Editorials

Let’s quit changing our clocks

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 year-round, 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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