Instigator / Pro

THW Abolish Daylight Savings Time


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Contender / Con

This House Would Abolish Daylight Savings Time

Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time or daylight time (the United States and Canada) and summer time (United Kingdom, European Union, and others), is the practice of advancing clocks during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The typical implementation of DST is to set clocks forward by one hour in the spring ("spring forward") and set clocks back by one hour in autumn ("fall back", from the North American English word "fall" for autumn) to return to standard time. As a result, there is one 23-hour day in late winter or early spring and one 25-hour day in the autumn.

Burden of proof is shared

Con will argue we should keep DST

No religious arguments, no quantum physics arguments, no trolling.

Round 1
I have very little time, so this will possibly be my weakest/worst argument yet. Apologies.

Drawbacks from DST shown from a research paper, that is extraordinarily credible due to having four peer reviewers [1]:
  • Shorter sleep duration and worse performance [Better sleep leads to better health, common sense anyone?]
  • Worse health overall that can't be adapted to
  • Countless traffic incidents
  • Causes shortened life expectancy
  • Causes mental and cognitive problems
  • The long term effects will pile up as you are going to work one hour earlier
Scientific American agrees on each of these claims, and governments worldwide are moving to get rid of Daylight Savings Time. [2]

The main reason cited to continue DST is merely to reduce energy usage, but using energy cannot measure up to lives or person's health and safety.
The workers are also less productive because they are getting tired and getting sick much easier.
Ironically, it's calculated that DST is costing billions of dollars in terms of productivity instead of gaining its economic value. [3]
Hence, we ought to prefer getting rid of DST.

Permanent Standard Time is best for keeping your health and even the EU is voting to abolish DST.

Just why should we continue?

Now onto Con.

Pro says 'EU are voting to abolish DST' but really in practise (not theory) that was done was neutrality on the matter, basically it went from 'we support DST hardline' to 'do what you want, you don't need to change the clock' with regards to participating nations.

This is  a good way to lead into the outline of my case; DST doesn't need to be removed and while there are both benefits and drawbacks, neither really outweighs the other.

I am Kritiking this debate from an angle of pure neutrality, in other words I am saying that because the status quo is DST (for 76 nations at the moment or somewhere around that) we don't need to force or encourage and active change because it's overall got benefits and the drawbacks seem specific to only 2 days per year (some only to the day/night where the hour is removed).

Some benefits of DST in fact relate precisely to the things Pro was saying. Health is a big one. You see, offices don't generally change their opening hours or shift changing hours so 'day shift' remains the same stagnant set of hours as does night shift, even though things aren't always the same. The reason why DST is done in some nations and not others is actually geographic and to do with the sun's rising and setting patterns in the sky. Nations in the northern hemisphere, especially in Europe and North America (the continent, not just northern US) have significant seasons, alternations between sunlight, so on and so forth. The equator has also got seasons but it only has 2; rainy vs dry and the day length tends to be extremely similar throughout. The southern hemisphere has no true seasons, just 'shades of weather' where their hottest period is when the northern hemisphere have their winter and vice versa, however it's very slight and there's no real rainy season or things like that in the southern hemisphere (obviously it does slightly if it's near enough to the equator but this concept begins to explain why some nations never saw the need for DST while others did).

You see, if getting vitamin D and sunlight matter to your people, or you as a leader of a nation, then you should probably have some time shifts in place to accomodate for seasons if you're in the Northern hemisphere. For some reason, Asia is less affected by seasonal changes, when it comes to daylight hours, as is the middle east, nonetheless even they do have seasons but 'winter' doesn't mean snow as the baseline is a much higher temperature. I'm not a space science expert who can tell you what NASA would in order to explain this, what I can tell you is that if the Earth were flat and it were the sun and moon rotating around the flat Earth (the outer edge being Antarctica) that the sun and moon essentially rotate on an annual spiral mechanism where the north has the most fluctuation because it is the 'inside' or thinnest part of the spiral. So, if we're on a spinning planet in the middle of space, think of it more like the tilt of Earth towards the sun is the North and therefore there is more fluctuation in the top half but due to the angle and way we also rotate around the sun, it hits Asia and the Middle East differently to Europe and North America (which it hits much stronger, respectively).

