I’ve written several times about how much I hate Daylight Saving Time. Today I want to discuss it with less than my usual hysteria and just offer some practical words.
(Side rant: Those of you who feel Donald Trump is the worst, most dangerous President in US history – I have to disagree. I didn’t vote for him last time, and I’m almost certainly not going to vote for him this time either. But Woodrow Wilson is the worst US President ever, and it’s really not even close. The Wilson presidency brought us entrance into World War I, the creation of the Federal Reserve, the codification of the Income Tax, Prohibition [which drove alcohol sales underground, leading to the birth of the Mafia], and the disaster we call Daylight Saving Time. This list of deeds makes Trump’s name-calling, excessive and juvenile tweets, and staff merry-go-round changes look quite pale in comparison. End of rant.)
Why Is It Bad?
DST is a killer, literally. Heart attacks increase by 24%. Numerous studies have shown that the start of DST contributes to an increase in workplace accidents, including this one. And there persists this goofy narrative that the sun setting 1 hour later means that we save gazillions of dollars on energy bills by not having to turn lights in the house until 1 hour later. It’s true that you don’t have to turn lights on for an extra hour. But it’s also true that your HVAC system has to run harder with daytime heat lasting longer.
Overall, there has been extensive research on the concept of DST saving energy. No definitive conclusion has been reached. For every study that says it does save energy, there is another that says it does not.
Worse, it wasn’t even those pesky environmentalists that started this mess in the first place. It was the retail industry. Apparently, this industry believes that people driving home from work are far more likely to stop and shop on the way if the sun is still out during their commute. So even the time the sun sets is influenced by money.
Will It Be Eliminated?
I am not the only one that feels this way. Farmers despise DST. It seems that animals do not attempt to adjust their activity to reflect the change in the clock the way humans try to do, shockingly enough. It seems that animals expect to be fed at the same time – they don’t seem to feel that waiting another hour because the humans changed the clock means all that much.
Further, to my utter amazement, I found that one person who feels the same way is none other than President Trump. He tweeted at the onset of DST in 2019 that eliminating the “fall back” in November was fine with him.
As we all know, Prez loves to tweet in moments of high emotion, and I’m sure he sent that tweet as his equilibrium was as jacked up as it could get, as it is with most of us the Monday morning after the DST switch. I drink more coffee on DST Monday than any other day of the year, even now when I don’t have to report to a corporate job at 7 AM any longer.
What Should We Do?
Give me a minute to digest that I’m in 100% agreement with Trump on something……
OK, I’m back. What he tweeted in 2019 is exactly what we should do. When it’s time to roll the clock back in November, we should not. I live in what is right now referred to as Eastern Daylight Time. When DST ends, it becomes Eastern Standard Time. “Daylight” should be re-branded “Standard”, and no time change should occur in November.
You may be wondering, would there be negative consequences? I suppose so – one I can think of is that in December in the northern US, the sun would not rise until after 9 AM. That may have some negative effects on highway safety. But at least those poor souls would no longer be dealing with a 4 PM sunset as they do now. They would at least have daylight until 5 PM. This is also true of all the communities on the eastern border of time zones – Alabama’s winter sunset isn’t much after 4:00 either.
I feel confident that getting rid of the spike in workplace accidents and general discombobulation that we all go through for a week would far outweigh any potential risks in eliminating the “fall back” concept. I will keep that hope in my heart as I move through this most dangerous week of the year.