It is time to cast off our chains and free ourselves from slavery to the clock. Mankind once worked from can till can’t, as my ol’ grandpappy used to say — from the time you can see till the time you can’t — and farmers such as he still did. But to make the trains run on time, we strapped ourselves to the clock. But the clock doesn’t change, though the amount of daylight does.
Ol’ Ben Franklin, while serving as ambassador in France, accidentally figured out that this out-of-synch arrangement was somewhat uneconomical when he mistakenly arose one day at 6 a.m. instead of noon and discovered the sun was shining through his window. “I love economy exceedingly,” he said, and proceeded to explain in a letter to a local newspaper how many candles and how much lamp oil could be saved by adjusting the city’s lifestyle to the proclivities of the sun.
Franklin observed: “This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive light than
the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.”
Thus, in 1918 in a effort to be more economical during the war, Congress borrowed from Europe the concept of daylight savings time — springing clocks forward during the summer and back in the winter.
From shortly after Pearl Harbor until the end of the Second World War, the nation was on year-round DST, or war time.
The savings in energy in Nevada is probably nil under this scheme of things, since we use more power to air condition than to heat. The changing of clocks twice a year is really a bit of a nuisance and, dare I say, a waste of time.
Perhaps the time has come to end the charade and for the state Legislature to pass Assembly Joint Resolution No. 4 and make Pacific Daylight Savings Time year-round. “WHEREAS, Congress also found and declared that ‘the use of year-round daylight saving time could have other beneficial effects on the public interest, including the reduction of crime, improved traffic safety, more daylight outdoor playtime for children and youth of our Nation, [and] greater utilization of parks and recreation 12 areas…’” AJR4 reads in part. “WHEREAS, Congress also found and declared that the use of year-round daylight saving time could result in ‘expanded economic opportunity through extension of daylight hours to peak shopping hours…’”
Alas, as with everything else, the power to fix this lies in Washington, though I can’t seem to find this enumerated power in my copy of the Constitution. Perhaps it is outdated.
Therefore, AJR4 concludes by beseeching Congress to amend The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973 and allow each state to opt out, the same as Arizona and Hawaii have opted out, but rather than sticking with PST, adopt PDST all year. Why should it get dark at 4:30 p.m. in the winter anyway and require me to
put a spotlight on the barbecue?
Free us from the shackles of time. It is good for nothing.
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Thomas Mitchell is a former newspaper editor who now writes conservative/libertarian columns for weekly papers in central Nevada.