Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 14, 2014

DAVE BANGERT: A case for a daylight-saving time change

Return DST to pre-2007 April start and October end dates.

Who better to size up the annual moaning over Sunday’s return of daylight-saving time than pop culture’s favorite spokesman for hard science, Neil deGrasse Tyson?

“What would aliens say,” Tyson wrote on his Twitter feed, “if told that Earthlings shift clocks by an hour to fool themselves into thinking there’s more sunlight?”

What would they say?

Maybe they’d get that the daylight available in 24 hours is something we’re compelled to manage and maximize. It’s not a matter of more sunlight. It’s a matter of when.

So our time — early this week, at least — has been spent cursing the dark. It just depends on which side of the day the curses originate, with the arguments between morning and evening joggers breaking down into something akin to a classic, tastes great/less filling ad for Miller Lite.

But maybe the aliens would ask: Are you managing that time the right way?

The pre-dawn scene at Monday’s bus stop and the commute to school suggests there’s room to fine-tune the concept, again.

The Lafayette sunrise was 8:08 a.m. on Monday, the first weekday in this year’s edition of daylight-saving time.

That’s comparable to the sunrises on the darkest times on either side of Christmas break (8:06 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, and 8:11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 6).

In other words, that’s a dark walk to school.

The difference? Both of those dates came with the benefit of the gradual adjustment to the morning lighting. Monday was a reminder of what an hour of daylight early in the day means as crossing guards eased into still-black intersections.

Because Indiana was so late to the daylight-saving time game, finally joining in 2006, Hoosiers tend to grouse twice a year as if the time change issue is their own. That includes a niche nostalgia for “God’s time” — when Indiana followed the sun instead of the rest of the country, never resetting clocks. It’s enough to leave newcomers sighing a collective, “Huh?”

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