Opinion: Against Daylight Savings Time
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Free Press Opinion Columnist
CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE
State Senator Ray Scott
Visit www.rayscottcolorado.com for more information.
State Representative Dan Thurlow
Visit www.DanThurlow.com for more information.
John W. Hickenlooper, Governor
136 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203
Not to nag, but my New Year’s wish is for a groundswell of “peaceful demonstrators” (or social media experts) to help get rid of so-called Daylight Savings Time.
Come next March 8, we’re going to have to “spring ahead” by jiggering our clocks and watches once again.
If for any reason we don’t change the clocks at 1 a.m. on that Sunday, we might wake up at our “normal” time and then discover we’re an hour late for breakfast. Or if we’re slothful and don’t change the clock until Sunday night, we might wake up and find we’re an hour late for work!
That will start the week off with a bang, won’t it?
There are others in this great country who are readily talking about what an ordeal this DST is for everyone. Your body clock suffers at both the start and finish of the time shift. One other huge point of contention is that the entire premise of more daylight later in each day doesn’t save any energy at all … not one kilowatt.
In fact, it is now known that the time change wastes electricity.
A writer named Jo McGinty observed that Hawaii has never observed Daylight Savings Time. We all know that Arizona tried it and rejected it. This year, Russia abandoned it.
If the reason for this shape-shifting time business is really to save energy, the government’s evidence is double-damned. Two academic works, peer reviewed, found that it does not save energy; and one of them found it costs more energy. The other analyzed electric usage in Australia, and it found there was no saving.
If we can vote in marijuana for recreational use, surely we can find a way to get rid of this “change your clocks” silliness.
Matt Kotchen, an environmental economist at Yale, observed that times are different from those good old days when Franklin Delano Roosevelt decreed “war time” to save electricity.
“The world has changed,” he said. “Today, the big things are heating and cooling. We’re fooling ourselves to continue calling it an energy policy given the studies that show it doesn’t save energy.”
Given the fact that our government doesn’t do much until there is a lot of pressure from citizens, would you find it hard to believe that it was railroads that established our time zones? That’s right, it was not the government.
Those original four time zones came into being on Nov. 18, 1883 (just two years after Grand Junction was staked out as a town). American and Canadian railroads were frustrated by the confusion around thousands of local times.
Since the railroads run on schedules, they needed some sort of consistent time system. It worked so well that the government immediately leaped in and passed a law.
I joke about “immediately.” It took Congress until 1918 to adopt the railroad time zones as our national time system. But if we start pushing on our elected leaders now, who knows how quickly we could return to one time system for the whole country?
How about starting in Colorado? Start sending those letters and Tweets and Emails today! Send a copy to the Free Press by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s join the smart states and keep Mountain Standard Time all year, every year.
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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