Dec 27, 2016, 09:03AM

I’m With the Cows

You can keep Daylight Saving Time.

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Last week, I was taking the mutt for a walk at the Audubon Society woods and wetlands and through the trees I could see the sun settling close to the horizon. I looked at my watch and it was only 4:47 p.m. I hate daylight saving time. I’m not sure why we even bother anymore. The idea that you can gain or lose an hour is at best theoretical. People have no clear idea what it does but it generates confusion and unhappiness.

It’s said DST was created for farmers. This just isn’t true. The farmers were the reason we never had a peacetime DST until 1966. They had a powerful lobby and were strongly against it. They wanted the extra time to get their crops to market and many farmers today still don't like it. Some dairy farmers find that cows' natural milking schedules don't adapt easily to a sudden shift.

I’m definitely with the cows. I hate to get up in the dark, and all I want to do after the early dusk is eat something quick and go to bed. If it were light outside, I’d be out playing, driving to fun activities or being productive. Most people spend the morning light getting ready for work or planning their day inside so don’t really take advantage of the morning sun. DST has been expanded since the 1960s. This means that our sunrise times are so late that mothers are fumbling around getting their kids ready for school just to send them out on dark neighborhood streets.

The real widespread introduction of DST was during World War I and into the present day, thinking that energy would be saved. Lighter evenings meant less use of electricity. But studies show that we just use more in the morning and so researchers question if there are any gains at all. I think human’s circadian clock sets itself naturally and man’s turning back of the physical clock just messes with our sleep, moods, reduction of outdoor and indoor physical activity and our immune systems that have to adjust.

DST is state mandated. Neither Arizona nor Hawaii follows this outdated practice. Moving to Hawaii sounds pretty good right now as I write these thoughts in the dark of six p.m.


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