Should daylight savings time continue throughout the entire year?
The U.S. Senate thinks so as it passed this month in bi-partisan fashion the Sunshine Protection Act. The House of Representatives is expected to review the bill, but there appears to be more concerns in that chamber. Pundits say the bill will not get anywhere this year, but it’s likely to return in future years for consideration.
The legislation’s name makes little sense as the bill – no piece of law for that matter – will affect the length of the time sun will shine each day. It changes how people get the daylight and when. The sun will simply rise later in the day depending on the time of the year and set later.
For most states, daylight savings time began this year on March 13 and will end on Nov. 6. Arizona and Hawaii do not use daylight savings time. Around these parts, most of us do not enjoy setting our clocks back in the fall because it signals the beginning of the sun setting about 5 p.m. It represents the onset of the winter doldrums in a seasonal beach resort community. Conversely, falling back in the spring has come to mean a revival with warmer weather approaching and blooms coming out of the ground.
Losing an hour of sleep in the spring in exchange for evening daylight and gaining one in the fall while losing the later sunsets is an annoyance. It’s a trivial one, however, and one that does not merit a national legislative action to undo.
If daylight saving time is made permanent with no standard time usage, the sunrise time on the shore will hover between 8 and 9 a.m. from late November until early February. This means school children will go to school in the dark for about one third of the time they go to school. As a result, if the change passes, some school systems may simply start their days later to adjust for the dark morning and bright nights.
The 53-year-old system does not appear to be broken and in need of a drastic change. Year-round standard time has its flaws as does 12-month daylights savings time. The current system works fine. There are downsides and upsides. It’s a matter of individual perspective. There’s no national cry for change. It was tried once before in the 1970s but after a year abandoned for several reasons.
While the legislation has sponsored some interesting dialogues online and in real life, it was surprising to see a matter of making daylights savings time permanent surface in the Senate with weighty matters impacting our daily lives, like skyrocketing inflation, national security concerns, foreign aid disparities and domestic issues, such as soaring fuel prices. The negatives outweigh the positives with making this move in our view. Our legislators should focus on more important matters.