This being said, my main case isn't that DST is necessary for the nations that have it, rather that it was convenient when being awake during the 'day' mattered a lot to us and that there's no true drawback. This 'loss of millions' is kind of ridiculous as is the idea that because once a year you get one hour less sleep it is worth alternating entire calendar plans (only by an hour withing half-of-years but still imagine all corporations needing to do this, the scale of it all). Pro's link doesn't really explain that business lose billions due to it. Also, that third link is really annoying because it blackmails  you to give your email in order to read the page.

1. There’s more light to enjoy in the evening.
 What’s better: Only a fleeting moment of daylight before work (and driving home in the dark) or being able to enjoy the daylight well into the evening hours? That’s what we thought. More light = more time to do what you want or need to do = a happier you.
2. The crime rate drops during daylight saving time.
 Research has shown that robbery rates after daylight saving time fall an average of 7 percent, with a much larger 27 percent drop during those light-filled evening hours that didn’t exist before the time change. Mind. Blown.
3. It minimizes energy consumption (and lowers your costs).
 When you enjoy more natural daylight, you use less artificial light — and that makes a real impact on the overall cost of energy consumption.
4. It lowers the incidence of traffic accidents.
Like driving home in the daylight versus the darkness, driving is easier when you can see your surroundings and where you’re going, right? Duh! Studies actually show that we could save hundreds of lives per year if we implemented daylight saving time year-round.

Critics of DST often focus their criticisms around those two days per year, citing confusion, schedule disruption, and even health problems. A 2012 study indicated that in the few days around the springtime clock change (the beginning of DST, in other words), incidents of heart attack rose by 10 percent. Never mind that heart attacks were found to decrease around the time of the autumn clock change … also by 10 percent. Never mind that heart attacks are much more likely to come in the winter and early spring than any other time of year, period. Statistics like that are pretty easy to twist to your liking.
In reality, DST is an eight-month experiment designed to make life, well, more pleasurable for humans. The basic idea: In the Western world, we typically spend more awake time in the evenings than in the mornings. We also enjoy many benefits from being awake in the sunshine. This National Institutes of Health overview is a good place to read about vitamin D, increased exercise, increased socializing, and overall improvements to mental health that come with sunlight.
Absent DST, for eight months per year our days would not be structured to enjoy the most sunlight possible. Our mornings would be bright and cheerful, but the sun would tend to be set before we leave work each day. This stinks! This gives the average 9-5 adult very little time to enjoy sunlight. So during the spring, summer, and early autumn, we tweak it, just a bit, so that there's more sunlight in the evening. In the winter, we abandon DST, because there just isn't enough sunlight to make a difference. Winter is pretty much a dark hellworld no matter how it's scheduled. Winter DST would give us a very very late sunrise and not enough light in the evening to provide the effects we want.

In a new paper forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics, we find that shifting daylight from the morning to the early evening has pretty hefty returns for public safety. When DST begins in the spring, robbery rates for the entire day fall an average of 7 percent, with a much larger 27 percent drop during the evening hour that gained some extra sunlight.
Why might this time shift matter? The timing of sunset is pretty close to the time many of us leave work, and walking to our cars or homes in the dark makes us easier targets for street criminals. We feel safer when we’re walking in the daylight, and it’s easy to imagine why light might have a deterrent effect on crime: offenders know they’re more likely to be recognized and get caught if they’re fully visible. The timing of sunset matters because our daily schedules can’t easily adapt to follow the daylight. Most people can’t leave work before 5pm, even if it would be safer to do so.

Note that the second link goes on further to fully support the first URL's four contentions, I merely kept it concise and to a unique angle/take.

Round 2
Though Con's arguments seem persuasive, his choice of sources are poor and his argument falls apart as a result.

Firstly, Brooking's article was written by a technology expert, which raises eyebrows, especially compared to the dozens of biologist experts in my journal. Thus, voters should greatly doubt the claims that it makes. In addition, Con has failed to address the inherent logic presented by my experts. He has basically completely dropped my health argument, instead opting for some "common sense" idea surrounding Vitamin D. But the results are still there: heart attacks, mental and thinking problems, among many other issues noted by Roenneberg et al. They notice that the social clocks and the body clock is off, hence no matter if you shift it temporarily or permanently, the DST standard is still detrimental in the long run. As the source highlights, "If we established DST throughout the year, the chronic effects would become more severe not only because we have to go to work an hour earlier for an additional 5 months every year but also because body clocks are usually later in winter than in summer". 

