On Nov. 6, I took a stand. While millions of Americans were dutifully resetting all their clocks and convincing themselves that they gained an hour, I did nothing. I left my clocks alone.
I got up at the same time the next day as I did the day before. I went to bed at the same time I normally do. Two months later, my clocks—including those on my phone and computer—all remain on daylight saving time.
The only thing that has changed for me is that my morning commute is less crowded. I’m never late to a meeting or a movie. And while I’m enjoying the beauty of dusk on my way home, everyone else has to work for another hour and then commute in the pitch dark.
I’ve half-jokingly told my office mates that this been the most ennobling thing I’ve ever done. I say half-jokingly, because as I think about it, it really is a character-building exercise. It’s what we conservatives like to call “self-governance.”
I’ve taken a stand against arbitrary and capricious federal mandates. Just because the federal government says that we should shift our schedules by one hour twice a year doesn’t mean we have to.
It doesn’t save daylight. It doesn’t save energy. It’s a hassle, pure and simple.
Plus, the terms “daylight saving” time and “standard” time are meaningless today. Thanks to President George W. Bush’s misguided energy bill of 2005, we are now on “standard” time for only one-third of the year. The true standard in this country today is the other eight months of “daylight saving” time.
Last year, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., pushed a bill that would do what I’m doing right now—make daylight saving time permanent nationwide. Even in a country where divisions run so deep, Rubio’s bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent, only to die in the House, where then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t take it up.
In the meantime, 20 states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—have expressed their desire to remain on daylight saving time year-round.
The problem is that while federal law allows states to stay on standard time year-round, states aren’t allowed to switch to permanent daylight saving time without a change in federal law.
Personally, I don’t care whether we’re on “standard” or “daylight saving” time. Just pick one time and stick with it.
Switching back and forth each spring and fall isn’t just a waste of time, it’s a known killer. A study in Health Economics found that “springing forward” causes “the suicide rate to rise by 6.25 percent and the death rate from suicide and substance abuse combined to increase by 6.59 percent directly after the time change.”
Another study published in Sleep Medicine found that there was a significant increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the switch to daylight saving time and on the Sunday when everyone is switching back to standard time.
The annual switch also correlates with higher rates of heart attacks and workplace injuries.
So, do yourself a favor. Do your health a favor. Do your personal safety a favor. Don’t wait for lawmakers to get around to ridding the nation of this idiotic twice-a-year time-switching ritual.
It’s time to take time into your own hands.
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