Sunday, March 10, 2013

A couple of thoughts about springing forward

First: it's "Daylight Saving Time," not "Daylight Savings Time." Singular, not plural. I'd make fun of people for saying it wrong but I used to be one of them.

Second: Yes, the time change is annoying and disruptive. Which brings up the same debate we have every time we change the clocks: should we keep Daylight Saving Time, or should we do away with it?

Speaking personally, I like having the extended daylight in the summer evenings; given Houston's climate it's just about the only time during the summer when it's comfortable enough to do anything outside. Which is why, if we had to do away with the time change, I'd prefer staying on DST all year round.

Of course, the argument against doing that is that kids would have to walk to school, and people would have to drive to work, in complete darkness during the winter months. I'm not sure how that's worse than driving home from work in the dark, which I am forced to do during the winter months, but in any case we've already tried year-round DST - in 1974 as a response to the energy crisis caused by the Arab Oil Embargo - and abandoned it after only one year.

With all that said, I don't think Daylight Saving Time is going away anytime soon. There are just too many business interests - retail, leisure and tourism among them - that benefit from people staying out later during the summer months and will lobby to keep it that way.

Which is why, for all the grousing and complaining we do about having to change the clocks twice a year, we're probably going to keep on doing it.

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