And notice how Con tries to dismiss my third source for being "annoying" rather than actually being wrong. If my it wasn't enough, Huffington Post also agrees on 400 million lost per year, hence adding up to billions over the past decade or so. [1]

While permanent DST and permanent ST seem to be similar, my journal notes that the latter is still preferred by circadian biologists. As another source adds, also including yet more traffic accidents caused by DST: "Generally speaking, research has shown, it's better for sleep, the body clock, and overall health to have more morning light and less evening light, as is the case under standard time. Under permanent daylight saving time, mornings would stay dark later in winter all over the country, with the western parts of each time zone seeing the sun the latest" [2]. Therefore, my argument still stands strong and there's no good counter that Con still holds.

To address counter-claims. The pop science article claims that the rates of heart attacks are higher in spring, period, but the study addresses the transition from winter to summer, noting that January and December were the worst overall. [3] They even include a helpful image to visualize this information. I'm not sure why the author of the pop science article generalizes this to account for March's transition to DST. So it's confusing and difficult to link together, even at the best. 

And keep in mind the Robbery argument works if we keep the *shift* of the DST, which is what the study argues will help. So either, 1) we keep the negative health effects, ambiguous energy effects, and weigh against the criminal deterrent effects, or 2) weigh permanent DST against ST (still keeping the negative healthy effects).

I did not drop any point other than that at one night per year, sleep is deprived for precisely one hour.

This is the only point Pro has raised that has any true grounds, the rest is either him hypocritically pointing to 'common sense' notions such as if the EU no longer enforces a DST on its nations that it should be removed (even though the vast majority of the nations have kept DST despite not being obligated to).

I will now lay out the points Pro has dropped, since this is becoming one of 'those debates'.

1. There’s more light to enjoy in the evening.

2. The crime rate drops during daylight saving time.

3. It minimizes energy consumption (and lowers your costs).

4. It lowers the incidence of traffic accidents.

Let's expand more on these points now.

The reason DST began in the first place was because the nation doesn't suddenly shift its daily routine and 'day vs night' shifts to accomodate for alterations of the sunlight (it would need to do so by minutes, regularly to be truly accurate). The idea being that when 12:00 hits it actually is midday. If DST is removed from nations that are very seasonal, what happens is that midday is much closer to what was originally 10AM or at least 11AM. The reason this occurs is that the sunlight doesn't simply get 'more or less' pivoted around midday, instead it shifts in an asymmetric manner vs the standard day hours.

In nations that are less seasonal, this is not the case and barely any shifting of hours is required, instead it's wet vs dry seasons where the hours of sunlight are generally symmetric vs 12PM throughout even if it's less vs more.

Now that I have properly clarified this, it can become clearer why for some people's lifestyles, who enjoy getting the most out of the morning, that they wouldn't be getting the most during summer. However, there is a flipside to DST that is to do with the winter (even though this is the period where DST is 'off'). DST nations aren't always defaulting away from what's ideal, sometimes there's no clear ideal vs non-ideal once they've realised what DST is and the benefits of it.

If you asked some nations to 'stop DST' they'd be extremely trapped between hours that benefit winter months (where the midday hits hardest at the equivalent of 1PM-2PM in summer hours) and this is an issue. Unless Pro would have a huge amount of nations shift to the '30 minute' timezones such as are used in India, Iran, part of Australia and some other nations ( perhaps 45-minute or 15-minute timezones, it's not so feasible to find a 'middleground' that ensures that midday consistently isn't far from the actual middle of sunlight hours in very seasonal nations.

Do you want to know what 'dropped points' are? All four of the emboldened points in what I quoted above. Everything I said in Round 1 is practically a dropped point by Pro, who has simply decided that losing one hour of sleep is the be-all and end-all of decision making on this. Health detriments that occur due to sleep deprivation occur when sleep is deprived regularly over long periods of time. It would take 3-4 full days and nights of national sleep deprivation to truly see health effects and the sleep deprivation surely would need to be longer than just one hour if we are talking the type of effects that will be stark and noticable on a national scale.

In fact, what Pro is doing is rather mocking and insulting towards people who have extremely busy lifestyles where they're sleep deprived or people who are suffering from chronic insomnia (they are also sleep-deprived but insomnia is when the person is involuntarily depriving their own sleep rather than lifestyle demanding they be awake).

