How are you feeling? A little sluggish? And you’re only three days into daylight savings time, where you lost just one precious hour? (Although, we are all into 12 months lost to the coronavirus.)
How would you feel if you didn’t have to deal with the clock change every six months? We thing it’s a great idea.
As opposed to other years, there are no bills this legislative session calling for the abolishment of daylight savings time. But it happens. A few years ago, a bill was proposed by Rep. Sam Young, D-Greensboro that would have called for the adoption of daylight saving time throughout the year.
Under current law, Vermont winds its clock back to Eastern Standard Time in November, which increases daylight in the morning, and moves its clocks forward to daylight saving time in March, to extend light in the evening. (In 2017-18, Vermont lawmakers, in tripartisan co-sponsorship, introduced a joint resolution that never saw the daylight of either chamber.)
Currently, a handful of states, and at least a few members of Congress are considering a permanent change as well.
Regardless of what states want, changing the time would take, well, an act of Congress.
In Oregon, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden last week reintroduced legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent across the country.
“The Sunshine Protection Act takes a common-sense step to provide some much-needed stability for families in Oregon and across the nation,” Wyden said. “Springing forward and falling back year after year only creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy. Making Daylight Saving permanent would give folks an hour back of sunshine during the winter months when we need it most.”
The bipartisan legislation, if enacted, would apply to states that currently participate in DST, which Oregon and most states observe for eight months out of the year.
According to published reports, officials say potential national effects of making daylight saving time permanent include:
– Reduces vehicle crashes and accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8% to 11% by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
– Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
– Reduces the number of robberies by 27%, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
– Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent — 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
– Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
– Benefits the agricultural economy (despite what old Vermonters tell you), which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
– Reduces energy usage — a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found during the four weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have shown that the energy savings are minimal, but a small savings does occur.
Michigan, Georgia and Utah are also actively looking to toss the time change. At least 28 states have introduced legislation this year to eliminate daylight savings time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart tweeted Sunday morning that he is sponsoring the Daylight Savings Act, which allows states to decide whether or not they participate in Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight savings time was first used in World War I and World War II to conserve fuel as well as during the energy crisis of the 1970s.
At World War II’s end in 1945, inconsistencies in DST observance across the country caused confusion, especially in transportation and broadcast industries, Farmer’s Almanac reported.
It’s an hour we’d all like back. Wake up, make the change.