Daylight Saving Time

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By Thomas W. Ivines

Last week, we rolled the clocks back an hour. It came a week later than last year and I understand it will be even later next year.

There is much controversy about daylight saving time. The idea is that it saves energy because less time is spent working in the dark during the summer. Fine, but it is just the opposite for me. I work early evenings, so in the summer I have to work an hour later in daylight that I'd much rather be spending at home.

Moving the clock back in the winter cuts the day much shorter for things like flying. As a pilot if you do not want to fly in the dark, you have to plan fights to end much sooner. That translates to flying less distance to arrive before dark.

Oh, it's nice getting up with the sun shining in the morning but I sure hate driving home from work after dark. I never could understand why a winter day should be made shorter when winter months are already shorter by nature.

Now, the question is: What months are actually saving daylight? Is it the winter months or the summer months?

The old saying, "spring forward, fall back" helps us to remember which way to set the clocks but it doesn't say much for what is actually normal time. Years of manipulating our clocks have me and a lot of others wondering what is normal anymore.

Well, according to the Federal Government, daylight saving time is in the summer months. You see, moving the clock forward allows more daylight later in the day, actually far into the evening for most summer months. And, for those who like more daylight when they get off from work that is great. Trouble is, many of us do not work from nine to five, and for us the time change is nothing but a big, fat headache.

Simply put, the sun comes up and falls with the seasons the same, regardless of where we set our clocks. Chickens and other animals respond only to nature, not human time frame. Our own senses respond that way, too.

Personally, I find it difficult to sleep after the sun comes up. At the same time, I get sleepy so many hours after the sun goes down, regardless of what the clock says. Force me to get up earlier or go to bed later for society's sake does nothing more than aggravate me.

If our government really wanted to manipulate time to suit everyone and save the most energy, then they would change time to coincide with sunrise no matter where we live. Sunrise would be 6 a.m. every day.

Of course, that would mean continually changing the clocks to coincide with sunrise every day, everywhere. But, I mean, with today's technology it could be done; and just think how much money clock manufactures would make re-engineering clocks to automatically adjust.