Down with DST!

Thanks for the thought provoking comments re: DST.

I read them over just before my evening ritual for hitting the hay.  I guess I do have some relaxation moments built into my day because part of the getting to bed ritual involves my sitting in the massage chair for a 15 minute spin.

I don’t know if I was relaxed or not but I started boggling my mind with this DST business.

Thanks for Brian and his international perspective.  I had, being USA-o-centric, just assumed everybody started and stopped DST at the same time world-wide.  Not so at all. And some parts of the world are still not on DST so that must cause all sorts of communication screw-ups.  The dates for DST are, as Brian indicates, federally mandated, but for some reason that I can’t understand Arizona, my research suggests, isn’t on DST.

In the 50s and 60s apparently local governments were allowed to set the start and stop dates for DST with the result, one web site reports, that on one Ohio to West Virginia bus route, passengers had to change their watches seven times in 35 miles!  So while DST is not observed in Arizona at all, for some unknown reason, the Federal Government does now make everybody in the country start and stop DST at the same time.

Brother Stephen mentions the sun dial and observes that if the sun is not overhead at noon a sun dial would not work or something to that effect.  Perhaps we should all go on sun dial time.  But that would seem to me perhaps the most local of all forms of time keeping.  While I don’t really understand this matter at all could sun dials east or west of each other by say a thousand miles easily be off relative to each other.  Of course, I guess that’s the way it is anyway.

I was thinking of getting a sun dial but apparently you have to set the damn things correctly towards true north, whatever that is, as opposed to magnetic north and some sort mathematical calculation is also necessary to compensate for being either north or south of the equator.

Also Brian mentions that China has or is thinking about 1 time zone for the whole country.  Now that is an interesting, if mind boggling idea.  I hope I understand correctly.  Would this mean, say, that when the sun came up at 6 AM on the East Coast, it would also be 6 AM on the West Coast but no sun would be coming up.  It would be pitch dark.  So would that mean that dawn would occur at 9 AM on the West Coast while on the East Coast the sun would have been up for three hours already.

Evidence for energy savings produced by DST is very mixed.  But what I read suggests no energy savings.  What I read also suggests that we have DST because businesses want it; people shop more when there is more day light.  The extension of DST this last year was lobbied for (and won) in part by the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Cousin Lucy remarks—and I feel it to be true—that adjusting to DST (going on and off) becomes more difficult the older one is.  Those shifts can damage sleep patterns for weeks.  One country—I forget the name—has outlawed DST for heath reasons.

I don’t think I should have suffer major screw ups in my circadian rhythms because 7-11 wants to sell more Slurpees.

3 Replies to “Down with DST!”

  1. As I recall, DST was startd in the first place way back when 90% of the population lived on family farms….school was out in the Summer so the kids could help with the crops, and if it stayed light later during those months, then the farmer could work the help longer….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *