keep the seasonal flip-flops around. It’s even pointed out that Indiana’s relatively recent switch to daylight savings in 2006 actually worked to raise the amount of power being used. It was only 1%, sure, but that equals out to a pretty big number in these circumstances.
While I’m not sure just how scientifically accurate the claim is that the week following daylight savings implementation is filled with more car accidents and things of that nature, I wouldn’t be surprised. While humanity’s ability to adapt to and dismiss anything online is generally impressive, it takes a lot longer to get used to things in the real world, and something as seemingly minimal as a one-hour-change can have ridiculously far-spreading effects.
Last Week Tonight has had a massive impact on the pop culture landscape since it started last year, with huge fanfare following episodes focused on net neutrality and anti-smoking. (#JeffWeCan!) Oliver even pissed off the President of Ecuador recently. So I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if daylight savings was completely eradicated by the time Last Week Tonight hits Season 3. We believe in John Oliver.
Do you guys think daylight savings is a good thing or a bad thing?
Do You Think Daylight Savings Is Still Relevant?