Some Oregon state legislators want to do away with daylight saving time in this state. Bad idea!
We need to make daylight saving time permanent, giving Oregonians an extra hour of light in the evening year-round.
Great arguments for doing so can be found in a Vox post that is aptly named, "It's time to make daylight saving time year-round."
Looking at the lobbying groups in favor of DST, however, hints at the real benefit. DST means that people who work a standard day shift (and kids who go to school during the day) get more daylight after work. Manufacturers like this because we tend to engage in leisure activities, take short trips, and buy things after work — but not before — so a longer DST slightly increases sales.
For the same reason, a year-round DST would also be nice for anyone who works inside and simply likes to occasionally see the sun during the short days of winter. It'd mean getting up when it's a bit darker out in exchange for an extra hour of light after work. In Washington, DC, for instance, sunsets in the dead of winter would be at roughly 6 pm, instead of 5, and sunrises would be at 8:30 am instead of 7:30.
In my extensive personal research regarding this issue, which includes (well, totally encompasses) brief conversations with friends and asking a plumber who is working in our house right now how he feels about daylight saving time, everybody loves it.
They prefer having more light in the late afternoon and evening than early in the morning. After all, after work/school is when people have an opportunity to go for a walk, bike, run, or otherwise get outside and do stuff.
When daylight saving time ends and we put our clocks back an hour in the fall, I've never heard someone say "Oh, joy, now it is going to get dark at 5 rather than 6. I can walk the dog with a flashlight!"
Likely two anti-daylight saving time bills being sponsored by state Senators Kim Thatcher and Brian Boquist aren't going anywhere. Still, daylight saving time lovers need to send them and the Senate Rules committee a strong message:
Keep your damn hands off of my spring and summer evening daylight! Further, instead of doing away with daylight saving time, it should be made permanent, so Oregonians can have more light at the end of the day.
It'd be even better if Congress would make daylight saving time permanent everywhere, in which case DST would end up being simply... time. So says the end of the Vox article.
Lots of social problems are really hard to solve. There are often big, powerful players with a stake in keeping the status quo, or the actual solution is messy and hard to implement.
This isn't the case with yearlong DST. An act of Congress — just like the act that extended DST in 2005 — could instantly fix this problem, saving us the annoyance of switching our clocks and giving us more sunlight to enjoy during our leisure hours. Over time, even farmers' opposition to DST has softened, and most people simply want to stop switching their clocks twice a year.
...Let's make this weekend the last time we set our clocks forward — and let's leave them there forever.