Column: Time to spring into a new era

Switching to Daylight Saving Time is a real drag

As I write this, I do so in something of a sleep-deprived stupor.

The reason for today’s fog and an unusual — but not unprecedented — fourth cup of coffee is, of course, that we sprang forward last weekend.

In my case, I will acknowledge that it was less of a ‘spring’ and more of a ‘drag and drop’ situation.

So, if you can find it in your heart to overlook any obvious spelling or grammatical errors (and the less obvious ones, too, obviously) my fatigue-addled brain and I would appreciate it.

That’s assuming, of course, that you are alert enough to catch them.

On Saturday night, we all dutifully set our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time, on the understanding that a lost hour of sleep will result in a found hour of evening sunshine.

Which, don’t get me wrong, is lovely.

The question I have is this: why do we force ourselves to give up that afternoon/evening hour each November, only to turn around and reclaim it four months later?

We can all agree that winter is a dark and — for many— pretty depressing time of year. But those of us who rise to an alarm in order to get to a paying job are going to do so regardless of the amount of sunlight streaming in through the bedroom window.

We also appreciate coming home with a bit of daylight left to steer by, for as late in the year as that lasts.

Something else that happens like clockwork each November and March — at least one page of your local newspaper is dedicated to the dissection of Daylight Savings Time and the question of why we even bother.

You might have noticed in years past, that none of these writers ever seems to be jumping up and down (like they’d have the energy) in support of the time change.

No one who keeps to a regular weekly schedule seems to care for it, at least.

The biannual disruption to our systems is said to be dangerous to our health, leading to an increased number of both heart attacks and car crashes. One can assume that these incidents are not always unrelated.

So, here I sit on a Monday morning, trying to string together a few cohesive thoughts about why it is that we still insist on doing this twice a year.

Why do we saddle ourselves with the unpleasant sense of jet lag without any of the enjoyment of actually traveling to another time zone?

Some suggest that Daylight Savings Time was implemented during the First World War as a way to decrease energy consumption.

Historians will note that this was well before the vast majority of us began spending our days and evenings inside heated and air-conditioned buildings, staring for hours on end at electrically-powered computer and television screens.

Some websites (speaking of staring at screens) contend that DST started with farmers.

But if you have to get up with the sun to milk cows or feed chickens, does it really matter precisely where the clock hands are pointing?

Will the animals be adjusting their schedules accordingly? Probably not.

There are areas along the B.C.-Alberta boundary and in Ontario, not to mention the entire province of Saskatchewan, where local residents cannot be bothered with all the nonsense of changing clocks back and forth, opting instead to play the ‘what time is it there now?’ game for people living in whichever direction they need to call.

Yes, they’re in the minority, but if they’re willing to do all that mental arithmetic to avoid springing and falling each spring and fall, it must be an idea worth considering, mustn’t it?

There’s no reason to panic — we don’t have to make a decision today.

After all, DST won’t end for another eight months.

That gives us plenty of time to make an informed decision to scrap the whole annoying process and simply leave the clocks where they are.

Until then, why don’t we all just sleep on it?

Just Posted

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home in Langley

G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Some types of cauliflower, lettuce recalled over E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced recall because of possible contamination.

A closer look at driverless shuttles proposed in Surrey, Vancouver

Vancouver and Surrey’s joint application for $50 million to create the ‘autonomous vehicle’ streets is one of five shortlisted

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

5 to start your day

Pedestrian seriously injured in Abbotsford, strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast and more

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

Most Read