Millions of groggy Americans woke up early today wondering whether the daylight does, indeed, need saving. Amid long-standing cases for more uniform time zones and getting rid of daylight saving altogether, John Oliver educated Americans on the silliness of it all.
Some of his points, and some that Quartz and others have made this year:
No, it’s not for the farmers: That’s what folklore has led us to believe. But daylight saving was actually invented and first implemented by the Germans to save electricity during World War I. As Oliver’s segment explains, “Cows don’t care what time it is, because they’re cows. And cows are idiots.”
And yet, it doesn’t save electricity: We use electricity whether our lights are on or not. As Oliver’s video notes, you can thank modern technology for that. “Because switching on a lamp an hour later in the summer doesn’t really matter when you’re blasting an air conditioner and staying up all night psychotically scrolling through your ex’s Instagrams.”
Oliver perhaps has some skin in the game when it comes to ending daylight saving—television ratings tend to suffer in the week after the time change.