Here we go again, our semi-annual rite of modern stupidity also known as Daylight Saving Time. Increased risks of heart attacks and accidents and disruption of sleep patterns are just the most prominent ill effects, and for what?
The Raging Moderate is back. I’ve been doing a lot of extra writing since last summer for the 70th Anniversary of The Chicago Bar Foundation, and this weekend was just the jolt I needed to get back in business here.
A good USA Today article that our Chicago Sun-Times ran this week recounts the twisted history of how we started doing this and the growing efforts to just pick one time year-round. It is well worth reading the whole article, but my favorite factoid is this: “No one is sure just how much daylight is saved, globally, each year, though physics indicates none.”
So the professed purpose for doing this in the first place appears to be illusory, yet like lemmings we just keep suffering through it. It is hard enough to sleep to begin with, not to mention all of the other downsides, and it is well past time to put a stop to it.
Thankfully, some locales in the United States and many other countries already have opted out, and more states are starting to do something about it by passing legislation to go to year-round Daylight Saving Time. Those states include Florida, which already has passed it and awaits approval from the federal government, and California, where a similar effort is expected to pass this Spring.
To avoid the chaos of struggling to figure out what time it is when you travel among states (as folks who have traveled through Indiana can attest), this is a problem that really should be fixed at the federal level. And earlier this week, members of the Florida Congressional delegation introduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 in the House and Senate to do just that. The bill would make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round and end the practice of changing the clocks twice a year.
This is one of those issues we should all get behind regardless of where we are on the political spectrum. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Sunshine Protection Act. And if your home state hasn’t already started moving on this (and as far as I can tell, Illinois has not), urge your elected officials in your home state to follow the lead of Florida, California and others who are working to make tomorrow the last time we do this.
We have until November 3rd to put an end to this madness, let’s do it!