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It's Time For Double Daylight Saving Time

Tonight, the clock shifts forward. Tomorrow, sunset moves from 6:07 p.m. to 7:08 p.m. But our work here is not done. If we really wanted to fill our lives with joy and save energy and money, if we really wanted to move beyond the fiction of our agrarian conception of time and into the modern world, we'd shift to year-round Daylight Saving Time--or, if we really wanted to embrace reality and maximize life, go to Double DST, a big, two-hour push forward of the clocks that would turn our summers into a marathon of gorgeous, endless evenings.

Vote for your choice at the bottom of this post.

Here, adapted from my piece from this moment two years ago, is the argument for Double DST:

President Warren G. Harding didn't like daylight saving time. If people want more daylight, he said, they should just wake up earlier.

So in 1922, when the District had no law requiring shifting of the clock, Harding issued an executive order mandating that all federal employees start work at 8 a.m. rather than at 9. Private employers could do as they pleased.

The result was a holy mess, as some trains, buses, theaters and retailers shifted their hours of operation and some didn't. Washingtonians rebelled, deriding Harding's policy as "rag time." After one summer of confusion, Harding backed down and repealed his order.

Sunday morning, by federal mandate, the sun will rise at 7:30; today, Saturday, it came up at 6:32. Sunday night, the sun will set at 7:08; tonight, at 6:07.

This shift, moving to lighter evenings three weeks earlier than in past years, is the latest in a long struggle to expand daylight saving time -- a fight that should continue until we hit year-round daylight time (in essence, a shift in our time zones).

Since 1966, the feds have ordained when and how clocks will change throughout the country, except for Arizona and Hawaii. But for most of a century, lawmakers have periodically played around with the clock, trying to make light last longer each day, even as farmers fought the changes.

Now, the farmers are in retreat. Modern equipment has made them less dependent on the sun, says David Prerau, a former Transportation Department researcher who wrote "Seize the Daylight," a book on the nation's time wars, and consulted with members of Congress on the time-shift law that took effect in 2007.

That leaves the opposition mainly in the hands of airlines, which say they have trouble competing for arrival slots at foreign airports when U.S. time doesn't match up with European time.

Such concerns pale in the face of all the wonderful things that come with more light. Not only does the extra hour of sunshine put a smile on folks' faces, as Rep. Edward Markey, Congress's Mr. Daylight Time, likes to say, but the additional light is credited with saving energy, cutting crime and making roads safer.

I'm just happy to have the extra time to take a family walk, play hoops or linger over drinks at an outdoor cafe. Adding an hour of sunlight at the end of the day is primarily a "lifestyle benefit," Prerau says, but it's mainly the promise of energy savings that got this bill passed in 2005.

The theory behind the fuel savings is that "a lot of people sleep through sunrise and businesses are closed," Prerau says, "but everyone's up at sunset and businesses are open, so more electricity is used in the evening. So if you can move the daylight to the evening, you save a lot of energy."

Similarly, while bad guys are usually asleep in the early morning, dusk brings about prime time for crime. The extra light late in the day suppresses crime rates. A federal study of expanding daylight time in the '70s found a drop in crime in the District of about 10 percent when daylight time is in effect.

Later light also reduces car crashes, which tend to spike after dark. (Another group that tends to oppose shifting daylight is parents whose kids wait for school buses in the early morning darkness. Prerau says darker mornings do produce more car accidents involving kids, but that increase is more than made up for by the much larger decline in early evening accidents.)

The clock shift was originally designed to create more leisure time. William Willett, the British architect and golfer who came up with the idea in 1907, wanted to stuff more light into the day so people could play games after work. But it took a war for his proposal to become reality: Germany adopted daylight time during World War I to save fuel; the U.S. and Britain quickly matched the enemy's move.

Ever since, changes in time laws have been driven primarily by war and energy crises. FDR called daylight time "war time." (Woodrow Wilson caved to farmers and reverted to what the farmers called "God's time.") During the 1970s energy crisis, and again in 1986, the prospect of fuel savings won expansions of daylight time. This time, Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, teamed up with Republican Fred Upton of Michigan to get daylight time started yet another few weeks earlier, again with the expectation that the move would save oil.

Of course, if we were really serious about conserving energy, dozens of other moves would do so far more efficiently, but if that's the excuse politicians need to improve life in a single stroke, so be it. In Britain, Parliament is considering a move to adopt daylight time in the winter and double daylight time in summer. In Washington, that would mean a 9:40 p.m. sunset in late June. Ahhhhh.

