Daylight Saving Time blows.
NOTE: Much like Groundhog [singular] Day, the correct usage of Daylight Saving [singular!] Time is NOT pluralized, I’ve come to discover. Who knew?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not against it in either practice OR principle. It’s a lovely goal to try and conserve energy (ostensibly the goal of the program). And luxuriating in that “extra hour” of sleep in the fall is just LOVELY.
So why am I possibly whining about it, then?
Because, come on: it’s KIND OF ridiculous.
First of all, who the heck RUNS this program? Who decides when we’re turning our clocks forward or back? It’s a federally-mandated program (under the The Uniform Time Act of 1966), even though entire states opt-out of it, like Hawaii and Arizona. But who is on this committee that decided to bump our “spring forward” back?
Secondly, if I could find these mysterious people (shrouded in as much secrecy as the MPAA Ratings board), I would berate them heavily for MESSING with the dates. . . In 2007, they started to make us spring forward three weeks earlier. Which means that we get one week of awakening to sunlight, then [whoosh!] back to waking up in what feels like nighttime.
I’m fairly convinced they only did it because they have some sort of arrangement with Starbucks to boost consumption. I know I certainly need a caffeinated boost to get my system through that shock! Why not leave it the first weekend in April, as it has been my entire life, so that we can still wake up to sunlight?
Plus, we’re no longer on the same schedule as the European Union. They “spring forward” three weeks from now, in the last weekend of March. Meaning, if you already have to do the calculations between one time zone and another to do business or to connect with family, for three weeks, you need to remember to augment your math until the rest of the world catches up.
Also, can we actually say this works? Consider this:
“The argument in favor of saving energy swayed Indiana, where until 2005, only about 16 percent of counties observed Daylight Saving Time. Based on the DOT study, advocates of Indiana DST estimated that the state’s residents would save over $7 million in electricity costs each year. Now that Indiana has made the switch, however, researchers have found the opposite to be the case. Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, compared energy usage over the course of three years in Indiana counties that switched from year-round Standard Time to DST. They found that Indianans actually spent $8.6 million more each year because of Daylight Saving Time, and increased emissions came with a social cost of between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year. Commentators have theorized that the energy jump is due to the increased prevalence of home air conditioning over the past 40 years, in that more daylight toward the end of a summer’s day means that people are more likely to use their air conditioners when they come home from work.” [Source: webexhibits.org/daylightsaving]
Now, Ben Franklin was a pretty smart guy; he thought up a lot of great things (did you know he’s the one responsible?) . . . but this may be an ideal that is either not living up to its potential or is past its time.
But maybe you’ll just have to forgive this diatribe. I had to get up REALLY early this morning.