Can We Please Just Stay on DST All Year?

end-of-dayling-saving

I’ve seen this cartoon going around a lot lately, and even shared it myself a year or two ago. Let me start by saying: I think Standard Time SUX. I was so happy when they extended Daylight Saving Time (DST – no “s” on Saving if you want to be technically accurate) around 10 years ago.

As an equestrian, all the other riders I know really appreciate having extra daylight after work to see their horse and ride. Us outdoor sportpeople/working stiffs have a really hard time fumbling around in the dark and cold. I’ve also recently learned from Facebook that parents HATE the time change because it messes up their kids’ sleep cycles for a long time.

Personally, the winter “fall back” absolutely knocks me on my butt. It’s been a few weeks and I still feel like death in the evenings and can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything at all other than fall asleep too early.

Since California is on the eastern edge of the time zone, we already have about an hour less of daylight in the evening than I did living in Kentucky, which while at a similar latitude, fell on the far western edge of the Eastern time zone. It’s pitch black by 4:30 p.m. on the shortest day of the year here vs. 5:30 p.m. in Kentucky.

I just discovered that California made a move to pass a bill this July that would keep DST going year-round in the state! (http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/05/daylight-saving-time-is-here-to-stay-in-california/) Wuuut?! How did I not know about this? It’s one of my dearest-held beliefs. Should it ever pass, the U.S. government would have to “allow” it, however.

I won’t bore you with the history of DST, which goes all the way back to Benjamin Franklin before being instituted throughout [most of] the USA in the 1960s. There was a brief flirt with year-round DST from Jan. 1974 – April 1975 during the oil embargo to save energy, but it’s been seasonal since then, albeit with two extensions, so that we now observe from March-Nov. instead of May-Oct.

PROS: DST has proven to be good for business, since people prefer to go out shopping after work if it’s light out. Of course there would be health benefits if people are more motivated to exercise when it’s daylight after work. It would be safer for pedestrians and drivers after work to navigate in daylight. Plus, the mere act of changing time in and of itself causes a rise in heart attacks, traffic accidents, and general lack of productivity while your body undergoes the “jet lag” period.

CONS: I always see people who say they “hate” the summer time change… I’m not sure who these people are. People who want daylight at 4:30 a.m. in the summer, maybe? It’s been proven that there is negligible energy savings in winter by having morning sunlight. Most of us wake up in the dark no matter what during the winter. The most legitimate downside I can see is children having to walk to bus stops in the dark … although I’m also a fan of later school start time to let growing bodies get much-needed sleep (separate rant).

What say you? Year-round DST, year-round ST, or leave it alone?

2 thoughts on “Can We Please Just Stay on DST All Year?

  1. I don’t mind DST in KY since the sun didn’t come out until after 8 am before the change. CA could do it’s own thing, there are areas of the country and parts of states that stay on it all year.

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