Sunday, March 6, 2016

Burning Daylight

So, it's just around the corner. Yet again. Daylight Saving Time. Another year with the horrible weeks of adjusting to a new timezone without even moving. Now I can sort of theoretically understand that there are people that like it.

There are people that don't have flexible schedules, that have a little more daylight after work to... Well, do something. But there aren't that many people that participate in outdoor recreation after work. And for the rest of us, well, we don't really get anything out of it.

Farmers have objected since it was begun. But claims that it saves energy, are pretty well disputed. And if you think about it, a lot of the electricity use in the summer is air conditioning, and merely shifting the clock doesn't do much about that.

In researching this I found that Congress used to be able to get things done. Back in 1919 Congress repealed Daylight Saving Time after WWI. And President Wilson vetoed it. Twice. Well, they overrode the veto the second time. It wasn't really until WWII that Daylight Saving Time came back in this country.

And we've been stuck with it ever since. It became law in California in 1949. But maybe this year we can pull back from the insanity. There is now a bill (AB 2496) in the Assembly in Sacramento to fix this. There is still a long way to go. It has to pass both houses and be signed by the Governor. Then it will be put on the ballot and has to be approved by the people of California. OK. There is a really long way to go. But I can hope.

And it's not like we don't have an example of a state that doesn't use it. Arizona is right next door and doesn't use Daylight Saving Time. And they seem to get by OK. (I'm not sure the peculiarities of the people of Arizona can be blamed on not having enough daylight in the evening.)

 So we may have to go another year (hopefully not more) suffering through changing the clocks every few months, but hopefully the end is in sight. (Though how we'll remind people to check their smoke detector batteries, will still need worked out.) And then, well, my sundial won't be an hour off every summer. And won't that be worth it.

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