Saturday, March 12, 2011

Double Daylight Savings -- Why Stop Here?

It’s a lovely warm March Saturday, so tonight I’ll not only light the grill, I’ll also have a fire in the firepit. Because tonight is the last night before October that it will get dark before my son’s bedtime.

Yes, tomorrow starts Daylight Savings Time … or, as I consider it here in Indiana, double daylight savings time, since we spend the winter recognizing Eastern Standard Time even though we’re 100 miles deep into the Central Time Zone. But tonight we double down on that and set the clocks back. So tomorrow, it’s back to getting up and leaving for school and for work in the dark, just like in the bleakest days of early January.

I’m not trying to fight a lost battle all over again. In fact, I’d like to suggest that if we’ve come this far, we might as well take this game to the logical conclusion.

If the purpose of daylight savings time is to maximize our daylight hours for leisure time after the traditional workday … what’s the point of having the workday start just a few minutes before or after we all go into our offices, schools, warehouses and factories? I say, let’s put Indiana on Greenwich Mean Time!

Having noon be the midpoint between sunrise and sunset is a pointless arbitrary exercise – even an old school curmudgeon like me doesn’t want as much morning as afternoon. I actually kind of like where we are right now – five hours of morning, seven-and-a-half hours of afternoon – just fine. Tomorrow it goes to four hours of morning and eight-and-a-half hours of afternoon.

But why stop there? Why waste so many more hours of daylight on being stuck inside working? If we were to go on Greenwich Mean Time tomorrow, it would still be getting light about the time church let out (and about the time the heathens rolled out of bed), and then it would stay light until 1 AM!

And starting Monday, how many of us would notice that the sun was coming up four hours, instead of four minutes, after we pulled into the parking garages under our offices? Ah, but we would have seven hours of daylight ahead of us when we got home from work at 5:30. Sure, it’s going to be thirty-seven degrees and drizzling (because it’s MARCH!) but those of us that want to can still get in 36 holes of golf.

The real beauty of this idea comes in June, when the days are longest, and even though they start at 10 AM, they still last until 3 AM! That’s almost ten hours of daylight after we get out of school and off work! Heck, that’s like having seven Saturdays a week!

Mark me down as a convert. Greenwich Mean Time! Quintuple Daylight Savings Time! Because daylight is wasted on the workday.