By Marc Fisher |  March 7, 2009; 8:28 AM ET
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Comments

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DST is now defacto "normal". why don't we give up and shift the east coast to Atlantic Standard Time, which is the same as DST? And shift all time zones "east" one hour. Adjust the borders though so kids in Cleveland don't have sunrise at 10am in the winter. Put Ohio, Michigan, all of KY and TN into CST (new EST), and adjust midwestern borders as necessary.

People obviously prefer their sunlight in the evening than in the morning, since we work in offices not the fields for the most part.

Posted by: ah___ | March 7, 2009 10:15 AM

One not so great result of pushing back the sunset is that we'd see baseball games played in twilight for the entire season, rather than just for a couple of months. Anyone who's watched October postseason games coming from the West Coast, where they start at 5:30 Pacific Time, will see the problem. It's almost impossible for the batter to pick up the pitch in certain parks under those conditions.

And then there's the more important question of schoolchildren's mornings beginning in darkness for virtually the entire year. But hey, what's that compared to 10:00 patio dinners a la Oslo?

Posted by: andym108 | March 7, 2009 10:25 AM

I think people need to just stop whining (this means you, Fisher), stop complaining, and worry about more important things. They system is fine the way it is. Or maybe you just couldn't think of anything better to write about?

Posted by: 20thCentury | March 7, 2009 10:33 AM

While we are at it, let's combine the four time zones into two. East Coast and West Coast efficiency will improve if workers on both sides of the country can work together most of the day. Election night won't run so late, either.

Posted by: RossPhx | March 7, 2009 10:34 AM

I think that all the world should be on the same 24 hr time. If it's one o clock here it's one o clock there. If you have a plane ticket for one o clock you don't have to correct for time zones. If the sun rise is at one o clock in the first time zone, it will rise at 9 o clock eight time zones to the west. So if business open at one o clock in time zone one, then in time zone eight they could choose to start at 9 o clock and everyone would know exactly when it starts without having to recalculate. Each time zone could agree what time to start and what time to stop and everyone would know what time it is everywhere.

Posted by: gemmeier | March 7, 2009 10:43 AM

Andym, If you had read the article you would see that the increase in accidents in the morning is MORE THAN OFFSET by the fall in accidents in the evening, so kids would actually be safer with double DSM. And 20thcentury, as Fisher points out, the system is not fine as it is, we could save energy and reduce accidents by moving to DSM all year or even double DSM in the summer. It really is a no-brainer to move, the only reason not to is reluctance to change. Note also that two thirds of those voting are in favor of changing.

Posted by: iansmccarthy | March 7, 2009 10:45 AM

Changing to DST year-round is the best and easiest solution. I'm steeling myself for my bi-annual pain in the posterior task of changing clocks, which I would gladly like to be done with forever. Anyone who lives on the west side of a metro area & commutes will appreciate not having to drive into the sunrise & sunset TWICE. Heart attacks spike immediately after the Spring change with its loss of a sleep hour. Kids go to school in the dark in the winter anyway - even with standard time. It's time, folks. DST rocks!

Posted by: Ptoadstool | March 7, 2009 10:46 AM

Sunlight is onloy one of the problems with time. Another problem is trying to schedule meetings accross the company and globe. How about everybody adopt Greenwich Mean time.

Another option is to express all times based on a revolving sunrise time. So sunrise would always be 3:00am So if a school starts at 2:00am it would be 1 hour before sunrise.

While we are at it why don't we switch to a decimal clock and a 28 day month. The extra days can all go into a week long new years celebration.

just remember a stitch in time saves nine.

Posted by: throwme | March 7, 2009 10:49 AM

"William Willett, the British architect and golfer who came up with the idea in 1907..."


Actually, **Ben Franklin** is the one who first suggested the idea of Daylight Saving Time in **1784**.

Posted by: goaway41 | March 7, 2009 10:56 AM

The biggest problem, not mentioned in the article, is the effect of the twice yearly change on health and productivity. And for young children who are napping at set hours and sleeping according to sunrise and sunset, the change is really hard. I say we split the difference and change the time permanently to 30 minutes later than it is now. Never change it again.

Posted by: BethyL | March 7, 2009 11:01 AM

While I enjoy more light in the evening, I also appreciate having light in the morning. Shifting light to evening for more recreational activities is plain silly. Think of all those summer evening activities people enjoy - amusement parks, fairs & festivals, sporting events, strolls along paths to watch the stars twinkle and fireworks for every conceivable summertime celebration. Now think of how late you will have to stay up into the night to enjoy those as evening activities. Everyone knows that the magic of Disney or Cedar Point is after the sunsets and seeing these parks lit up in their neon and flashing lights. I, for one, do not want to wait until midnight to see my 4th of July fireworks when most likely I will have to work or be somewhere the next morning.

I also despise having to drive to work in pitch black of night. I leave my home at 6:30am for my drive to work and deal with dopey and dazed morning commuters that have not had their caffeine yet weaving all over the roads and pedestrians that fade into background on poorly lit city streets.

Leave it as it is or get rid of it all together. As for an energy savings plan it fails to take into consideration that the Sun, electricity and temperatures do not have a concept of our terrestrial time. The A/C will still run no matter what time it is. Also think of all those kids walking to school in darkness with those same sleepy drivers on the streets. Every bit of dawn's early light they need for their safety.

Petition your employers to adopt a different work schedule, look for employment in another field or office that has a work schedule that meets your lifestyle if you want to have more light in the evening. For me, the clock only allows me to measure the passage of time, not what I do with my time.

Posted by: JCDodge | March 7, 2009 11:07 AM

Then there are those of us in the Northern latitudes who are just starting to get enough "early" daylight to want to get out of bed in the morning. For us, DST means no one wants to get up in the morning and the kids won't go to bed at night, leading to poorer performance for both students and employees. Instead of getting dark at 9, it will now get dark at 10. (And by late June, it just won't ever be really dark at night.) We spend the entire year fighting our natural body clock. This can't be healthy.

Posted by: trueblue59 | March 7, 2009 11:10 AM

What's the cost of switching in and out of DST each year? Whatever we do, we should stop changing the d**n clocks, pick one way, and stick with it.

On a related topic: In an internationally connected world, shouldn't we have a single global time and get rid of time zones?

Posted by: egc52556 | March 7, 2009 11:15 AM

I don't mind the extra hour of daylight, but all the extra sun is burning my grass.

Posted by: jayvee2 | March 7, 2009 11:26 AM

We don't all work in offices, nor in cities, and lots of folks who do go to work early so you office workers can have your donuts (or croissants) and lattes on the way to work. Daylight savings time is a bad idea because it messes with kids bedtime and rising in the morning. Of course the worst effect is increased motor vehicle accidents involving children, "darker mornings do produce more car accidents involving kids," as the column notes. So what? We need to play more golf and sit outdoors at cafes sipping our microbrews in daylight? The selfishness among DST advocates is apalling.
What about energy savings, perhaps the only legitimate reason for DST? Fisher observes, "Of course, if we were really serious about conserving energy, dozens of other moves would do so far more efficiently..." Exactly. If we were really serious, we wouldn't be moving the clock, we wouldn't be making it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, we wouldn't be endangering kids or preventing them from getting enough sleep. Get rid of DST! It doesn't give us any more daylight. If you want more, just get up earlier.
A majority of respondents voting for DST doesn't make it a good idea. A majority of Americans don't get decent MPG, don't eat local food, don't buy products made in the USA, ...

Posted by: jerryvir | March 7, 2009 11:26 AM

I think there are a few important considerations here, things much more significant than lifestyle and wake-up preferences. Not liking driving to work in the dark in the morning... I understand that, but then let's fidget with work hours, not fundamental astronomy. What is "noon"? It's when, in the center of your time zone, the sun is directly overhead. Do we still want meaning in the labels "a.m." and "p.m."? Because I know plenty of people who will just never get the 24-hour "military" clock. And these kinds of astronomical manipulations just bother me.

The most important thing, I believe, is that the whole world be together on this, so that there's a one hour difference in each time zone all year 'round. It's not a country by country consideration anymore, in my opinion, as the world is now too small. I work "virtually" with a few Europeans, and the change from DST and back over here creates a mess. So, let's do what most of the rest of the world is doing, and let's keep it so that noon is "noon," in every 15 degree time zone.

I'd abolish DST altogether.

Posted by: saprintz | March 7, 2009 11:30 AM

Marc,
The entire premise for DST is that it saves energy. In fact, when Ed Markey slammed the current three-week extension through Congress, his legislation required an Energy Department report on the estimated savings. Guess what? DST actually causes more, not less, energy use. Last year, numerous news publications (including the Washington Post) reported that the Energy Department study found increased energy consumption during DST. The primary reasons are increased electrical and heating consumption in the morning hours during the spring and fall and increased air conditioning use during the summer. Here is an example of the news coverage:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120406767043794825.html

DST, despite what you might want to believe, is not environmentally cool. It increases the carbon footprint and contributes to global warming. Another classic example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Posted by: hisroc | March 7, 2009 11:33 AM

Until a couple of years ago, parts of Indiana did DST and others did not. So when the whole state went to DST, it provided a unique opportunity to compare energy use with and without DST.

Found this at http://www.energy.ca.gov/daylightsaving.html --
"A more recent study - in draft form as of February 2008 - by Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant of the University of Santa Barbara concludes that Daylight Saving Time in Indiana actually increases residential electricity demand. That study titled "Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Indiana". (PDF file) looked at the electricity use when portions of the state finally started to observe DST."

