Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

For those of you in the U.S. that observe Daylight Savings Time, tonight is the night to move the clocks ahead.

Apparently Florida came one vote short of going on DST permanently last year.

Cuckoo ClockThe Sunshine State could have extended daylight saving time if one state senator gets his way.

Florida state Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat, introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” earlier this year that would make daylight saving time permanent year round. Why? Soto, an attorney, said that he was just tired of leaving his law office in the dark.

“It’s been bothering me for years,” Soto told POLITICO. “It’s something I’d think about leaving the office in the winter when it’s dark out.”The more he thought about it, the more he said it made sense.

“From time to time, we have to look at rules and laws in our society and re-examine them to see if they still serve the purpose that we need,” said Soto, whose district is near Orlando.

He added: “We are the sunshine state and a big tourism state — it would allow constituents to have an extra hour to enjoy the beach, enjoy the amusement parks, maybe go out to the eat. So in that sense, it’s an economic issue.”

Actually here in South Florida, the difference between winter and summer sunshine isn’t all that much — about an hour and a half this far south.  But then if we were on DST all the time, we’d be on Atlantic Standard Time, the same as Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands.  That wouldn’t make a lot of sense as far as the rest of the country is concerned.  Prime time on TV would start at 9 p.m., which means that the networks would either lose a lot of viewers here in Florida, or they’d have to switch us to the Mountain Time zone and prime time would start at 7.

It’s also a matter of geography.  A lot of  people think that Florida is way east, but if you look at the map, Miami is on the same longitude as Pittsburgh.  Most of the state lines up with the Midwest, and there’s a section of Florida up in the panhandle that is in the Central Time zone, so they’d move to the Eastern zone.

The simple solution is to move the entire country to DST permanently, let Arizona become part of the Pacific Time zone (they have their own issues with the Navajo reservation in the northeast part of the state observing DST while the rest of the state doesn’t) and knock off the switch every year.  But then Canada would have to follow suit, as would Mexico since they do a lot of business south and north of the border.

Sometimes time is not time simple.

4 barks and woofs on “Daylight Savings Time

  1. Another option is to say on Eastern Standard Time and those who wish to begin their business day an hour early may do so. I am sure the Senator/Attorney is free to arrive at work as early as he wishes and customize his departure from work without compelling every other person in the state to rearrange their lives to suit his whims. If, as an attorney and senator, he is not able to arrive at work 1-2 hours early and leave no later than 4 or 5 p.m. he probably shouldn’t be making decisions for other people. ? Or maybe I’m just grouchy.

  2. This was actually tried for a year, back during the OPEC oil embargo in the early 1970s. One major objection came from parents who worried for the safety of their kids, waiting for school buses in the pre-dawn darkness.

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