Friday, October 25, 2002

It's time for my semiannual rant against the evil of Daylight Savings Time. My fall DST rant is more on the conciliatory side, since this is the time of year when we get to set our clocks backward and enjoy the hour that was so cruelly torn from our grasp in the spring. Still, it only goes to show that even the greatest genius can have a truly stupid idea, and this one can be laid squarely at the doorstep of Ben Franklin, by some accounts the Bob Crane of the Founding Fathers.

I don't believe for one minute the old story about the lady who objected to DST because she thought the extra daylight would make her drape fade faster. I do tend to accept the story of the farmer who scoffed that if someone wants more daylight during the summer, they can damn well get up earlier.

But if you're going to tamper with the celestial clockwork for the betterment of humanity, there's a better idea I've heard of: eliminate time zones. Why not make it the same time all over the world all at once? It isn't REALLY an hour later one time zone to the east, after all—it's right NOW there too. Discarding time zones makes at least as much sense as jimmying with the clocks every spring just so people can spend an extra hour sitting on the front porch in the evening before the mosquitoes start to close in.


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