Saturday, March 10, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Time for a DST Forever

Photo by Sun Ladder
via Wikimedia Creative Commons

By Peggy Robin

Tonight we “spring ahead” and wake up after an hour’s less sleep. This may have been a good idea during World War I, when it might actually have been something of an energy saver – but the data shows it’s no longer that, and may even have a slight energy-wasting effect (see this Scientific American article for more about that: One thing that is certain is that it’s a twice a year nuisance to go around adjusting all the clocks and watches and time-keeping devices in the house. Now there’s a waste of energy for you! It’s a headache for parents of babies and toddlers, whose schedules are disrupted. It’s tough on dog owners, too -- their inner chronometers don’t reset when it’s time to go out and do their business first thing in the morning). Of course, farmers have been objecting to DST ever since the idea was first bandied about, and that goes back to Ben Franklin’s day. Farm animals, then as now, don’t care what a clock says.

For a clear, concise case for stopping this time-switching nonsense, I recommend this article from science writer Joseph Stromberg in Vox:, who says, when we turn the clocks ahead one hour tonight, that should be it – we should stay on Daylight Saving Time from here on out.

That seems to be the thinking of the Florida legislature, too. By a vote of 33-2 in the state senate and 103-11 in the house, the Florida state legislature is sending the bill on to the governor to make that change. If Governor Scott signs it, Florida will join Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands as rebels against Standard Time. Dave Barry may have dubbed Florida “The Punchline State” but that doesn’t mean that every political idea that comes out of Florida is a joke. Just all of them except this one.

If you agree that the rest of the country should follow suit, you can add your name to this petition to Congress to fix things:

What I’d like to propose is that the DC Council tackle this as a home rule issue. We can make our own DC time! Let the Council pass a law keeping us on Daylight Saving Time in November, and save us from any further clock-wrangling. Of course, our congressional overseers won’t stand for it, but we could stand up to them. Draw a line in the sands of the hourglass. Let DC be the master of its own time, and refuse to give Congress the time of day! How about it, Council Members? Mayor Bowser? Can we make the time change tonight the last for DC? Let’s spring ahead on this issue!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

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