Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.
— An Indian Chief’s observation when he heard about the government’s action on Daylight-Saving Time.
“Have you noticed how dark it is in the mornings?” my daughter asked Sunday afternoon.
“And next week it’ll be light again when you get up for work,” I said.
Her eyes were question marks.
“Time changes Sunday,” I reminded her, “lighter in the mornings…darker in the evenings…”
“ACK! NO! Is it that time already?”
Yup, it’s ti-i-i-me.
Nothing gets me wound up like pending time change. My mind has been made up long since about the foolishness of clocks “springing” ahead and “falling back.” If clocks were left alone there would be a gradual, natural change from daylight to dark, dark to daylight — an astrological dimmer switch, so to speak — not the mind-numbing jolt we get now.
A scholar once said, “Daylight-Saving Time effectively transfers an hour of little-used early morning light to evening.” Where, I wonder, did that “scholar” get his education? Didn’t we all learn in fourth or fifth grade that early morning light comes from the east. If an hour were truly “moved,” we’d have morning sun at dinnertime, wouldn’t we?
To the rationale, lose an hour’s sleep in the spring, gain it back in the fall, I say bollocks. I have never met anyone who lolls around for months thinking, oooh, I can’t wait until I get back that hour’s sleep I lost. Saying time “springs forward” and “falls back” doesn’t make it so. And what are we saving daylight from?
Six years ago the Congress-approved Energy Policy Act went into effect. One of the provisions added four more weeks of DST, changing the previous April/October dates established in 1966 to March/November. Some have questioned whether daylight-saving results in net energy savings. Really? Y’think?
One debatable reason for extending into November was that it would encourage greater voter participation because more people would go to the polls if it was still light when they returned home from work. The argument has some holes: not everyone leaves work at 5:00 p.m; some people work nights; some don’t have jobs to return home from; and others simply don’t vote because they can’t bring themselves to elect any of the candidates.
Frankly, I doubt that adding four weeks to Daylight-Saving Time has increased voter turn-out at all. Now, if they were to tack-on Congressional term limits, I’ll bet voters would knock down the doors to cast their ballots, especially this November!