Daylight? No, We Need Headache Saving Time!

Editorial written by James Baughn on Monday, April 3, 2000

from the spring-forward-into-a-brick-wall dept.

Future generations are going to look back on us and laugh. Why? Because of Daylight Saving Time, that great arbitrary changing of the clocks that nobody can give a clear explanation for. Our great-great- great-grandchildren will look back on and laugh at their poor ancestors bumbling about for two weeks out of the year, their bodies suffering from government-induced jet lag and their clocks and wristwatches all out of kilter.

It's time to quit the bi-annual changing of the clocks. We need to either adopt permanent Daylight Saving Time, permanent Standard Time, or some other method that would eliminate forcing people to readjust to a new arbitrary time standard twice per year. The Mexicans are protesting the time change, and so should we.

The activists behind have a novel approach to eliminating DST. They want to consolidate the continental US into two effective time zones, instead of four. Central Time would remain on permanent DST while Eastern would remain on Standard, so that the time would be the same in both zones. Mountain and Pacific would work the same way.

This proposal isn't perfect, of course, but perfection is impossible on a planet with a seasonal axial tilt. Those of us living in Central Time would get later sunsets in the summer in exchange for darker mornings in the winter. Easterners would have the opposite trade-off: lighter mornings, darker evenings.

Under this scheme, you wouldn't need to keep changing clocks. No more wondering, "Have I already set this clock? Am I late? What time is it really?" during the week after. Newspapers wouldn't need to devote dead trees to articles about DST twice per year.

And most importantly, no more arriving at work or school on a dreary Monday following the shortest weekend of the year, only to fall asleep before you reach the coffee machine.

I would write an assertive letter to a Congresscritter about this issue right now, but I'm too tired. Maybe in another six months I'll be finally caught up with my sleep, but by then the return to Standard Time will be just around the corner. Sheesh.