Posted by: tierrabodhi | March 7, 2009 11:40 AM

I hate DSL. I'm a morning person. I want to get up early and get on with my day. We get x number of hours of daylight with or without DSL. I prefer my daylight to begin early and end early. This is, of course, simply my personal perspective.

Posted by: iwannagolfnow | March 7, 2009 11:40 AM

Harding was right: Daylight Saving Time is stupid. If people want to get up earlier, work earlier and so forth, let them, and leave the rest of us alone. The totally unnecessary switch is not worth the cost.

The only things dumber than Daylight Saving Time are Double Daylight Saving Time and year-round Daylight Saving Time. The first is merely twice as dumb; the latter is totally idiotic, since the whole point of DST is to shift the clock in accordance with the seasons.

I will grant DST one benefit: millions of people have arranged their lives so they have nothing to do or think about all day. Gratuitous trouble like DST gives them a relief from their television trance twice a year.

Posted by: Anarcissie | March 7, 2009 12:00 PM

When your boss puts you in a cubicle inside bull pen surrounded by executive offices and no windows, who cares whether the sun is up or down? Just make sure your uncomfortable office chair is weighted down by your body for the requisite eight hours saving 45 minutes for lunch and short (timed) trips to the coffee pot and restroom.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 7, 2009 12:48 PM

Forget about all the double DST and which week it should happen, and talk about the important thing: the day of the week it happens. We switch clocks Saturday night, wake up Sunday and feel no different. Come Monday morning though, THAT'S when we feel the loss of an hour, just in time to go to work. Why not switch the clocks on Friday night so that we have a full day (Sunday) to recover before we have to go to work again?

Posted by: dargo1 | March 7, 2009 1:28 PM

We were in England with the USAF from 1965 to 1968, during which time year-round Summer Time and Double Summer Time were the rule. This not only kept England on the same time as the European continent, but, given the location of the island, gave summer evenings which lasted until after 10 PM, and less depressing winter days. It was heaven!!

Posted by: hpottle | March 7, 2009 1:50 PM

Forget about Daylight Savings time, let’s fix BANK TIME!

Can we please make banks follow some form of normal temporal measurement? They open at 9am and close their day at 2pm.


They need to follow the same clock that the rest of the country follows

Posted by: SlideRule | March 7, 2009 1:51 PM

Oh brother. Double DST is really idiotic! DST is bad enough.

I'm with BethyL, above. Split the difference by springing forward a half hour and then leave the stupid clocks alone.

Once you have kids you realize how incredibly stupid the whole thing is.

It does NOT save energy, not at all. We live in a 24 hour society now. The whole energy rationale is a bunch of baloney.

And I really question your "facts" Mr. Fisher, when it comes to the reduction of crime and traffic accidents. I'd have to see a lot more data than your vague references to believe it.

If you want more time after work, adjust your work hours. But the whole country shifting clocks just to pretend that we somehow have more usable daylight...that's just dumb.

Posted by: SeattlePete | March 7, 2009 1:59 PM

Double daylight savings time? Are you kidding?

Never in my life did I prefer standard time until I had children, and started leaving for work before 7am so that I could leave early and get our kids out of paid childcare as early as possible. Now, winter is brutal. The point of daylight savings time was to help (force?) people to use the summer's early daylight better; the effect on me personally is to force me to use pre-dawn time which my body insists is meant for sleep. Move the clocks ahead another hour... I don't even want to think about it.

That said, this clock-moving nonsense should stop and stop now. It has certainly outlived its usefulness. I would be happier with either standard time or daylight time than I am with the hybrid scheme.

My body insists I state a preference for standard time.

Posted by: BSDetector | March 7, 2009 2:00 PM

How DST saves energy is beyond me. Any commercial building that I frequent has their lights on all the time. I an a safety manager and I remember seeing several articles las t year at the time DST reverted to real saying the sudden change to earlier darkness caused a considerable spike in pedestrian-car crashes. I think our omnipotent government likes us to think they are doing something about energy consumption by keeping everyone off their sleep for a month. Time zones and time-sleep relationships are not all man induced. Hibernating animals don't have a superpower telling them what time it is.

Posted by: jstratt2 | March 7, 2009 2:04 PM

A Chicken has a head as big as a quarter and it awakens at the same time every day of the year!!

Posted by: Venizelos1 | March 7, 2009 2:06 PM

To please all the masses that imagine they have more daylight because of DST (the masses who have probably never seen the sun rise in their lives), why don't we do a 6 or 7 hour shift and we will have daylight until midnight. Of course the actual workers in the country such as builders and farmers will be working from noon to midnight, but that's a small price to pay.

