Bill Trabucco: Enough with resetting the clock |

Bill Trabucco: Enough with resetting the clock

As we approach another jerk of our time schedules due to daylight savings, I’d like to add some sanity to the debate about daylight saving time. The choices are never, as it is now, and always.

In a properly constructed and situated time zone, the sun is due south at noontime, 12:00. That is how we define numerical time. There are equal amounts of light before and after noon, 12 of the clock, no matter what time of year.

The issue of daylight saving for energy conservation is mostly an idea resulting from human habit. You get up at 6 a.m. to go to work, but stay up late for the 11 p.m. news. You’re up six hours before noon but almost 11 after.

I spent much time many years ago in New Zealand, where most of the electricity is generated by hydro. There was a drought necessitating reduced electricity usage. At the time, most of the television media were government stations, so they simply shifted the program times an hour earlier by the clock. No need to jerk the sheep, cattle ranchers and farmers around at all. People turned off the TV, and the lights and went to bed earlier.

Rather than shifting around everyone twice a year, or making daylight saving time permanent, which is even more non-sensical, let’s do away with this anachronistic habit.

If daily saving time were permanent, or even two hours as I’ve heard occasionally advocated, people would still push things to an hour later, as we generally stay up once we’re up.

Business and schools should simply change their schedules appropriately to the season of the year to maximize the use of the natural light. Don’t want your children going to school in the dark in the winter? Instead of school starting at 7, have the school district make it 8 or 9 a.m. in the winter. Same for businesses that require people who work primarily outdoors like construction, utility work, etc.

Functions that, as most, arbitrarily choose a time to start and/or stop should adjust as appropriate for the season. Leave the clock alone.

Bill Trabucco lives in Nevada City.

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