Opinion: Terrible time theft set for Nov. 2 | PostIndependent.com

Opinion: Terrible time theft set for Nov. 2

Ken Johnson
Free Press Opinion Columnist

OK. Is it time to get active in getting rid of that mistake called Daylight Saving Time? Are you already tired of getting up in the dark and seeing the evening hours vanish?

On Sunday, Nov. 2, our clocks will leap backward an hour, unless we’re in Arizona. Those people seem to do just fine with one time, year round.

So do those living in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, plus about 160 other countries around the world.

But no — we’re too smart to be snookered by real daylight, aren’t we? I mean, like when the sun is shining.

Amanda Foreman, in the Wall Street Journal, said it best:

“Every November a great theft is perpetrated against hundreds of million of innocent people. They are robbed of an hour of afternoon sunlight by the government decree known as Daylight-Saving Time.

“The misappropriation occurs precisely at the wrong moment, when the days are already growing shorter.”

She could have added (but did not) that the cows and other farm critters follow the real daylight anyway. Government time doesn’t matter a bit if you’re a farmer.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt decreed we match Russia and Germany in World War II, in order to save coal. Didn’t seem to save any, but we called it “Wartime,” and it was year round.

After the war “real time” was given back to folks who were fed up with government time, but governments have difficulty letting things rest. Tinker, tinker, tinker is more like it, so in 1966 Congress made a bunch of assumptions (all false by the way) and enacted the Uniform Time Act.

That wisdom is still in place today.

Do we have to take to the street, kick in storefronts and generally protest against this atrocity to get it changed? Occupy Fifth and Main streets with tents and booze?

Or just launch a “social media” campaign to demand that next spring we live by regular, sunshine-ruled time? We could give it a catchy name like Mountain Standard Time, too.

Oops, I see that’s taken. Make up your own name. But see if you can get a million “hits” or “likes” on the idea, OK?

Just don’t forget to run your clocks backward Nov. 2 or come Monday you might wonder why you’re the only one at work.

When the tinkering began to “adjust” time in the early part of the 20th century, citizens protested with the slogan, “Give us back our stolen hour.”

In 2006, when Indiana decided the whole state had to have the same time, Indianans actually spent $8.6 million more for electricity each year because of Daylight Saving Time, and increased emissions came with a social cost of between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year. That per the analysis made by environmental economists Matt Kotchen and Laura Grant.

Seems like air conditioning on summer evenings and more heating spring and fall add up.

So take your pick — either keep Mountain Standard time all year or keep Daylight Slaving Time all year. Make enough noise and the politicians will act.

The cows will be just fine either way.

GJ Free Press columnist Ken Johnson is founder of the Grand Junction Free Press and former owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. He spends his time between the Grand Valley and California.

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