Posted by: jdlarock | March 7, 2009 2:08 PM

I'm an early riser (a birdwatcher in fact) who LOVES Daylight Savings Time and would like Double DST as well, at least in May and June. What it means to me is that to get out in the field by the first glimmer of dawn requires rising at 4 am or so rather than an hour earlier.

Dawn and sunrise are the very best times of the day, so I wouldn't want it all year round - I want to enjoy them in winter as well.

But, all you evening folks seem unwilling to "begin" your evenings until darkness anyway, so why are you eager to extend daylight until after 9 pm? Doesn't that just means you can't start anything until 11?

Posted by: Thrush | March 7, 2009 2:13 PM

==================
==================
==================

This is all EXACTLY equivalent to staying up late, sleeping late, and coming in to work late.

Those are wonderful things, I agree! I'm an uber-slacker myself, as I live in the woods, jacked into the power grid, and hacked into the internet. But if everyone else agrees with me that slacking off is good, then like so many other things, why not just DO it?

Wouldn't it be far easier, instead of screwing around with the clocks, to just mandate that the standard work day isn't 9 to 5, but 11-7?

When you look at it like that, all you businessmen and worker drones are appalled at the suggestion, so you continue to live sleepy, unhappy lives.

But as for me, I'll ponder more about it while I lie on my back naked, 24/7, all day, every day, all week long, as I have for three years after walking out of my nuclear engineering job.

Either join me or be a sad wage slave and a sucker for the rich man while your civilization collapses around you.

HEY:

====>> What is it that you are actually motivated to DO? Well, don't dream it, BE it.

-- faye kane, homeless brain
See more of my smartmouth opinions at http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: FayeKane_HomelessSmartypants | March 7, 2009 2:22 PM

What nobody is noting is that even within the same time zone, there is already an hour difference between the far eastern portion (think Boston) and the far western portion (think Toledo) - when it is light in the morning in Boston, it may still be dark in Toledo, and when the sun sets in Boston, it will still be daylight in Toledo. Likewise, there are cities close to each other (with daylight happening simultaneously) which have different times on the clock (such as Indianapolis and Chicago). All of these comments about light and dark reflect the individual circumstances due to geography of the writers.

The fact is, that averaging over the time zones, most folks have their leisure time in the evenings, and therefore, if it is not dark until later, less electricity will be needed for lighting, evenings will be safer for children, roads will be safer during the discretionary driving hours, etc.

It would be helpful for business purposes to have fewer time zones in the US. China, for example, should have 4 time zones (just like the contiguous 48 states) but has just one. Imagine if we only had two, with just a two-hour offset, rather than four spread among three hours. It might be easier to conduct business, since companies on the east and west coasts would have more of their day when they are both open and have hours in common.

Posted by: SanDiegoD | March 7, 2009 2:49 PM

As a broad matter, I hate Daylight Savings Time.

When I was growing up back in the Burg, my bedroom window faced east. Each morn, the sun rose through the canopy of a 250 year-old birch tree. Green, grey and golden. Glorious. Now, my bed faces the mountains. I naturally awake when the sun tops the Sapphire Range to the east and lightens the crest of the Bitterroots to the west. Awe-inspiring.

When it is my choice, I still wake with the sun. Always have. Always will.

But, it is rarely my choice. I am tied to the clock and constructs of the modern world. As such, Daylight Savings Time messes with my life-light. Daylight Savings Time is only the promise of the angry jangle of an alarm clock shrieking in the darkness, a lonely shower, a bad cup of lukewarm coffee, a drive in the gloom, and a day of working florescent. Awaking dark. Going to home dark. Always in the dark.

I care not about long daylight evenings. I do not want an artificial construct, built to ensure economic efficiency. I want the early morning sun, awakening me naturally, seeping heat and promise into my body and soul. I want the natural time, moving with the rhythms of the heavenly orbs.

Repeal Daylight Savings Time Now.

jgm

Posted by: gant_massey | March 7, 2009 2:50 PM

Marc, you have a short memory. (Or maybe you are too young to remember.) We went to year-round daylight savings time in 1973, in response to the "energy crisis" of that year. Over the winter, there was a huge uproar because all the kids were going to school in the dark, which everybody agreed was unsafe. Congress quickly eliminated year-round DST, and we went back to the old method of having each state decide what to do. If we went to year-round DST today, I think the same thing would happen again.

I think we should keep the system we have now. It's messy, but it's the result of compromises that have been made over the years. Any change we make now would make one group of people happy and another group unhappy.

