Tomorrow, Sunday, March 14th, Daylight Saving Time begins again.
This always takes us by surprise; more so in the years since Congress moved this arbitrary, useless time shift earlier in the year. Previously, we’d reached the point where we (and by we I mean the states that observe this foolishness) spend more of each year in “special” time than we do in “standard” time. Now, that situation is even worse.
When we switched to Standard Time in October, I ranted against the whole concept. If I hate Daylight Saving Time in the autumn, when we “gain” an hour, I absolutely despise it in the spring, when we “lose” an hour.
This morning, official sunrise came at 6:24 a.m. in Haines (a minute earlier on our homestead—I love this!). Official sunset comes at 6:00 p.m. That means it’s light enough outside that we don’t need our headlamps by about 5:30 a.m. or earlier. On Sunday, this time will suddenly, arbitrarily switch to 6:30. By April 3, just three weeks later, our daylight will have returned to that same time, despite the hour change. If the point of the shift is to add time in the evening, we gain that hour by April 8th without Daylight Saving Time’s help. This is in Southeast Alaska. I can’t imagine what it’s like farther north, where the swing between maximum and minimum daylight is far more dramatic.
For us, the “advantage” of shifting time by an hour will be negated in about the same amount of time researchers say it takes us to readjust to the time change! By the time we’ve recovered, the daylight we “saved” will be spent. During the adjustment period, we see losses in work productivity, learning and behavior problems, and traffic accidents. Shifting time back and forth each year has a real and negative affect on people.
We’ve got to stop doing this to ourselves. I don’t want to seem like a Luddite here, but time is just too precious to us to treat in such a cavalier manner.