Let’s quit chang­ing our clocks

Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - Opinion - By The Tri-City Her­ald Ed­i­to­rial Board

It’s not of­ten that we sug­gest fol­low­ing Cal­i­for­nia’s lead on some­thing. But the state just might have got­ten some­thing right this time, with vot­ers ap­prov­ing a propo­si­tion that would urge state law­mak­ers to al­ter a law and al­low res­i­dents to stop spring­ing for­ward and fall­ing back.

And while the ma­jor­ity of vot­ers checked the box in fa­vor of stay­ing on a con­sis­tent clock year­round, the state Leg­is­la­ture has to re­peal a law and the U.S. Congress would have to ul­ti­mately ap­prove the move.

Some sig­nif­i­cant hur­dles are in the way, but Cal­i­for­ni­ans have a way of get­ting what they want, even when it seems crazy to the rest of us. Dic­tat­ing the square footage re­quired per chicken comes to mind … but we di­gress.

We agree with Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers on this one. The time has come to stop what seems like a mean­ing­less prac­tice. If the state even­tu­ally gets the green light to stop switch­ing clocks in spring and fall, we want the whole West Coast to fol­low suit.

Peo­ple can cite all kinds of rea­sons why Day­light Sav­ing Time was started and who was the first to prof­fer the con­cept. It saves en­ergy, it helps farm­ers – nei­ther of which are true. Stud­ies have shown that the power sup­ply is not largely im­pacted by the time change, and farm­ers fol­low sun­rise and sun­set, not clocks.

You can also find stud­ies to show that chang­ing the clocks causes ac­ci­dents, heart at­tacks and all kinds of bad things due to sleep de­pri­va­tion on dis­rupted body rhythms. It’s pretty easy to find stud­ies that sup­port both sides of the is­sue, as with most things. We get en­ergy from sun­shine – now that’s a fact. Vi­ta­min D is good for the body.

But re­ally, we just like the ex­tra day­light in the evenings. Day­light Sav­ing Time (it is not plu­ral, though most re­fer to it as such) gives us that ex­tra boost in the evenings, mak­ing sum­mer days seem to stretch on in the loveli­est way. When it’s light af­ter the 5 p.m. whis­tle blows, we want to keep mov­ing af­ter work, stay more ac­tive and get out­side. That means we’re sit­ting less and do­ing more.

When it’s dark af­ter work, we morph into in­stant couch pota­toes, even though there are still 24 hours in the day. We slow down, we do less, and it shows. Projects get put aside un­til spring, pounds get packed on over the win­ter and moods spi­ral.

Sure the day­light hours get shorter in the win­ter – equinoxes and the earth’s or­bit and all that. But who likes go­ing to work in the dark and leav­ing in the dark? We’re pretty sure there aren’t many fans.

If Cal­i­for­nia suc­ceeds, think about the busi­ness ram­i­fi­ca­tions, es­pe­cially for res­i­dents liv­ing near bor­ders who may com­mute across state lines for work. They’d lit­er­ally be los­ing hours out of their days.

We need to keep an eye on this one and our fingers-crossed that Cal­i­for­nia leads the way into the day­light.

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