Posted by: trr2 | March 7, 2009 2:56 PM

10 wasn't loud enough, so we created an 11.

Posted by: LukasWP | March 7, 2009 2:58 PM

I'd feel bad for the kids at school, when the sun won't come up until around 8 AM. I remember waiting for the bus to come before 6:30 AM and how horrible that was. Now your first period would be in the dark.

Posted by: rocotten | March 7, 2009 3:04 PM

This entire piece is a canard. When Bush shifted it, it was documented that the only beneficiaries are really the candy industy. It does not save energy, and was just another bogus move on Bush's part to act like he cared about the environment. I love the early morning. DST causes more daylight time to be spent at work, so that all year long, daylight is aligned with the working day. I HATE IT! The early morning, when the air is clear, the birdies are out is the best time of day. Why can't I have some precious daylight before reporting to work! DST just causes more mall shopping. I HATE DST!

Posted by: trace2 | March 7, 2009 3:06 PM

I can't believe it! I thought I originated the concept of Double Daylight Savings time myself years ago -- only I felt that not only should we NOT go back to Standard time in the winter but that is when we really NEED DDST. I bet the incidence of SAD would be reduced if it didn't get dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Posted by: thekeims | March 7, 2009 3:20 PM

My body does not like daylight saving time. I am not a morning person anytime, and I do not like getting up an hour earlier by actual time. I am tired for the entire time of daylight saving time.

Posted by: janye1 | March 7, 2009 3:41 PM

Actually thekeims, the changes made to DST start and end dates the last few years have exacerbated and extended SAD symptoms, and that's been horrible for people like me. SAD sufferers need natural light in the early morning, and just when that finally begins to happen in early March, our idiot Congress decided to extend DST so now we can't feel better until mid-April, when the sun again rises before 6:45.
And for anyone who says I like the extra hour of sun, that is too dumb for words. The number of daylight hours are the same. Try as Man might, nature dictates how much sun we get at any time of the year because of the earth's orbit. DST is a pain in the patootie, double DST is sheer idiocy.

Posted by: kathym1 | March 7, 2009 3:52 PM

Do you really want it to be pitch black at 8 am on winter days? During the winters, the sun wouldn't be coming up until 8:15 a.m. under your proposal. That means lots of people would be commuting to work in the darkness.

We should keep things as they are.

Posted by: esonnenschein | March 7, 2009 4:03 PM

I agree that the current delineation of time zones needs to be retooled. I live in west Georgia near the western edge of the eastern time zone - our longitude is further west than Detroit (almost Chicago!). Mid-summer, we are actually on double DST already, which I don't mind a bit! But, midwinter it's still dark at 8am. The answer - clean up time zone boundaries so they make sense, shift us all to year-round DST, and it should work fine. And get Arizona on board!

Posted by: mblace | March 7, 2009 4:16 PM

Please cite one scientific study that shows DST saves energy. There are none. Who lobbied for extended DST? The retailers and candy manufacturers. More daylight at the end of the day apparently does translate into more shopping not more family time. And candy manufacturers wanted Halloween in DST to sell more candy. Further there are numerous studies of increases in accidents every time the time shifts. And if there are people who want to have more time in the evenings, how about flex time at work, which would reduce congestion rather than force everyone to conform to an artificial changing of schedules.

I live in the far northern US. DST in March has us getting up in the dark and going to work in the dark. Kids going to school in the dark. Sorry you're not able to enjoy cocktails in the sunlight all year round at a time when we're already in bed, but being able to do basic daily functions in the light is something we would appreciate that the continual extension of DST prevents. Enough. Leave the clocks alone.

Posted by: mawrter | March 7, 2009 4:44 PM

whatever it is changed toooooooo, keep it the same minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year! When it changes...it takes me forever to get adjusted, then another change of time is here. As someone stated the farmer is not what it use to be with the "light" situation.

Posted by: sabestu | March 7, 2009 4:51 PM

DST has always been a foolish waste of time. Farmers that needed to have always risen with the sun regardless of what the clock says. Watch for increased traffic accidents on roads that now will have the sun setting into drivers' eyes at rush hour that didn't before the change...

Posted by: ethiessen | March 7, 2009 5:01 PM

Switching to Daylight Savings Time Increases Accidents

... A study shows an increase in traffic accidents immediately following the spring daylight savings time shift.

www.thenewspaper.com/news/03/300.asp

Posted by: ksargent2 | March 7, 2009 5:09 PM


Oh, pretty stupid concept. 9 to 5 is just a number.


Please stop "moving" the clock. Leave it alone. If I want to get up at 4:00 AM or 8:00 AM, I'll do it.


The bother is switching all my clocks forward and back twice a year.


Agree?

