Because we may be off-line this weekend, we thought we should post about what’s coming Sunday night, 11 March. Yes, you know — it’s Daylight saving time. We rant about it twice a year — when it starts, and when it ends. Last year’s rant at this time was Daylight Saving Time — The Annual Madness.
By a wonderful coincidence, we just found this headline at PhysOrg: 100 years later, the madness of daylight saving time endures. Instead of repeating chunks of our annual rant, we’ll give you some excerpts from what they say, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
One hundred years after Congress passed the first daylight saving legislation, lawmakers in Florida this week passed the “Sunshine Protection Act,” which will make daylight saving a year-round reality in the Sunshine State. If approved by the federal government, this will effectively move Florida’s residents one time zone to the east, aligning cities from Jacksonville to Miami with Nova Scotia rather than New York and Washington, D.C.
How wonderful! For half of each year, Florida will be out of sync with everyone else in their time zone. They link to this article in the Miami Herald: Legislature approves year-round daylight saving time — but it’s not a done deal yet. That newspaper says:
If approved, Florida would join two other states that have exempted themselves from the 1966 law that set a uniform time for all time zones across the country. Hawaii and most of Arizona are on standard time year-round.
Then PhysOrg tells us:
The cost of rescheduling international and interstate business and commerce hasn’t been calculated. Instead, relying on the same overly optimistic math that led the original proponents of daylight saving to predict vast energy savings, crisper farm products harvested before the morning dew dried and lessened eye strain for industrial workers, Florida legislators are lauding the benefits of putting “more sunshine in our lives.”
It’s absurd – and fitting – that a century later, opponents and supporters of daylight saving are still not sure exactly what it does. Despite its name, daylight saving has never saved anyone anything. But it has proven to be a fantastically effective retail spending plan.
Skipping some history of the crazy scheme, they continue:
But the promised energy savings – the presenting rationale for the policy – have never materialized. In fact, the best studies we have prove that Americans use more domestic electricity when they practice daylight saving. Moreover, when we turn off the TV and go to the park or the mall in the evening sunlight, Americans don’t walk. We get in our cars and drive. Daylight saving actually increases gasoline consumption, and it’s a cynical substitute for genuine energy conservation policy.
PhysOrg finishes their article with this:
On Jan. 8, 1974, Richard Nixon forced Floridians and the entire nation into a year-round daylight saving – a vain attempt to stave off an energy crisis and lessen the impact of an OPEC oil embargo. But before the end of the first month of daylight saving that January, eight children died in traffic accidents in Florida, and a spokesperson for Florida’s education department attributed six of those deaths directly to children going to school in darkness.
Lesson learned? Apparently not.
It’s good to see someone else who shares your Curmudgeon’s opinion of this annual insanity. We’ll finish with an excerpt from our rant from last year:
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!
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