Will Call: All in good time
I’ve written before about how frustratingly arbitrary our calendar is, but nothing bugs me more than Daylight Saving Time.
Perhaps it makes a certain amount of sense to fiddle with the dial in times of war or shortage, which is how the concept got a foothold in this and other countries. Used all the time, though, it seems like a cheap way of tricking us all into a schedule adjustment we could just as easily make ourselves.
A slow transition is manageable, but instead, twice a year we’re all forced to alter our rhythms all at once. I, at least, find it takes at least a week for my internal clock to cooperate on sleep and meals. Even as something of a morning person, I find the spring particularly rough as it leaves me rising in the dark and struggling to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
As such, if I had my druthers, we’d be on Standard Time year-round. It seems most natural to have the sun directly overhead at noon, it’s already what we use when light is most scarce in the winter, and it doesn’t involve losing an hour. Arizona is already doing just that.
Sean Johnson has a different idea, though, and he’s actually doing something about it. Two years ago, he and his wife launched a petition to get permanent Daylight Saving Time in Colorado.
“If the statistics rolled in favor of staying on standard time year round, I would have done it that way,” he told me. “When you look at how benefits of one or the other in terms of energy usage, crime, commerce, etc., it’s better to get an extra hour in the evening versus an extra hour in the morning.”
That is, after all, the whole point of messing with the clock in the first place. And while I’m annoyed by the theory, it’s the actual change that really gets under my skin. Staying on DST year-round would align us with our mountain neighbors most of the year and our narrow border with Central Time during the winter. A few seasonal industries like ski resorts might have to tweak their schedules, but it would likely prove easier overall.
The measure didn’t garner enough signatures to get on the ballot, however. The Johnsons had trouble getting enough funding or volunteers to collect them, so there wasn’t a single place to weigh in on the Western Slope. Before they try again, they’re looking for donations. Sean laid out his reasoning Sunday in a Denver Post column (denverpost.com/2016/11/05/why-not-have-daylight-saving-time-all-year/), but neglected to mention the website: stopthetimechanges.com. There you can find links to the gofundme page, social media and a place to sign up for email updates.
I’m well aware that there are many more pressing issues to attend to in our society, but this one is relatively easy to solve. Now, with the discomfort of the change fresh in your mind, is a good time to do something about it. At the very least, you’ll feel more justified in grumbling when it comes time to change again in March.
Will Grandbois is doing his best to break the habit of pluralizing Daylight Savings. He can be reached at 384-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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