Posted by: tchtic | March 7, 2009 5:38 PM

Anybody care what this blogger, Fisher, thinks about it? He's shooting before his brain is loaded too often, like Campbell Brown of CNN. Wish he'd focused on quality, not quantity, of his writing/thinking...

Posted by: Towards_Light | March 7, 2009 5:44 PM

Once had the good fortune to spend a summer in southwestern Spain, which is on European Daylight Time, but is west of Greenwich. The result is sunsets at around 10pm and twilight until around 11pm. The effect was entirely beneficial. People left work knowing they had hours of sunlight to enjoy, so they exercised or just relaxed after work, ate late and still had time to relax after dinner. Easily the most civilized schedule I've encountered. I'm all in favor of year-round DST with Double DST in the summer.

To andym108: Baseball's best played in twilight. That way, the players have an excuse for all the strikeouts & errors.

Posted by: sternrc | March 7, 2009 5:58 PM

This is the ultimate piece of unnecessary government legislation. If someone wants an extra hour or two of daylight or darkness, let him adjust his personal schedule accordingly. We don't need Big Brother to do it for us. Besides, studies released yesterday show that DST is hard on the heart.

Posted by: CAMM1 | March 7, 2009 6:14 PM

Changing the clocks twice a year is an idiotic nuisance. I've never known anyone who thought otherwise. Whether it's all year daylight savings, or all year double daylight, I'd prefer my light in the evening when I can enjoy it. I wish Cong. Markey was more vocal in advocating his proposals. I think he's get a lot of support.

Posted by: forrest1 | March 7, 2009 6:53 PM

There is nothing "standard" about Standard Time. It's arbitrary, as are all time divisions. I would prefer a system that gives more light in the evening, but doesn't change twice a year. The change is what disconcerts people, and leads to more accidents in the few days after a time change. So change to double daylight time, and call it standard.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | March 7, 2009 6:57 PM

I like daylight when I'm not at work so the DST helps with that. For those that say it doesn't matter, I think it does for some workers who can not flex their schedule. I can tell my boss I'm coming in an hour later during winter and he's cool with that but not everyone can...

Posted by: datdamwuf2 | March 7, 2009 6:58 PM

I get up at 5AM just about every day and it's finally a little bit light by 5:45 in the early mornings, as of tomorrow it'll still be pitch dark. I don't want to SPRING ahead. Stupid time change.

Posted by: MILW | March 7, 2009 7:03 PM

This archaic ritual needs to end! The chaos and lose of time to businesses and individuals, not to mention the health and safety issues of the twice per year disruption of sleep is bordering on the ridiculous! We do not need this stupid changing of of the clocks anymore. PLEASE, PLEASE, stop this madness!!!

Posted by: tpagotie | March 7, 2009 7:14 PM

Daylights savings time is outdated and another attempt by us good ol Americans to feel as though we somehow control time life we think we control everything else. hats off to Arizona for their stance and the rest of the world who leaves time alone.

I agree with WAPO put it ahead an hour and never change it again

Bush is the first president in daylights savings time early life starting in 1916. Only dumb generations attempt to chage time

In response to all of you farmers, you wouldn't know farming if farming hit you in the azz, if you had to farm like they did in 1800's I am positive you wouldn't be farmers anymore and John Deere wouldn't be in business.

Posted by: anythingforlife | March 7, 2009 7:28 PM

This is another one of so many policies where we have an unhappy compromise which is the worst possible solution. I personally would prefer year-round DST--aka Atlantic Standard Time--but since this is politically infeasible staying on EST all year would be better, except that it too is politically infeasible. So we are stuck with what we have.
The only place in North America I am aware of which stays on fast time all year is the Province of Saskatchewan, which for them is Central Standard Time. In winter it doesn't get light until after 9AM, but this doesn't seem to bother either the farmers or the schoolchildren. If they can do it, so could we.

Posted by: RAB2 | March 7, 2009 7:37 PM

Everyone should IGNORE this IDIOCY.

Federal LAW? To SPRING FORWARD one hour?

Why the debate. F'm. Ignore it and they will go away.

Posted by: mdsinc | March 7, 2009 7:41 PM

I despise changing the clocks twice a year, I always feel "off" and tired for the first week or two. It's espcially worse when you have young children, who go to sleep and wake on their own biolgical clocks!

It would be impossible to please everyone, but wish we would select a time halfway in-between standard and DLS time, and stay there permanently. Making both the morning and evening people happy, and save everyone's sanity.

Posted by: Lisa123 | March 7, 2009 7:46 PM

Nobody who has ever tried to put a child to bed in the summer would ever agree to DDST. My vote is for permanent DST -- the changes are a nuisance.

