A Plea to End Daylight Savings Time


Peterborough Cathedral sundial. Image: Wikimedia.

Can we please stop this changing the clocks business? I swear I’d support a Kim Kardashian presidential bid if she’d make ending daylight savings time a campaign platform.

Anyone who keeps chickens knows that this time change nonsense has nothing to do with farming. The hens look to the sun as their cue to start their working day. The same goes for the cats who are, as I write this, staging a loud protest in the kitchen to let us know that breakfast is an hour late.

It’s bad enough that our clocks are an abstraction of solar time. Why do we need to add another layer of abstraction by changing our clocks rather than adjusting our lives to the passage of the seasons? This is the time equivalent of taking honest labor, abstracting it into money and then turning that into a collateralized debt obligation. As the layers of abstraction accrue, we lose touch with the rhythms of the rising and setting sun. We lose sleep. We piss off the chickens and cats.

Get working on that campaign, Kim.

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  1. I’d also add small children to the list of creatures that know that the time change is nonsense. And I’m a fan of doing away with time zones too. After all, it’s not really an hour earlier across the river, or in many cases across an imaginary line. We could have Universal time, and if I eat lunch at 0700 because that is mid-day where I am, then so be it. Great post. My wife puts up with my rant on this topic twice a year.

  2. Amen and amen. I don’t even are if they keep it on Daylight Savings Time or Standard time…just stop changing it around! It’s even worse since GW Bush lengthened DST by a month or so. Now it feels like we just get adjusted to “slow” time and it switches back to DST or “fast” time (as the Amish call it).

  3. I understand the outrage and I marvel at the fact that, despite the enormous logistical complexity, we keep changing the clock twice a year. BUT: I for one love Daylight Savings because it keeps the sun out for one more hour at night during the summer. It wouldn’t feel like summer for me otherwise. But I also don’t have chickens, cats, nor small children…

  4. I agree! Stop the change. Most people look at me like I’m a bit crazy when I rail against time change. I like telling time best by “sunrise”, “sunset” and “high-noon”.

  5. I so agree, I hate the time change. I have 2 cats and they hate it also. I had sleep problems and I know when I get them resolved, I will be out of sync twice a year. I takes me about 2 weeks to get my sleep back to normal.
    We get the same number of hours of daylight and dark all the time.
    Changing the clocks is like cutting 12″ off the top of a blanket and sewing it to the bottom to make it longer

  6. This is one of the few bipartisan issues left. Everybody can get behind ending daylight savings time! Kardashian 2016!!

    • True. The STATE of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time, but the Navajo Nation, whose territory forms a large part of Arizona, DOES observe daylight savings time, except for the small Hopi enclave inside the Navajo Nation territory, which DOES NOT observe daylight savings time. I think I’ve got that right, but it’s all very complicated and rather stupid!

    • I live in AZ, and you’re right that we don’t observe daylight savings time (Peter is also right that the Navajo Nation does, because it extends into other states).
      I’m a fan of not having DST, I like watching the daylight change in relation to clock time without the sudden shift. And New Mexico just voted not to change as well! Rather than Kardashians for president, let’s do this state by state!

  7. My friends gradually adjust their kid’s schedule to account for daylight savings. Each day they either shift forward or back (depending on the time change) a couple minutes, so when daylight savings does roll around, they still use the exact same time, but the kid has been shifted so they don’t notice a difference. Maybe it would be a good idea to do something similar for the chickens and kitties? 🙂

  8. There’s a small but growing movement in Massachusetts to defect from EST and join the Atlantic time zone (an hour earlier, like Newfoundland), with no switch to Daylight Saving in the summer (when we would match EDT). Sunset today where I live: 4:35. By the solstice it’s 4:12. Kill. Me. Now.

    • Actually, just to be different, Newfoundland observes Newfoundland Standard Time, which is 30 minutes earlier (or is it later) than Atlantic Standard Time. Which gives rise to the old joke: “The World will end at midnight; 12:30am in Newfoundland”.

  9. Chickens have nowhere to go and no appointments. Daylight is daylight to them. I could keep the lights on them all night long and they would lay all year.

    Cats? Who knows, but if you say they know, I believe it.

    One elderly woman complained that all the extra sunlight was burning up her tomatoes. Ummm, doesn’t work that way.

    I do get to the end of the sunlight and feel I have been wrongly shorted of daylight to finish chores, whether it be going to shop for groceries or taking clothes off the line.

    There is no reason not to like DST in my world.

  10. I hate daylight saving time with a passion. I’d vote for the whole Kardashian clan for Group President if they’d stop the nonsense.

    I think what irritates me most is the sudden time change. Since I’m now off work an hour later I have to scramble to get animals fed before total dark. It would have been much easier to adjust slowly as the daylight changed.

  11. My husband is a software engineer and moans that daylight savings makes complications for computer programmers! And yes, it brings challenges for parenting too!

  12. Where I live there are 6 more hours of daylight in the middle of summer than there are in the middle of winter. If there were no DST, the sun would rise 4 am in the summer, when nobody is even awake, and if we went to always DST, it wouldn’t rise until 9 am in the winter. Jobs and schools just DO operate on particular schedules, and it’s safer and more energy efficient to be synced with the sun’s schedule as much as possible.

  13. I 100% completely agree! Maybe not the Kim Kardashian as president, but banishing daylight savings is a WONDERFUL idea!!!!!

  14. We (at least my wife is) thinking of starting an initiative to ban
    daylight saving time in our state, Washington. In our view it does
    not ‘save’ anything’! Makes the AM commute lighter, but the PM commute darker on the I-5 when people are tireder and more prone to
    not pay attention, for onesies!

    • Correct me if I’m wrong… but daylight savings just ENDED. So the fact that the evening commute is now darker is due to it being normal time again. So should we just switch to daylight savings full time then?

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