Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why Daylight Savings Time is a Very Good Thing.

OK, daylight savings time is not about the "spring-forward" or "fall-back" days that mildly inconvenience us. I love DST, and here's why:

It's about getting the sun to rise somewhere between 5 AM and 7 AM year round, as best as possible, in every given time zone.

Without it, here in Detroit, we'd have a sunrise on June 21st at 4:55 AM. That's a lot of wasted daylight, but it's not the worst thing in the world. However, we're on the forgiving western edge of a timezone. On the other side of the Eastern Time Zone, Bangor Maine would have a 3:49 AM sunrise on June 21st. Let's all accept this as unacceptable and move along.

So why not just go to DST all year round you might ask?

We on the western edge of a timezone would suffer the most! Over on the east edge of the timezone (Bangor, again), on the solstice, they'd get an 8:00 AM start, and sunset at 4:54 PM. They can muddle through that, I suppose. However, on the western edge, like Detroit, if we were under DST all year, we'd have our latest sunrise (interestingly enough, NOT on the winter solstice) in early January around 9:01 AM, and sunset at 5:59.

Anyone want to be at their desks for an hour BEFORE the sun comes up?

Thus concludes my arguments for the merits of inconveniencing ourselves two days out of the year, to not suffer what would feel like an intolerable timeshift in our circadian rhythms for months on end around the solstices.

Rest easy. Fall back. You're welcome