Several years ago, the start of daylight saving time was another signal spring was getting into full swing. Like opening day for the Red Sox, the late sunsets were a sign that warmer temperatures were going to become commonplace and bare ground, not huge snow banks, was the rule.
Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 we now “spring forward” in the second Sunday in March and this year that’s as early as it can occur. Because we are moving the clocks ahead by one hour early Sunday morning, the sun will be setting Sunday evening close to 6:40PM. I’m not sure what benefit this brings to anyone with 20 inches of snow on the ground; although I’m sure someone will let me know somehow. Maybe ski areas could create a new daylight saving pass that ran from 2PM to 6PM.
Springing forward means a loss of one hour’s sleep and starting Sunday morning it’s going to be dark again in the morning when many of us are getting up. Is the idea of moving the clocks backwards or forwards every six months one whose time has come and gone? Why do we have to do this? What if we just compromised and moved the clocks 30 minutes and left them there? There is precedence for this. The entire country of India has is offset from Greenwich Mean Time that is in a 30 minute interval. This means no matter where you travel in India you don’t have to change your watch or your smartphone shouldn’t change.
In 2007, then President Hugo Chavez moved the clocks back in Venezuela by 30 minutes and left them there. Maracaibo, Venezuela sits almost exactly the same longitude Boston. What if this could be done along the east coast, maybe by an executive order? (This paragraph should give the trolls in the comments section a lot of fodder)
So maybe my idea is silly, but would it be so bad if the latest sunset was at 7:55 instead of 8:25? If you don’t like the moving the clocks 30 minutes idea, what about just leaving us on daylight saving time all year? In 1974, the United States remained on daylight saving time. Opponents will say it’s it too dark in the morning in the depths of winter for the kids walking to school. 31 years ago a lot of kids walked to school. I see buses stopping to pick up children who live so close together the back of the bus hasn’t cleared the driveway of the student who just got on, while the next student is climbing the stairs in the front of the bus.
Our latest sunrise is currently about 7:15 in early November, if we stayed on daylight saving time all year our latest sunrise would be between 8:00 and 8:15 for most of New England.
Whatever your thoughts on the time change, it’s coming in a couple of days. Here’s how I trick myself into not losing any sleep this weekend. I don’t schedule anything Sunday morning and just go to bed as usual, awakening after 8 hours. Then, I move the clocks ahead one hour, silly huh?
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