Tag Archives: energy crisis

All this daylight is worth keeping year ’round

I like Daylight Saving Time. I like it so much I believe I now want the government to keep it year ’round.

Let me stipulate that I understand the laws of the cosmos, which is that half the year brings more darkness than light. It all has to do with the position of Earth in relation to the sun, how Earth tilts on its axis, providing the Northern Hemisphere with more daylight between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (from March to September).

But still …

I also will stipulate that I don’t mind the switching back and forth between Daylight Saving and Standard times.

However, I do like the notion of keeping DST on the books all year long. My wife and I enjoy the late-in-the-day sunshine that motivates us to run our errands well into the early and mid evening.

Given that we’re retired now and we don’t have to be anywhere early in the day — which means we can sleep in a little if we so desire — that gives us more time later in the day to do this or that chore outdoors.

What’s more, my environmentalist tendency reminds me that we returned to DST during an energy crisis; the government thought it was important to preserve energy by enacting the Daylight Saving Time as a hedge against burning too much electricity — you know, to power the lights.

I wonder if Texas might consider joining some other states that have gone to DST permanently. Well … legislators? Are you game?

Here’s a thought: Let’s keep DST

Do not count me as one of those twice-a-year crybabies who gripes and moans about the changes from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time, then back to DST … and on and on it goes.

We’ve “fallen back” one more time. The sun will rise an hour earlier on the clocks we’ve all (or many of us) have turned back before we turned in for the night. It’s going to get dark an hour earlier at the end of the day, too.

I don’t object to the back-and-forth like some folks do.

However, I am beginning to wonder whether we ought to just keep it on DST as a hedge against the reason it was made a more-or-less permanent fixture in our lives back in the 1970s.

Do you remember the Arab oil embargo of 1973? We had those long lines at the gasoline service stations. Gas dealers were running out of fuel. The price of fuel spiked to a buck a gallon and we all went apoplectic at the thought.

The government imposed Daylight Saving Time to ensure a way to keep from turning on the lights in our homes. We wanted to save energy that at the time we thought was in short supply. If the sun was shining later in the day, the thought went, we could conserve electricity that in many parts of the country is produced by fossil fuels; that’s the case in the Texas Panhandle, for instance.

Where are we now? The energy crisis has abated more or less. We have plenty of fuel. You know what? It’s not an endless supply. Oil is still a finite resource. I get that the “crisis” as we once knew it has passed. But why not maintain at least a semblance of alertness to the need to conserve what we ought to know won’t last forever?

Given that I have environmentalist tendencies at heart, that is what I would like to see. I won’t bitch about switching back and forth, not even in the spring when we lose that hour’s sleep by turning the clocks ahead for DST.

Finally, we can stop the silly media chatter about whether it’s called “Daylight Savings Time” or “Daylight Saving Time.” Now that annoys — and the pun is fully intended — the daylight out of me.

DST? Wait for the gripes

I slept in this morning.

My biological clock said it was a little before 7 a.m. when I rolled out; the clock next to the bed flashed a little before 8 a.m.

No sweat! My day began and will proceed just as it always does, Daylight Saving Time notwithstanding.

Actually, I am a big supporter of the principle behind DST. It’s not as new a policy as many of us have been led to believe. It’s been around in some form for many, many years. DST became all the vogue in the 1970s with the Arab oil embargo and the fear that we were burning too much fossil fuel when we turned on our lights in the evening.

So the federal government implemented DST to push the clocks forward an hour, allowing us more daylight as spring arrived and summer approached. We burned our lights a little less, saving valuable energy that at the time was coming from too many “hostile” sources in the Middle East. Some states don’t adhere to DST mandates, keeping their clocks set on standard time. That’s their call.

In the past four-plus decades or so we’ve done a good job preserving energy. DST has helped toward that effort.

Ranchers tell us all the time that their livestock doesn’t know the difference between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time. Cattle and horses still need to be fed at the same time no matter what.

So, they rely on a form of Bovine or Equine Standard Time to go about pursuing their livelihoods on the ranch.

I get that.

The rest of us city slickers have different concerns. Those who work for a living have to be somewhere at certain times each day.

Are you worried about being late once you have to push the clock forward an hour? No worries. Go to bed an hour earlier.

Be sure you turn off the lights — and keep saving that still-priceless energy.

Have a great day, y’all.