Save us from the standard time shift
Nobody knows exactly why it exists, evidence suggests it may be worse that useless, everyone complains about it and yet we keep doing it, year after year after year.
We’ll talk about income tax returns later. This deadline comes earlier. At some time between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, we again lost sleep over daylight saving time. It is March, so it is time to spring forward — shifting our clocks an hour ahead so that 2 a.m. becomes 3 a.m. and the sun rises and sets later on the clock.
Most theories posit that daylight saving time was invented to save the cost of heating and light homes and businesses. Shifting the clock meant people would spend more time awake during daylight hours and would not have to turn the lights on so early. Modern research, though, has found little if any energy savings. Other research finds that the annual shifts forward and back make us tired, cranky and accident-prone.
The state of Florida has stolen our idea. Like us, Florida lawmakers like long, sunny summer afternoons and evenings but hate the aggravating twice-yearly reset. They overwhelmingly passed the Sunshine Protection Act this week setting Florida’s clocks to the summer schedule and leaving them there permanently.
We call on Michigan lawmakers to do the same.
Yes, fall and winter mornings will be darker longer. But they’re already dark. In the winter, we go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. With the shift made permanent, we would be able to at least catch a glimpse of a what seems like exceedingly rare sunshine in December, January and February in the hours after work.
We also would have one less thing to complain about in early spring, which will brighten our natures just as effectively as a clear sky once in a while. Likewise, not being time-shifted zombies will make us more cheerful and productive and better drivers.
Other states have abandoned the twice-annual shift and they seem to have turned out OK. Who can say anything bad about Arizona or Hawaii?
What Arizona and Hawaii did is different. They have enough daylight and sunshine already, so they chose to remain on standard time year-round. That choice is also easier, which may have been part of their decision.
It is one of those egregious snafus that only Congress could invent. The federal government owns time and sets all the rules. Those rules, spitefully and illogically, allow states like Arizona and Hawaii to skip daylight saving time, but won’t allow Michigan or Florida to avoid using standard time.
We need Congress to fix this. Except senators and congressmen and lobbyists will lose an hour of sleep Sunday, too, and will be too groggy and disoriented to get anything done for a while.
— Times Herald (Port Huron)