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Today I noticed that it’s almost Halloween and we’re still on Daylight Saving Time. Yesterday I washed the car and long shadows from a nearby clump of cedar trees shaded it so it didn’t dry. At 3 PM. It’s cold out here and we’re getting snow on the mountains. Enough with Daylight Saving Time already!
What Standard Time?
Standard Time ended March 10th this year. It returns November 3. That’s seven months out of twelve we are on Daylight Saving Time. That makes it, to me, the standard time, not the puny five months left of the year.
In my neck of the woods, winter lasts up to seven months. We start in mid- October and can end in mid-May. Who needs to save daylight when it’s freezing out? This is no time to fire up the grill and hang out on the porch with brewskis. It’s time for a fire in the woodstove, brewskis optional.
In my view we are well equipped as a society to deal with the length of days waxing and waning. We have many sources of light to get us around when the sun goes down and before it comes up again.
Hazards of messing with the clock
This clock-adjusting mania has made a normally anxiety-laden act of getting up by alarm clock each morning even more scary. What if I forget that one-hour change?
And as a former shift worker who rotated days, evenings, and overnights with 48 hour breaks in between 6-day sets, I assure you that time shifting takes a lot out of you. Spring makes our sleep deprivation worse with the loss of an hour. It’s been implicated in car accidents, for crying out loud. Who needs that?
I’d love to see the data from worker’s compensation insurance companies about when they have peak claims. Industry can be a hazardous place to be without proper sleep.
Kids in school don’t need to have their sleep time jerked around for no good reason either. They already have enough on their list of demands, showing up to school before 8 AM, without having it suddenly be 7 AM. They don’t need a clock that lies.
Let’s face it, there’s real human misery attached to this quaint custom of Daylight Saving Time.
Here’s the science.
Why do we have it?
Some say we have Daylight Saving Time for the farmers, but if you are a farmer and work for yourself, you decide when to start and stop and what chores to do when. Right? OK, the cows are milked twice daily, and they get used to a schedule. What possible advantage would there be to confuse them as to when to get milked?
Yes, they would be confused. Many animals have a sense of time and of physical needs and would be confused. It stands to reason if you are full of milk every so many hours you might go get relieved of it on a schedule not determined by some clock people fiddle with twice a year. The farmer, if he’s wise, works with the cows.
War blackouts? Guess what? We now have the technology to obliterate any place on the globe without looking at it. Cheer up, we aren’t having Daylight Saving Time for that.
Daily life for the rest of us
Electrical savings? If it’s dark, the lights go on. If Mom is home after work, laundry is likely to be running, daylight or no daylight. You only have so many hours, after all. Kids to bathe, dishes to clean, meals to cook and so on back through the day. It doesn’t matter whether the sun is up. We are doing what needs doing when we are available to do it.
Factories? We now have less manufacturing in this country than we have had since before the Second World War. More of these factories use robotics to do the actual manufacturing, and the robots don’t care about the status of Old Sol. Manufacturing plants do special deals with the electrical companies to get good rates for themselves that don’t depend on when the sun is up.
And the rest of the working world? Pretty much people have adapted. People are good at that. They work in lighted buildings with computers and such. Their cars have lights on so they can travel any time. Trucks are similarly equipped and run all hours.
So why have Daylight Saving Time?
Apparently some retailers might miss out on people motoring around with nothing better to do while the sun is still up than spend money. I’d guess if they were all that keen on getting rid of money they could as easily do it in the dark, for reasons stated above.
Other than that, no reason occurs to me that Daylight Saving Time is anything more than an anachronistic PITA. It is a bit of extra control exerted on those of us who don’t live in Arizona for no other reason than that it can be exerted. It’s power to yank people around. Somebody must enjoy that. Therefore, I am opposed to it.
What say you? Should it stay or should it go?