Reminder: Daylight-Saving Time Is Still the Worst

We've sprung ahead. Let's never fall back again.


Image via Wikimedia Commons

As you chug a post-lunch coffee to account for your sluggishness this fine Monday, let us offer a semiannual reminder that daylight-saving time is the worst and should die in a fire.

As we argued you shortly before “falling back” last year, and as we’ll argue again now that we’ve “sprung forward,” DST is an outdated, silly practice that’s more trouble than whatever energy savings it might be worth. Scientists have found evidence that it impacts our physical and mental health. Economists have argued that it leads to billions of dollars in lost productivity. Microwaves have argued that it’s really annoying when you forget to reset their clocks for at least three weeks after the time change. Opting out of the DST ritual might be the only good idea Arizona’s leaders have ever had.

Sure, getting that extra hour of sunlight in New England is great. But there’s a way to eliminate all this clock switching while still keeping the evening hours bright. Last year in the Boston Globe, Tom Emswiler proposed that New England simply secede from daylight-saving time and join up with the Atlantic Standard Time Zone. It’s just east of Eastern Standard Time, used in parts of Canada, the Caribbean, and South America. The good news is that if we switched now, while we’re sprung forward, we wouldn’t actually have to do anything. From March to October, we already live in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, we just call it Eastern Daylight Time. We could decide to simply not switch our clocks back.  We’d just hang out here forever and ever and finally, come fall, we wouldn’t have to press the stupid, tiny “Hour” button on our car’s clock 11 times in a row. The time to switch is now.

There are other solutions, of course. By moving one time zone east, New England could enjoy more sane daylight hours, but we would no longer share a time zone with New York and Washington D.C. That can be a pain. So perhaps it would be better if we could just convince the whole country to do away with daylight-saving time.

However, if we get rid of the thing, we should consider doing it soon. Don’t make us repeat ourselves next fall. And next spring. And next fall… And next spring…