IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME…
I find it incredible that since the late nineteenth century, governments across the Western world, spent so much time debating the pros and cons of something as controversial (and in my opinion, unnecessary) as “daylight savings” time. Business operators, tourism promoters, and influential, affluent, golfers and others who participate in outdoor activities seem able to spread their influence to lawmakers whose prime concern is reelection. Legislators ignore the plight of farmers, the health effects on constituents, and the cost of disruption of travel schedules for airlines, trains, and bus companies, in favor of campaign donors.
Farmers, who are responsible for feeding the world, rely on atmospheric conditions, not clocks, to produce crops. Something as seemingly unimportant as morning dew could mean the difference between crop failure or a bountiful harvest. Messing with the clock has proven that during daylight savings time, less production is realized from farm laborers, thus increasing a farmer’s costs, which ultimately reaches the consumer table.
Other studies show the ill-effects of daylight savings time on our health – more heart attacks, unhealthy disruption of bio-rhythms and sleep patterns, and increased rates of suicide and depression.
Have you ever considered what it costs airlines, railway systems, and bus systems to change time schedules each time the government mandates a change of the clock? It’s not cheap, and guess who eventually pays for it in higher passenger fares or freight charges.
“Sorry Mr. Minority Leader, I think the problem in food production, ill health, and increased transportation costs being caused by daylight savings time is a lot of baloney! We get tons of campaign money from the people that favor this manipulation of time, so I am going to limit debate and call for a floor vote immediately,” the Speaker of the House might say.
Several reasons for implementing such nonsense as daylight savings time have been put forth by advocates of the theory, “it ain’t broken, but fix it anyway”. Businesses claim they get higher sales volume. Urban families say they have more daylight to spend time together. Outdoor enthusiasts, like some doctors and other professionals who take Wednesday afternoon off regardless, opine that there is more daylight available for outdoor activities (such as golf, tennis, volleyball, etc.) after work. I can’t figure why these matters require action by the government. Why can’t individuals who find such things necessary adjust their schedules without disrupting the flow of life across the world?
“We are safer,” the proponents say, “and we save money on utility bills. We get to play more golf after work, and we have more time to shop before the stores close.”
Really? That reasoning is right up there with the little old lady who was so thankful because she had more daylight hours to work in her garden! Actually, studies have proven that we save nothing, nada, on utilities. In fact, the manipulation of the clock actually causes us to use more energy. What miniscule amount is saved on lighting, is far outpaced by the use of air conditioning and the cleanup of pollution because of this increased use.
Historical records show that Congress put daylight savings time into effect to accommodate financial markets, allowing trading with other markets in London, Chicago, or the West Coast of the United States. I would bet more than a few congressmen got their pockets lined, and don’t you dare call me a cynic!
As if there is not enough turmoil in this world, the wisdom in Washington is to make the enactment of the policy a state’s option, so a person can stand in Arizona at its border with Colorado, take a step over the border and lose or gain an hour depending on the season! Does that make sense? It’s difficult enough for a modern businessman to consider time zones in his dealings, much less have to throw in whether a state is on “daylight savings” time.
You might ask why a blind person with no light perception gives a damn about daylight or darkness. Granted, it doesn’t mean a hell of a lot to me, until it begins to overshadow the real problems, financial and moral, that face us today. I don’t really care about saving daylight, but I do care about how priorities are assigned to matters that our Congress and state legislators should address. I spent almost the entire seven years of my brief military career learning to deal with “Zulu” and “Greenwich Mean” time. I finally got it down on a three – by – five card and got to where I understood it all, only to be confronted as a civilian with this so-called “daylight savings” exercise. I’ve probably saved enough daylight since this establishment of control was instituted by our legislators, that I could give each of them enough to get something important done before the nightlife begins!
We’ve all heard the utterance, Spring forward, Fall backward”. If I were omnipotent, I would waste no time this Fall. I would permanently turn back time and never again allow some self-serving politician to waste tax dollars by debating such ridiculous legislation. Should any of them even whisper a suggestion that we contrive such a law again, I would spring forward and do my best to see that they fell backwards!
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A votre sante! J.O.T.