Daylight Saving Time — The Annual Madness

Every year at this time we rant about Daylight saving time. We refer to it as a tyrannical directive which commands us (in the US) to reset our clocks tonight at midnight by moving them ahead one hour. We complain every year, so what we’ll do here is repeat the best of our earlier rumblings.

Some nations engage in this foolishness, some don’t. This website gives relevant information for most other countries: Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2017.

In the US, this maniacal mandate is the result of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, when Lyndon Johnson was President. It’s an intolerable governmental intrusion into all of our lives which upsets the natural order of things twice a year, and serves no useful purpose. Even the New York Times reports that Daylight Saving Time Wastes Energy.

The date for compliance this year is Sunday, 12 March. Like good, dutiful citizens, we will all obediently and unthinkingly comply. Your Curmudgeon will reset his clocks too, but as we do so we’ll be raising a middle finger to show our discontent. To keep things in perspective, think of this as “National Drop Trou and Bend Over Day,” which invites our governmental masters to have their way with us twice a year.

Aside from the idiotic inconvenience of running around all over the place resetting clocks — including our microwave oven, the timers for outside lights and lawn sprinklers, our automobile, and of course our wrist watch, the greatest inconvenience is that our splendid dogs, Argos (Aaaargh!) and Miss Scarlett, have built-in timers to tell them when they should be fed, and they don’t like their routines to be disrupted. Truly, this is an outrage!

Do you like getting up early? That’s your affair! If you run a business and you want the work day to start at 6:00 in the morning and end at 2:00 in the afternoon, and your employees are willing to comply, then do it. But why should everyone be forced to change his clocks? Politicians should leave our clocks alone!

Okay, that’s the end of our annual rant. Now it’s time for an Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. Use it for discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Daylight Saving Time — The Annual Madness

  1. Daylight saving, MEH, big deal.The country does it, so do it. But then I don’t really are bothered by it, and some do, but can never give a good reason.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Trumpism in a nutshell….

  3. While we’re at it, what’s with this new-fangled Gregorian calendar thingy?

    We proud users of the Julian calendar know that today is the 26th of February

  4. In south- to mid-Scandinavia, the sun tends to rise ridiculously early (4:30am in Summer) but still set well before bedtime- 10pm which would be 9pm without DST. So I’m actually rather happy with the extra light in the evening when I’m supposed to be awake, rather than when I’d like to turn on the other side and snore on.

    But I acknowledge the absolute drag of having to adjust umpteen (hidden) clocks, especially digital ones. I’ve already replaced some by radio-driven clocks.

    BTW your lawn sprinkler should be coupled to sunrise/sunset, not to any particular hour.

  5. I sure hope you’re joking about the outrage over DST. I can think of plenty of worse things Trump is doing to be outraged about.

  6. Doctor Stochastic

    I would imagine things are as they were in the 1960s. The Democrats loved Daylight Savings Time (in the fall, Daylight Payback Time in the spring) and the Republicans opposed. As far as I can tell, golf courses won at the expense of nightclubs and theaters. It’s a perfect government program; it gives the appearance of doing something affecting everyone, but in reality does nothing.

    The obvious cost is the problem of missed appointments. Even if one charges the client for missing the appointment, there’s the cost of rescheduling and the cost to the client of not having service at the appointed time (which is mutable by government law.) A secondary problem that I have heard about for years but never read any research on is the time it takes to get re-adjusted to the new schedules; it’s like a biennial jet-lag attack. It’s not big, but noticeable.

  7. So what’s the big deal? Of course, I live in Arizona, where only the Navajo Nation is as forward-thinking as the whole rest of the country. It’s a bigger problem when you fly into Phoenix, and the Captain comes on the intercom to warn the passengers, “We’re on landing approach to Phoenix Sky Harbor; please set your watches back 50 years.”

  8. I wonder whether the situation was better before the The Big Government intervened, and various local governments, such as cities, decided on DST. So we had the city council of Podunk having a yearly debate about DST, and we had to wonder until the last moment whether whether it was going on DST. Meanwhile, the suburb of North Podunk was making its own decision. If there was disagreement, then everyone had to make sure when they were making their appointment to ask whether that was in Podunk or North Podunk.
    Let alone before Big Government caved into the World Government and imposed Standard Time rather than God’s time. The Great Old Days, when every farmer milked his cows by Sun Time, not what those city folks decreed was to be the uniform time for all of Podunk, and tried to force the farmers, who had no say in the matter but had to buy their supplies on city time.

  9. FYI, Michael Fugate’s link above to the Nonsequitur cartoon about Trump now links to today’s (Sunday’s) Nonsequitur, which is a great comment on DST.

  10. Dave Luckett

    Four Australian states have summer DST. The Liberals (read “conservatives”) brought it in here, in Western Australia, three times. Then they were forced to a referendum each time, and each time it was voted out, by increasing margins.

    The Liberals want it because they’re the party of big business (though of course they pretend not to be) and their top-end-of-town mates want it because their head offices are in Sydney and Melbourne, and with them having DS and us not, the time difference increases to three hours in summer. That’s inconvenient for them, and of course we can’t have that.

    But see, in Perth the very last thing you want to do is to lengthen the summer afternoons and evenings. Perth summer days can be scorchers – 40 degrees F – and you just hang out for the sea breeze to arrive in the mid to late afternoon, or if it fails, for the sun to go down. Perth is on a western margin, and the sun sets over the sea, on the true horizon, and not behind hills or mountains, as in Sydney or Melbourne. So with DS time, any relief is put off by an hour, and the only cool daylight hour retreats into the night. Dawn comes before 5 AM, DST.

    All of which means that if the Liberals try once more and avoid the backlash – not a good bet, but maybe – I’m moving. But as Americans will certainly not be aware, Labor (the quasi-kinda-sorta left-of-centre party) won last Saturday’s State election in a landslide, burying the Liberals and the lunatics even further right than them, and DST is NOT going to happen for at least the next four years. Bad cess to it.

  11. @Dave Luckett — You meant 40º Celsius for a summer afternoon in Perth, right? Is there much humidity with that? Granted, 40º C. (104º F.) is plenty hot enough in its own right.

  12. Dave Luckett

    @ retiredsciguy: At one time, I would have said that the humidity was low, at that temperature. Now, I’m not so sure. Climate here is definitely changing. We used to call it a Mediterranean climate, hot dry summers and cool wet winters. But now summer feels more subtropical, hot and with more rain, if not precisely wet, and the winter rains have pretty much failed for seven of the last ten years, with disastrous effects. Perth now has to rely on ground water and desalinated seawater, instead of dam storage.

    The good news, if that is the word, is that the far north has gotten wetter as the monsoons come further south. This may, in time, encourage closer settlement – if you can stand a climate like that.

  13. Dave Luckett

    Oh, and I just noticed my error. 40 degrees C, not F.