I didn't 'drop' any point, you see, instead I agreed with Pro that chronic sleep loss has detrimental effects on health. We are talking about one night per year. Pro fails to notice that if one night is so severe that the night you get the 'extra hour of sleep' counteracts it and defeats his premise anyway. This isn't the case though, sleep's affect on health requires regular good vs deprived sleep to see the kind of health effects that Pro is talking about. That link he uses, while it is a scientific journal, is extremely juvenile in its approach. It compares significant jet lag (with huge hours of difference, not just one) and chronic sleep deprivation to one night per year. I indeed dismiss it on the basis of absurdity, it is exaggerating and in fact I would almost say faulty science in how it's drawn its conclusion and gone about proving its hypothesis. There's far too much confirmation bias at play.

I am not disregarding what sleep deprivation and insomnia are and how they affect sufferers. I am indeed disregarding one hour in one night of an entire year as qualifying as severe enough to be compared to this.

Sleep deprivation has no 'concrete' definition in hours and such but less than six hours per night is almost universally seen as insufficient sleep by the scientific community and a chance to study sleep deprivation:

I would even agree that if you lost 1 hour every night for an extended period of time that sleep deprivation symptoms will show (second link supports this).

This is hardly comparable to what is being done for DST. Pro is exaggerating, 'inventing dropped points' and dropping a huge proportion of my own points in order to win this debate. Dirty play all around, I do not approve.
Round 3
Con claims that I have dropped his four points, but I have successfully countered or outweighed them, and Con does not notice.

Con's source claims: More light = more time to do what you want or need to do = a happier you.

Yet the direct result of productivity dropped is not countered and the happiness is directly reduced, despite the pop science article's claims. It seems simply absurd that the more light would directly be able to counter the lack of sleep and disruption of circadian rhythm.

Con tries negating my biologist's opinions by pointing out a different kind of sleep deprivation, regarding not enough sleep over time. He doesn't seem to understand the circadian rhythm science offered by the experts. The effect is essentially the same as if you consistently lacked one extra hour of sleep every day. As my article further explores, "The best explanation for these findings is that the difference between our social clock—set by humans—and our body clock—set by the sun—increases toward the western edges of time zones. Thus, when 2 people wake up at 0700 h for work, the body clock of the person in the eastern edge may be set to 0700 h, but that of the person on the western edge may be set to 0600 h, and the difference between the 2 clocks leads to health and safety problems." Con refuses to meet my empirical evidence face on and instead arbitrarily decides that his logic is superior to actual results. We must not accept this red herring or straw man fallacy. I am not arguing that the DST somehow forces people to sleep only 5 hours, but that the difference in your natural body sleep cycle causes a reaction similar to that of 5 hour sleep. Therefore, my argument still stands strong.

I admit that there is a deterrence effect within robbery, however, it's very hard to measure how good the 27% drop with the evening hour. It hardly matches up to the traffic incidents, the health problems, along with the overall productivity lost. 

Con doesn't seem to understand precisely why DST is causing problems and thus missed the mark completely. He also thinks that the article's claims are similar to the effects of Jet Lag, but there is a remarkable difference. As yet another expert article realizes, " DST changes are not comparable with time changes after transmeridian flight (known as jet lag) because we stay where we are instead of exposing our body clocks to the new light–dark cycles of our travel destination." [1] The author highlights that many agree with Con's idea that only one hour cannot change much. Yet the body clock can be set back weeks, explaining why my first study highlights that we cannot adapt well to the situation.

In addition, my article further helps counter Con's autumn claim -- which I will note that he dropped. The higher risk in  spring is entirely avoidable by abolishing DST, and a pro-DST paper only highlighted the risk of myocardial infection increased. The article further adds on similar ideas that stack upon the negative effects, with shortened sleep, accidents to the emergency room, and negative mood changers overall. The negative stock trading soon after DST only further highlights how reckless people feel. The article goes into length analyzing various studies about chronic health effects, and prove that the small differences can culminate together for big changes. As a key take-away, the crux is "These results suggest that the discrepancy between the social clock and the sun clock even within a time zone can have a significant effect on health". Indeed, combined with the social jetlag which increases depression, obesity, and worsens cognitive performance, the correlation between chronotype inherently reduces the help. If this wasn't enough, the sleep loss is definitive and the undersleep/oversleep alteration causes the Social jetlag to be extended and fail to overcome my argument. 

The effects of DST can be achieved by also going to school or work one hour earlier. The companies may simply advance their start time during certain months of year, instead of having the government enforce the entire concept. The problems of DST overall are too much to cover for the benefits, and there are possible alternative solutions.

