Public Opinion

Many politicians assume the public prefers DST, but data and history indicate otherwise. Preference between the two times is rarely asked, and polls depend heavily on how and when they’re conducted. Most people don’t know which time is which (granted, it can be confusing). Many who think they prefer DST usually just prefer summer’s naturally longer days, without realizing how dark winter mornings would be under permanent DST.1234

Those who favor one time or the other are generally split (40% Standard vs 31% DST in a 2019 October scientific poll of 1,075 Americans;56 35% DST vs 28% Standard in a 2019 March scientific poll of 1,288 Americans7).

The majority clearly wish to stop changing clocks as soon as possible (93% in a 2019 governmental poll of 223,273 British Columbians;8 84% in a 2018 governmental poll of 4.6M Europeans;9101112 67% in a 2018 scientific poll of 600 Pacific Northwesterners;13 60% in California’s 2018 Prop 7 ballot measure;214 54% in a 2019 scientific poll of 1,288 Americans7).

History has shown when public opinion favors permanent DST before enactment, support quickly reverses to opposition after DST’s long, dark winter mornings are experienced. This happened most clearly in the US in 1974, when support for permanent DST dropped from 79% to 42% in a matter of months. Similar outcomes occurred in the UK in 1971, and in Russia in 2014.2151617181920

Public opinion demands we stop changing clocks now. The quickest, easiest, safest way is to restore permanent Standard Time. Moreover, public health demands we both stop changing clocks now and choose permanent Standard Time. Public health must take precedence over shifting public opinion of the two times.21621

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Works Cited

1Achenbach, JoelSpringing Forward to Daylight Saving Time Is Obsolete, Confusing and Unhealthy, Critics SayThe Washington Post

2Herf, MichaelWhy Standard Time Is BetterMedium.com

3Meijer & FosterTime to Change—But Only to ‘Wintertime’Daylight Academy

4Rasmussen StaffJust 33% See the Purpose of Daylight Saving TimeRasmussen Reports

5AP-NORC StaffDaylight Saving Time vs Standard TimeThe Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

6Davies, TomAP-NORC Poll: Most Americans Dislike Twice-a-Year Time FlopsAP News

7Ballard, Jamie54% of Americans Would Support Ending Daylight Saving TimeYouGov

8Crawford & BoyntonSleep Expert Says B.C. Should Stay on Standard Time Rather Than Switch to Daylight SavingGlobal News

9Cohen, BenyaminDo We Still Need Daylight Saving Time?Mother Nature Network

10European Commision StaffSummertime Consultation: 84% Want Europe to Stop Changing the ClockEuropean Commission

11Schreuer, MilanEU Will Let Countries Decide Whether to Use Daylight SavingThe New York Times

12Watson, NathanielTime to Show Leadership on the Daylight Saving Time DebateJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

13PEMCO StaffResidents Face Setbacks When It’s Time to Spring ForwardPEMCO Insurance

14Sheeler, AndrewDaylight Saving Time Will Continue in California for Now, as Lawmaker Delays BillMerced Sun–Star

15BBC StaffRussia: Putin Abolishes ‘Daylight Savings’ Time ChangeBBC News

16Herf & LongcoreWhy Proposition 7 Is Bad for Public HealthMedium.com

17Lindsay, BethanyHealth Risk Warnings Ignored as B.C. Moves to Permanent Daylight Time, Researchers SayCBC

18Merline, JohnTime to Ditch Daylight Saving Time—It’s a Killer That Doesn’t Save EnergyInvestor’s Business Daily

19Ripley, AnthonySenate Votes Return to Standard Time for Four Months and Sends Bill to FordThe New York Times

20Yorkshire Evening Post StaffBritish Summer Time: Why Do We Change the Clocks?Yorkshire Evening Post

21Roenneberg et alDaylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones – A Battle Between Biological and Social TimesFrontiers in Physiology