Hey Southerners, Join Arizona on the "Dark" Side

Congress is probably going to extend Daylight Savings Time, despite complaints from airlines that their rescheduling and reprogramming costs will be exorbitant. Virginia Postrel points out that while a boon for the Northeast, southerners are not amused:

The source of this bright idea is, not surprisingly, the ever-meddlesome Ed Markey, who calls the bill
"a huge victory for sunshine lovers." As a certified sunshine lover, I'd say it
looks more like Massachusetts's revenge on Texas (and the rest of the Sunbelt)
for George Bush's victory over John Kerry. There are some places--and Dallas is
definitely one of them--that need just the opposite: shorter sunny evening
hours. Once the sun goes down and the temperature falls to the high 80s, you can
actually enjoy sitting outside.

The ostensible goal of the bill is energy saving, but the evidence
is weak

Oddly missed even in fairly
 accounts is
any consideration of the extension's most obvious cost: More demand for
energy-eating air conditioning in the fast-growing, very hot Sunbelt. A lot more
people live down here than did back during the Nixon administration.

Southerners, come join Arizona on the "dark" side of this issue.  Arizona decided long ago that it had plenty of daylight, did not need to save it, and therefore was not going to play with the other kids.  We sometimes catch some grief for being out of step, but you don't see any of us scrambling around the house twice a year looking for our VCR manual to figure out how to change the clock.



  1. Duane Gran:

    My home state of Indiana recently decided to break ranks with Arizona as the only other sane state that doesn't observe daylight savings. See the following if you are curious what I thought of it at the time:


    On the whole, I think debates about daylight savings are rather silly. Are people's lives so regimented that they can't time-shift their schedules by a few hours? It seems easier for people to change their morning routines on an as-needed basis than for everyone to change their clocks twice a year.

  2. Karen of Scottsdale:

    One of the things I love most about living in Scottsdale versus San Diego is the fact that I never change my clocks and I never go through that horid week in the spring when you lose an hour of needed sleep.

    Living without daylight savings time almost makes up for the fact that we have to put up with John McCain as our senator.

  3. spectregunner:

    >> Living without daylight savings time almost makes up for the fact that we have to put up with John McCain as our senator.

    Almost, but not quite!

  4. Matt:

    Forget hunting for the manual...if you have a relatively new VCR, you're about to be compelled to buy one that's even newer. (VCRs have known how to adjust for DST for years now. If Congress changes the DST rules, most of the country's VCR inventory will instantaneously be converted into garbage. Nice windfall for the manufacturers. Also good for Microsoft, since it'll mean they can finally force people to upgrade all their old computers.)

    For the consumers? Well, not so much.

  5. Jackal:

    Plus, since you're supposed to change your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks, ours must somehow last forever!

    We're all alone now, since (the rest of) Indiana has seen the light.

  6. Gary Peterson:

    When congress changed the daylight saving time law in 1986 to start daylight saving time on the first Sunday in April begining in 1987 there were no VCR's and computers that made automatic adjustments for daylight saving time. You had to set them manually. Thus nothing became obsolete and no programs had to be changed. These people raised no objections. Now programs will have go be changed starting in 2007 unless you have one that adjusts from time signals broadcast in the air. Also back the most of Europe stared daylight saving time on the last Sunday in March and ended it on the last Sunday in September. There was a month discord in the spring and another month discord the other way in the fall. When the spring extention took place it reduced the discord in the spring to a week. The discord in the fall ended in 1996 for Europe. THe PTA seemed to raise no objections to the extention because it was pointed that 22 weeks of the year would sill have later sunrises than the first Sunday in April which would be the tail end of daylight saving time in the fall plus much of the winter months as well. With the latest extention there will be no later sunrises than what you get on November 6 which could be the latest day of daylight saving time unless you are in Alaska. Some years when the last full day of daylight saving time is Halloween there could still be a few later sunrises only in the northern border of the US during late December and early January but two weeks of those days would be the Christmas break for school. As far as later sunrises than March 8 which would be the earliest possible start of daylight saving time you would of course have the final two weeks of daylight saving time under the new law or the final week of daylight saving time under the current law. Also there would be later sunrises in December and January for those in the north but not in the south. Also many schools start far to early according the many reports because children do not get enough sleep. They would learn better with a later starting school day of 9:00 AM. That would just about end children going to school in the dark even with the new law and many places could even have year round daylight saving time and children still would go to school in the daylight. Southern California and Nevada would still have sunup before 8:00 AM even with daylight saving time on the shortest day. This wold also apply to the pandhandle of Florida and much of Alabama. Also a later starting school time would mean small children would not have to go to bed when it was still light at the tail end of the school year.

  7. Maevin Jeschke:

    Time works fine for me just as it is.
    The fact probably is, if nothing was mentioned
    and all the clocks automaticly set them selves,
    a great percentage of the people would not even
    realize that it took place.

  8. Anonymous:

    "Arizona" doesn't get it at all. Arizona would be just as hot at that time of day with or without Daylight Saving Time. The only thing that changes is the time on the clock - DST doesn't add an hour of sunlight. DST doesn't save energy either. When it gets dark, people turn on their lights, whether it's morning or evening. The only thing DST does is mess up people's lives.