Posted by: lmlarock | March 7, 2009 9:33 PM

I grew up in Michigan, which is on the very western edge of the Eastern time zone. Under those circumstances, you have late sunrises and late sunsets.

With the fall-back being later and later, and the spring-forward being earlier and earlier, this poses a problem -- sunrise tomorrow in Michigan will be around 8:00AM EDT. That means that kids are walking to school in the dark, which is obviously dangerous. For safety's sake, I'd like to see it go back to the beginning of Aril, rather than March.

Posted by: jeffgoblue | March 7, 2009 9:34 PM

DST is fine - but it comes now too early!! Students walking to their school bus stop now have to walk in the dark again, endangered by the drivers speeding to work! There should be light in the sky at 6:30AM!

Posted by: johnbear1 | March 7, 2009 10:27 PM

Hello, Marc! I came upon your site by accident when I woke up really tired (in fact, exhausted)to feed upon my annual need to double check that it's really DST, just as I had done so spring after spring for many years, and still continue to do. Yes, I do this because I am still in denial that a great country like ours, one that is very young compared to other countries, is truly afraid of venturing out of what is familiar. Why are we so afraid of change? Why can't we listen to reason, as well as read research materials produced by scholars and scientists on how DST affects human beings negatively? Why are we so afraid to comply with our body's inner clocks and be ruled by a few deceased, past politicians (and supported by some present chosen few) who thought of this "marvel" idea of "saving time"? Time is in the here and now. We can never "save" in a "time bank" for later use. Once we lose it, it's gone.

Psychologically and physiologically speaking, DST affects our mental and physical states in ways that we are truly unconscious of, unless we have been trained professionally to detect such ramifications. Children need stability in their lives and regular sleep in order to succeed and avoid future pitfalls that instability and the lack of sleep may bring.

No, 20thCentury, Marc Fisher and some of us are not whining. We are simply expressing our right to free speech and our knowledge of how DST is not just a simple drudgery of changing all of our clocks (BTW, mine change automatically because they're connected to satellites); we are looking underneath the dirty rug to expose those who are truly benefiting from DST. It's not us, ordinary, middle class Americans. Thus, I dare to put this on the table: Could it be serving corporate America and their global affiliates? Makes one wonder and ponder after taking even just a small peek of what has been swept under the rug. We are, after all, now living in the new millennium and a lot of us dare to shout out to the world that we are intelligent, albeit middle class, Americans who can see through the rhetoric.

Posted by: coastalwest | March 8, 2009 2:09 PM

Are you out of your mind? I found this article because it came up when I googled Hate Daylight Savings Time because I am livid about this con being foisted on the American people. DST does NOT save energy. This is bogus, as anyone who checks the facts will find out. Moreover, DST forces little children to get up in the dark and walk to school or stand at bus stops in the dark in many places. And we muck about with sun time why? So people like Marc Fisher get to take late night strolls in the light??
The whole thing is geared to benefit one set of people at the expense of another. Think it through, Marc.

Posted by: rdparsons | March 8, 2009 2:37 PM

Please please please have mercy on those of us with young children. I fretted for a week about nap & bedtimes b/c of DST. Still wondering what's going to happen tonight and what happens today while she's w/ grandma for her nap. Stability is important - to all of us - and artificially shifting things an hour just can't be healthy, no matter how nice it is to have a late night outside dinner.

Posted by: alisoncsmith | March 9, 2009 12:41 PM

I would prefer to leave the clocks alone. Instead of moving the clock one hour ahead for DST, move it 1/2 hour ahead from STD time and leave it there all year. It would be a compromise to try and keep most people happy.

Posted by: coolinoff | March 9, 2009 3:44 PM

It was only one hour, but I'm exhausted! Two hours, and I'd need one week off! How would we do it?

Posted by: sugarstreet | March 10, 2009 8:10 AM

Daylight Savings doesn't work in the wintertime. When they tried it in ?1978 at the time of the first energy crisis, parents were up in arms when the kids had to go to school in the dark. This works fine.

Posted by: DrBones721 | March 10, 2009 8:57 AM

There is no way I want my small children to be going to school in darkness a large part of the year. And as far as summer goes, what if you have noisy neighbors or live in a noisy neighborhood who party until sunset and you need to be up at 5 A.M. in the morning for your kids or job, but the neighbors have kept you up all night. I guess if I had a cushy job of writing a column I wouldn't care, but how about the real world.

And I was mugged once in broad daylight. Not only would I keep it as it is, but I would go back to the first Sunday in April. I do like the later daylight past Halloween, but other than that, your idea stinks! I hope the Brits don't pass it.

Posted by: mctj | March 10, 2009 11:48 AM

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