Benefits of the Same Time, All the Time
While the IRS postponing the tax return deadline a month will make millions breathe easier today, I’m more concerned with the time change.
Yes, it’s been a month since we moved our clocks forward on that Sunday morning I always dread. But the week after is so bad the effects still linger.
It happens every year. Yet “springing forward, falling back” continues.
Who in their right mind thought it would be a good thing to be on daylight savings time (DST) for eight months of the year and standard time for the other third?
When they started out in 1967 to install some badly-needed uniformity across the nation, it was a six-months on, six-months off routine.
As a teen, I loved newly instated DST. Our youth baseball games no longer had to start at 5:45 p.m. to make sure we finished before sunset. They pushed the first pitch back to 6:30 and we never encountered “delayed by darkness.”
Then in 2007, lawmakers decided more daylight during a year could save energy. Tiny bits, maybe, but a well-intentioned move.
That is, until you take into consideration the havoc it wreaks on 90 percent of the public’s physical and mental health.
Prior to 2021, Arizona and Hawaii were the only two states not observing daylight savings time.
I learned about the latter while editing a pair of books the past year for a pastor in Hawaii.
When he wanted to talk last spring before I put the final touches to my edits, I had to check online to make sure I called at the right time. Honolulu was six hours behind Eastern time.
But when we chatted again in November, there were only five hours difference. Wondering why, I Googled the question and discovered the reason.
The idea of maintaining year-round time is advancing. The latest example is New Mexico. En route to a breakfast meeting the first weekend of March, I heard on the radio that state’s senate had passed a bill to keep daylight savings time year-round. I cheered.
Ultimately, the move failed. But I didn’t realize until researching the question later that New Mexico was the only the latest example of a grassroots move to change DST to a year-round option.
Bills, resolutions, or voter initiatives to make it permanent have been introduced in more than a dozen states.
California voters passed Proposition 7 three years ago to establish year-round DST, but state legislators have dragged their feet on legislation seeking federal authorization of the move.
Pass the Sunshine Act
However, California’s recalcitrant legislators may become irrelevant. Both the U.S. House and Senate have introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021.” It would make DST permanent and remove federal roadblocks to states wanting to end this insanity.
“Springing forward and falling back year after year only creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy,” noted Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, one of the Senate’s co-sponsors. “Making Daylight Saving permanent would give folks an hour back of sunshine during the winter months when we need it most.”
It would also restore disturbed sleep patterns that affect us every March when they move the clock forward, and November when they move it back.
No matter which scenario, attendance at church the Sunday of a time change always dips. I can understand the confusion. When it comes to something as basic as time, the wisest option is to leave it the same all year long.