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Local lifestyle columnists

Time to make daylight saving time permanent

By From page A2 | March 09, 2014

Our national nightmare is finally over. With emphasis on “night.”

Because daylight saving time is back and should be permanent! The pro-darkness fanatics would prefer to keep me quiet, but I won’t back down.

This issue is too important!

The 18-week period of darkness we just finished (why is it called “standard” time, when it makes up just 34 percent of the year?) should really be called “daylight wasting time.” Because that’s what it does – it takes sunlight that should be used in the early evening and moves it to the morning, when we don’t really need it. Who would rather have it light at 6:30 a.m. when it could be light at 6:30 p.m.? Nobody.

I believe the government has no business making a decision that steals time from me – or at least daylight. Since we just ended a 126-day stretch of wasting daylight, I believe I’m owed 126 hours of sunlight by our leaders. That’s right – five days and six hours of sunlight that somehow was misspent in the morning hours. I expect them to find a way to make it right. I’m willing to take money if that’s all they can do.

As long as they get rid of the “standard time” hokum forever.

This isn’t a new argument, by the way. I’ve made this argument before. Over and over and over. (A quick check shows that I mentioned it in 2013, twice in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2006, twice in 2005 . . . Seriously. You think it’s easy to come up with column topics? It’s not . . . unless you recycle them.)

That we deliberately manipulate our clocks in November to make it get dark earlier at night makes no sense to me – we compound our depression that comes with winter by making it gloomy and dark at 4:30 p.m. It’s almost like anti-depressant manufacturers paid off the government and are using daylight wasting time to move more of their product.

That’s right.

I just floated a conspiracy theory that includes the makers of antidepressants and our government leaders. Seems crazy . . . but WHAT IF IT’S TRUE?!?

I know the silly arguments that the pro-darkness people make: that “studies show” that we use more energy during daylight saving time, that it wasn’t widely introduced in the United States until the 1970s, that they love to take their antidepressants from the second week of November until the second week of March.

The energy claim is false. Trust me. I read that on the Internet.

The “we didn’t really use it until the 1970s” argument is specious. We also didn’t use roll-on deodorant or microwave ovens until the 1970s and do you want to go back to how it used to be? Forget about it.

Besides, the idea of daylight saving time goes back to Benjamin Franklin, who also is a Founding Father. You don’t like daylight saving time? You don’t like America. There. I said it.

So let’s celebrate that our clocks are back to what they’re supposed to be. I stand by that: Centuries ago, man randomly assigned times to the day – “noon,” “midnight,” “2 p.m.” and “8:15 a.m.,” for instance. When he did that, he was off by an hour – a mistake that remained until President Ford corrected it in his infinite wisdom in 1974. Three decades later, George W. Bush expanded it to the current 34 weeks a year. Now it’s time to make it year-round.

No more daylight wasting time.

Because I love America. And I want my 126 hours back.

Let’s quit wasting daylight. Let’s stop messing with our clocks. And let’s shut down Big Darkness, the anti-daylight saving time lobby.

Although that will steal an annual column idea – or two – from me.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is a former Daily Republic editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 24 years as a sports editor, associate editor and news editor before leaving the Daily Republic in 2014. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.

Discussion | 5 comments

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  • patrickMarch 09, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    DST was first adopted to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I at 11:00pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916. It was quickly followed by Britain and many countries from both sides, including the United States. Many countries reverted back to standard time post-World War I, and it wasn’t until the next World War that DST would make its return to many countries in order to save vital energy resources for the war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, called “War Time” during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called “Eastern War Time”, “Central War Time”, and “Pacific War Time”. After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled “Peace Time”. Daylight saving was first recognized as an energy saving aspect during World War II when Double Summer Time was applied in Britain which moved the clocks two hours ahead of GMT during the summer and one hour ahead of GMT during the winter.

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  • Ray StreibMarch 09, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    Doesn't it make sense for us to go with the time set by God and/or Mother Nature? When the sun is directly overhead, it is NOON! Work forward and back from that and there you have TRUE TIME -- Of course this could generate even more problems than an imaginary line that now decides where the time change comes in.

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  • patrickMarch 10, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    DST is a great help to farmers ------ask one

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  • MDSMarch 09, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Back in the 70's, I think it was Nixon that made DST year round for one year. The object was to save energy by transferring the light to the evening. The problem that was found is that the Schools kept the same hours so kids were all walking to school in darkness. And I don't mean twilight, it was pitch black dark out as we walked to school. DST and the conversion to standard time, actually makes the best use of the daylight hours as long as we stay on the 8am to 5pm routine schedule. Another solution would be that we leave the clocks the same and just change the hours of the standard workday. But isn't it easier just to change the clocks, versus changing all the work schedules and signs with business hours on them?

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  • Kene WinstonMarch 09, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    I noticed this too, time changed later then normal. I'm to the time change at 2am, that was yrs ago.

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