The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Last post on clock changes (until November, probably)

Josh Barro and Saray Fay get to the heart of the time-change issue:

The first thing I want to note is something I’m amazed many participants in this debate don’t seem to know: We have tried this policy before. In January 1974, the US entered what was supposed to be a two-year “experiment” with permanent daylight saving time. Unfortunately, daylight saving time does not add daylight to the day, it only shifts the daylight into the afternoon from the morning. And once people realized that — that daylight saving time in January means doing everything in the dark in the morning — they hated it.

There are a number of large and mid-size metropolitan areas where the sun would not rise until around 9am for weeks on end in the winter.

On average, a person who tells a pollster they want permanent daylight saving time is really just saying they would like the sun to shine more. Well, so would I. But the government only controls the clocks, not the axial tilt of the earth. If you actually enact permanent daylight saving time, it will exit the realm of daydreaming about how the sun is nice and turn into actually forcing Americans to drag themselves and their children out of bed in the dark for much more of the winter. Once you have inflicted this upon them, they will think deeply about the issue. They’ll hate it (and possibly hate you) and they’ll demand a reversal, as I will remind you they sought and promptly received the last time we tried this.

Perhaps the best solution would be to harmonize clock changes with Europe, switching to Daylight Saving Time on the last Sunday in March, and returning to Standard Time on the last Sunday in October. But then it'll get dark earlier on Hallowe'en, so...think of the children!

Update: The House has decided to proceed with all deliberate speed on this issue, ensuring the bill a quiet death sometime this summer.

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    3/20/2022 4:45:39 PM +00:00 |

    Interesting that the American experiment with year-round DST provoked such a backlash among the public, when the same experiment in Britain did not, according to the report prepared for Parliament two years into the experiment.  Maybe the British had more of a "mustn't grumble" attitude fifty years ago.

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