Opinion: Say no to Daylight Savings Time
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Free Press Opinion Columnist
Warning: An hour will be stolen from you in honor of Daylight Savings Time this coming Sunday, March 8 … not that it’s the end of the world as we know it. Some folks even seem to like the shifting of clocks twice a year.
Read another column by Johnson on Daylight Savings Time here.
For me and a host of others, we experience a biological-clock problem for two weeks each time Daylight Energy Wasting Time comes around, both now and in fall (Nov. 1). I have also heard the time change leads to more heart attacks and other health problems.
The legislature could remedy this with little debate. It hasn’t through all the years however. That’s why citizen action might be the answer.
Denver residents Sean and Teri Johnson (oh come on, we are not related!) are organizing a 2016 ballot initiative to let voters decide whether Colorado should host Mountain Daylight Time all year. If you visit their website (http://www.savethedaylight.co) their logic is pretty solid — except for ignoring the millions of dollars Daylight Time costs the United States in energy and pollution.
It seems the “Save the Daylight” effort missed the energy costs totally. Do you remember the Matt Kotchen study? Matt is a Ph.D. environmental economist, at the time a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara and now at Yale University.
That study pointed out the basic reason to change the clocks — saving electricity — is now proven to be just a false assumption; it costs everyone more money actually. We use more juice for expensive air conditioning; the Kotchen/Grant analysis of electricity usage in Indiana, where half the state didn’t change, said there are two big costs. One, the extra costs for air conditioning are two to four percent higher. That costs the Daylight half of those Indiana homeowners $9 million more per year. Two, the increased cost from environmental pollution is at least $5.5 million per year.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
According to the Save the Daylight website, the Johnsons are currently looking for volunteers to help get petitions into locations all over the state so folks can sign them.
This is a sincere, grassroots effort to remedy this annual clock change. If you would rather have all the benefits of a single time all year, contacting our legislators and letting them get the job done would be a smart way to go. Otherwise it’s power to the people.
Bottom line? There’s no “saving” of any kind with Daylight Savings Time, and there are lots of hidden costs. So, let’s just deep-six this outdated policy.
Meanwhile, you can track the project on Facebook at “Stop the Time Changes in Colorado.”
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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