Now back to Con.

It seems simply absurd that the more light would directly be able to counter the lack of sleep and disruption of circadian rhythm.
- Pro R4

Now, let's look at what the word 'absurd' means.

Definition of absurd
 (Entry 1 of 2)
1: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous

Rather than pretend to be offended by his ad hominem attack that seems to add 'strength', let's ridicule and show unresonability AKA let's prove how absurd Pro's thesis is and the hypocrisy in the very logic by which he's declared that very point absurd.

Pro would have you believe that one hour, one hour of sleep one night a year outweighs the 6 months (or thereabouts) of productivity that ensues as a result.

That is absurd!

Pro brings up a new source/article to pretend I've been ignorant of his previous ones, this new article is is blatantly biased (it's written specifically to promote the abolition of DST, ironically by keeping to the DST hours rather than the one but that's not the point) and what Pro is telling you is written in it doesn't mean Pro has proven his point. I can tell you something is written in a source and flex it, that doesn't mean I myself has justified it unless I quote the actual part of it.

Pro tells you that the source disspells the 'common sense' notion that the body clock isn't so severely affected by one hour a year. This article itself doesn't explain it, it just keeps asserting that the body clocks is set back 'weeks', in fact it's absurd that the article doesn't explain how or why this is the case. All it does is state that your body clock is affected by DST hour change when the clocks are set back (which is the opposite of the DST change but is still relevant), then it links you to this (via the reference it's mentioned):

This article sets out to prove that the change involved in DST does have an effect, which I as Con already agreed. The way it shifts the populace is towards getting the most out of seasons where the sun is out more while shifting back so that midday actually hits in the middle of the day during the colder, less-sunlight-friendly seasons.

To this, Pro has sidestepped, avoided completely or tried to suggest all the effects of benefit are outweighed by one day/night a year's one hour's sleep loss. If one hour matters that much then doesn't the extra hour of sleep benefit everyone for weeks too? Seems rather self-defeating to make such a fuss and drama over one hour. I don't appreciate Pro's tone or way of debating in this debate, I find it outright rude and dirty play and frankly he doesn't deserve more of the character count from me than these 3k.
Round 4
Let's wrap this up.

Across this entire debate I've noted that the de-synchronization between the natural sleep cycle and the societal sleep cycle off by one hour produces horrible results: from depression, to worsened thinking, heart attacks, and worse sleep overall. Con tried to negate this using some arbitrary logic that people will spend more time in the sunlight to counter act my health detriments, but fails to completely refute my two articles noting drop of worker productivity beyond the fact that they are "behind paywalls" or that they are news articles. Not only does con repeat my article that highlights our inability to shift to the DST standard of time due to chronotypes in our body, he assumes that I am attacking his person rather than argument. Don't be confused and somehow give Con the conduct point. The lack of logic is what fails to support his argument, not his personality, or his person, or anything else. I find his explanation simply inefficient overall and unable to overcome the massive lost in productivity overall.

If the evidence wasn't enough, let's stack upon another one. A Paper on Psycnet explains the reasoning behind the lost productivity, stating "We also demonstrate that the shift to Daylight Saving Time (DST) results in a dramatic increase in cyberloafing behavior at the national level." [1] Even if voters don't buy this due to the last round argument, it seems that there is no other explanation for how workers feel more sleepy, or how they are actually less productive in the work place, despite the "more sun light" argument. My logic links together here with my results, while Con fails to explain why they fail to connect. Con continues to attack the sources, without explaining why their claims are wrong. This alone should raise a red flag and prove that his arguments fall apart once scrutinized.

And remember that Con has dropped the idea that workplaces and replicate the DST idea on a person to person basis (or company to company basis) without sacrificing the entire public's sake. DST is a government implemented standard, but this is simply too broad to apply for all persons. The resulting loss of health and the lack of benefits prove that DST should be abolished. Let's implement permanent standard time instead.

Vote for pro.

Pro barely made a case for workplaces being a Kritik'd alternative to Government-enforced DST.

I think it's irrelevant to the debate. I can easily drop ot because admitting workplaces should do it is admitting all businesses should so... What time os the rest of the nation going to run on???? I can easily drop that point, it supports DST being good.

Pro has been the one dropping ALL of my points, I addressed Pro's points in Round 2.