Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Travesty of Daylight Saving Time

Just when things were starting to seem normal again the rug gets pulled from under the millions of early commuters in this country. Finally, they were able to see at least a touch of daylight in the mornings before they entered their often windowless workplaces. But not tomorrow, thanks to the idiotic Daylight Saving Time legislation that our brilliant representatives decided to make effective even earlier this year.

My work commute starts at 6:10 a.m., Houston-time, every morning and for the last two weeks it allowed me to watch the sun come up and to arrive at the office under enough daylight that I actually felt that I was not arriving for work in the middle of the night but at the start of a new day. It is amazing how much better that made me feel about the workday ahead of me. But that all ends tomorrow morning thanks to all those congressional brainiacs we insist on returning to Washington D.C. over and over again. I'll be trudging to the front door in the dark tomorrow morning. Thanks, guys.

It is not just commuters like me. I really feel sorry for those high school students I often see standing at the bus stop in pitch darkness, especially as cold as it has been around here lately. They, too, were starting to see a little daylight before that old yellow bus stopped to pick them up. No more, guys. Congress knows better than that.

John J. Miller, writing at NRO Weekend, has a nice recap of how we reached this insanity and shoots down all of the original arguments for implementing DST and for keeping it alive. But as he says, maybe we should keep our mouths shut because we surely don't want Congress tinkering with the law any more than it just did:
"But maybe we should keep that troubling little fact to ourselves, before Congress decides to impose the National Bedtime Hour."
I'm starting to understand how Charlie Brown felt every time he approached that football and Lucy snatched it away from him at the last second.

12 comments:

  1. Here in the Rockies, we had the opposite problem. When the fall daylight savings took effect, it suddenly was pitch black before six at night, which was horrible. All in all, though, I just think daylight savings in general is really silly.

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  2. This is interesting, because I've always felt exactly the opposite about getting up and leaving in the dark - is it a morning person thing? When I was in school, I would actually feel depressed for the whole day if the sun was already up when I got out of bed. Funny how people are different. And yeah, akin to what eva said - I've lived on the far eastern edge of time zones for the past decade or so, places where for 1/4 of the year it's totally dark by 4:00. Which is also depressing, in the sense that it's been dark for hours, sometimes, before I leave the office.

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  3. Eva, that reminds me of the years I spent in London...winter days where it got daylight around nine and dark by three. I never did get used to that...but the summer days were tremendously long with daybreak before five and sunset well after ten. I suppose it all evened out even with the lack of sleep I got in the summer months.

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  4. Mella, I'm a morning person so I don't think that's what it is...must be some other psychological explanation for it. Part of it might be, too, that I don't see all that well when driving in the dark and facing oncoming headlights...maybe that's why I loved driving in during the last two weeks as opposed to driving in the darkness.

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  5. That would make a big difference, Sam. Commuting isn't much fun under the best of circumstances, and only worse when the driving conditions are chronically uncomfortable.

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  6. Yeah, just last week when I went in for my second "early day" wherein I actually arrive at work at 6 a.m. it was really nice to have the sun rising as I was headed in from the parking lot, but alas no more. But I do like it being light later, too, so it's a hard call!

    I think a ridiculous quote I remember from some senator/congressman when the legislation was passed kind of encompasses the inanity of it all, "This is a victory for sunlight lovers everywhere!" (Um...are you serious?) Except for if you like the sun to light your early morning, of course.

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  7. It's especially bad for me on wet mornings, Mella. With the lights shining in my eyes I have a difficult time finding some of the little streets I turn on before I'm past them. :-)

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  8. I think the whole concept is ridiculous, Megan. Supposedly DST saves energy and money but some studies prove just the opposite to be the case, so why not leave well enough alone?

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  9. The whole process of changing clocks is ridiculous. The same thing could be accomplished by having summer business hours and winter business hours -- not that I'd actually want them to do that either.

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  10. I'm glad there's no daylight savings over here. I felt similar to PMS whenever I would "spring forward". People thought I was making up feeling unwell, but they soon learned and tiptoed for a few days.

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  11. You're right, Syndi, but I wonder how the "psychology" of that would play on people's minds? Office hours beginning at six might bother some people...but getting off at three would be nice. I wonder how everyone would react.

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  12. Bybee, I've heard from a few grumpy people at the office that it takes them a week or more to get themselves back in sync. It doesn't affect me at all physically as far as I can tell...just ticks me off.

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