The fall change has come and gone. Because this is the easy change — the one where you get an extra hour — typically the press dies off pretty quickly.
Not this year.
I've been paying close attention to this issue for years, and this year I really think the tide is turning.
Just take a look at some of the press, in no particular order:
Where to hate Daylight Saving Time. This is good data, no doubt, but I actually find it to be a distraction. It makes the assumption that things are better or worse for people depending on when the sun comes up and goes down relative to the clock. The problem there is that there's never a perfect answer there, especially for people who live north of the equator.
Those flat maps give you a hint of the problem.
The problem is easiest to see with the map on the right. See how the zones of darkness are kind of like cones, getting bigger as you go north? The lines would look straight if you looked at them on a globe, but because they are flat they look like that because there's just not enough daylight to go around the further you get away from the equator.
The tool that this guy (Andy Woodruff) has created is awesome, no doubt about it, and you should check it out. But read the whole post, and you'll see that he comes to the same conclusion that all people who spend any time studying the issue come to: Permanent DST is the biggest win for the most people.
Because there's just no way to avoid a late sunrise in the mornings for everyone in the winter, the best thing we can do is give everyone a sunset after 5 p.m.
This is the only map that has all winners, and no losers, except for those in Alaska (of course), and a few hearty souls in the northern reaches of Idaho and Maine.
(And if those two states want to take advantage of the elimination of DST clock changing and move one time zone to the east, well, this would be a good time to do that.)
A guy who I've followed for a while now, Sen. Cliff Pirtle of New Mexico, recently announced that he's going to be back with a resolution to get rid of the clock changing.
Good for him!
He's realized that states simply won't be allowed by the feds to change time zones on their own, so he's going the route of a resolution. He's close, but not quite there with the legislation that I'm recommending.
His resolution calls for New Mexico changing, and only New Mexico. The problem is that the federal Department of Transportation has as one of its conditions for allowing change the notion of "uniformity." The law that it is enforcing is called the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. §§ 260-64). They want nice, even lines.
So I'll be contacting Sen. Pirtle and asking him to consider changing his proposal just a bit to make it so that New Mexico won't try to go it alone, but instead will be a leader in getting all states to fix this mess. (If you see this, Sen. Pirtle, and haven't gotten my email, contact me!)
Nevada efforts stuck
A similar resolution passed in Nevada, but hasn't done a lick of good, according to an excellent column from Patrick Everson. Here again, if Nevada next year can pass a resolution that joins Nevada to a national effort, maybe it will make a difference. It certainly can't hurt, and it will only add to the effort in other states so that the whole country can get out of this mess.
Sick of the clock changing, eh?
Canadians have had it with changing the clocks in and out of DST, too, it appears from some news coverage.
They are frustrated, so they wanted to take action, but unfortunately the action they took is to create a petition. It always seems like such a good idea, until you do a search and realize that there've been at least 30 different petitions on change.org related to Daylight Saving Time. All of them have made an identical amount of difference: Zero.
Oh, Canada! If you want to make a real change, contact me and I'll make a special version of the legislative resolution to fix DST that will work in the provinces.
Someone's got a smelly bottom, and it isn't the baby!
It's fun to joke and laugh about DST. I certainly have, and there's lots of mirth to go around.
But it is a life-and-death issue. Car accidents. Heart attacks. Deadly crime. The research is all there that the clock changing, especially in the spring, is deadly.
So it makes me a bit cynical that the PR team at diapers.com would create a petition, a hashtag, a graphic and the works to try to "End Daylight Saving Time." Sure, parents do get whacked twice a year trying to get good sleep for their family, and ending the clock changing is a great goal. (They screwed up on what they are asking for, which is common, but you'd think they would have researched it. What they want is NOT to "End Daylight Saving Time" but to end changing into and out of DST.)
But it's clear from the campaign that it's all about raising the profile of the diaper seller, and not actually fixing the problem.
If they wanted to fix it, they could help me with my legislative proposal. Instead, they just made a petition (see above for the futility of that) and they even insult our intelligence by making the petition out to "Leaders of the free world." Whatevs.
Hey, diapers.com… If you really want to make a difference, contact me and I'll show you how we can get something done. Until then, consumers know when they are being hustled, and this is one big stunt.
There's been lots more, including new research showing that we could help decrease crime if we stayed in DST year-round, more research that clock-changing is bad for your health, and more.
David Miles is starting a petition in Oregon. (David, great spirit, but that plan is not gonna work. Contact me, let's get Oregon into this idea that can work.)
There's much more I could do, but my word count is already over 1,000 and there's only so much I can ask anyone to read. Have something you think I should cover? Just let me know!
Thanks for reading.