Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rational Daylight Saving Time (or none at all)

When the start of Daylight Saving Time was moved to early March it really screwed with everyone's body clock around here. It shoves sunrise back to the equivalent of early January and brings a weirdly unseasonable light to the evening. As much as DST caused a certain amount of jet lag when it started in April, the effect of changing in March never seems to wear off. Daylight doesn't make it springtime.

I've started a petition to the US government to return Daylight Saving Time to a start in April. By April the day length is over 12 hours. The change does create a bit of disruption even then, but the longer day in general makes it much easier to manage. Please sign it and publicize it if you agree.

The petition reads:

"The current early onset of Daylight Saving Time in March creates more problems than it solves. It is far more disruptive to people's systems than when the change took place in April, when day length was already over 12 hours. Move the start of DST back to April and end it in October or just shift the day a half-hour later and leave it there all the time."

In the past couple of lackluster winters I have launched the bike commute in March with the advantage of evening daylight. The price of that is the morning darkness that pushes us mentally back to midwinter. The morning and the evening don't go together at all. Add the usually fickle and fretful March weather and you get a very strange mental state. It's just not worth it.

12 comments:

Matthew Boulanger said...

I selfishly like the earlier change. My morning bike commute involves far less traffic than my evening one, so morning darkness is more tolerable.

kfg said...

Turn off the clocks and the issue vanishes entirely.

cafiend said...

kfg, my employers have learned to be remarkably tolerant of my disregard for clock time, but until humans learn to live by natural rhythms we still have to put up with "the schedule." I hate trying to wake up in the dark and I especially hate having to go through it TWICE because some political idiots thought it would be a good idea. We endure it in January and February, finally get to morning light in March and ZAP, we get shoved back to the middle of winter in the morning and dragged into late spring in the evening. Of course it isn't really late spring. Around here late spring shows up in early July. But it's a needless jolt. I sympathize with M. Boulanger's position. As I said, I took advantage of the shift in light myself. I just can't stand the blackness when we'd finally regained the sunrise.

adventure! said...

As much as I can sympathize with you in regards to dark March mornings, complaining about DST is one of the things that drive me up the wall.

See here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/6534984011/in/set-72157628476899299

My solution: quit your job and sleep in!

kfg said...

"until humans learn to live by natural rhythms . . ."

Ah, but your complaint is that you have already done so.

cafiend said...

I've always liked Daylight Saving Time, or at least had no problem managing the transition. In its current form, however, it has a much more noticeable effect on the mental and physical functioning of more people than just me. Clock time is one of many artificial parameters humans put on their existence. However, since civilization itself and the bicycle as a product of it all depend on maintaining a solid structure of artificiality, I merely ask for more thoughtful applications of it.

It's not like I recommended anyone wear a helmet, for crying out loud.

Steve A said...

You are my HERO!

Steve A said...

Why would we wear a helmet in order to cry out loud?

cafiend said...

Re: helmets for crying out loud: Studies have shown that loud crying, especially sustained loud crying, can lead to hyperventilation and loss of consciousness. The helmet may reduce the possibility of head trauma in that case.

Alternatively one might lie down on a comfortably carpeted floor before crying out loud.

2whls3spds said...

I vote for abolishing DST in it's entirety. If businesses need more daylight they can either open earlier or stay open later. If they don't already...

Aaron

cafiend said...

Aaron - We'll put you in the "or none at all" category! Sign up!

kfg said...

"one might lie down on a comfortably carpeted floor before crying out loud."

Works for me.