By Mike Wilcox
Another year and another rant about Daylight Saving Time.
This writer is always awakened at 4 a.m. by his hungry dogs. I stumble out of bed and feel my way to the kitchen much like a blind person without a leader dog. There I am met by my famished dogs, who lead me to their food bowls.
Because I am not quite awake I sometimes stumble over one of the dogs, or spill their food onto the garage floor, missing their bowl completely.
With the time change, 4 a.m. becomes 3 a.m. The dogs don’t account for it. Their inner clock says it’s feeding time.
Thus I now sit in my office, trying to write a coherent piece and struggling to keep my eyes open. I have been up for four hours and guzzled down three cups of coffee, but I’m still bleary-eyed and only functioning at 25 percent.
Forgive me, for I am a victim of Daylight Saving Time.
I want Daylight Saving Time to go away. I don’t understand why our state legislatures don’t repeal it. It serves no purpose other than to create anxiety in thousands if not millions of people.
There are Daylight Saving Time bills in 24 state legislatures this year. Some want to eliminate it while others want the time change to go 365 days a year. Personally I don’t care. Make it all year-round and eliminate it for good. Just stop the change.
Researchers claim Daylight Saving Time is the cause of more traffic accidents, on-the-job injuries, seizures, heart attacks and strokes, as well as drowsy school kids and workers, upset dairy cows and more miscarriages.
An Indiana study claims the time shift, which began during World War I, supposedly to save energy, actually increases energy usage, showing households there spent $9 million more per year in increased electricity bills.
Scott Yates, a Denver retired dot-com millionaire, is devoting his time to ending Daylight Saving Time. His website lists studies showing the fallacies of time change. Recently he testified before the Nebraska legislature about how the change does not help farmers or energy costs. At the same assembly, a teenage boy testified he had 13 grand mal seizures in his life, nine of which occurred soon after a time change.
The additional evening hour of light is a boon for the recreation industry. It is good for golf courses, outdoor cafés and other activities that can’t be performed in the dark. That is why Rep. Pete Lucido in Michigan has introduced a bill to eliminate in Eastern Standard Time in favor of 365 days a year of Daylight Saving Time.
“Anybody who wants to continue the way it is, is cuckoo,” Lucido said.
He added dozens of legislators have introduced bills to eliminate Daylight Savings Time and they went nowhere, so he has decided to flip the script and see if permanent DST could get passage.
Unfortunately for the likes of Lucido and myself, I see state legislatures standing pat. They haven’t done anything in dozens of years, despite being aware of DST’s ill effects. They prefer to keep the status quo and not put their jobs on the line over something as silly as time change.
Yates, on the other hand, says we have reached “the tipping point.” As he testifies week after week in front of state legislatures, he has noticed a greater interest in eliminating time change.
I hope he is right. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.