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Generic Confusion

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Sunday, January 02, 2005

Daylight Savings Time

I had friends from Ohio visiting this weekend. I was expecting their arrival at 11 AM, give or take. A half hour late was to be expected, but when I called at noon, I got the response: Isn't it 11 AM there?

No, it isn't.

The only reason this confusion exists is because most of Indiana refuses to adopt Daylight Savings Time. Even smart people get messed up now and then.

In this case, all that happened is some friends got together an hour later than expected. But what if one was coming to Indianapolis to attend a sporting event? Or to catch a flight?

I personally don't like the fact that in the summer, our network TV shows come on an hour later than anywhere else in the Eastern or Central Time Zones. But more, I don't like that it's bright and sunny at 5 AM in the summer.

There are other real concerns for businesses looking to work in Indiana. If you want to keep the same call center hours for everyone outside (most of) Arizona and Hawaii, you need to change your employees' hours in the summer. You confuse your customers, clients, and suppliers.

Governor-elect Mitch Daniels says he wants to adopt daylight savings time. But there is a risk that we will adopt Daylight Savings Time but join the Central Time Zone, which to me is the worst of both worlds. Having lived in Connecticut, winters meant it was dark at 4:30 PM. I don't want to see that here, which would be the case if we were on Central Time Zone. Now, most people can at least see the sun set at the end of the work day.

Here are some arguments against Daylight Savings Time, and why I disagree with them:
Kids will be waiting for the school bus in the dark in October. The sunrise is comparable between October (the end of Daylight Savings Time) and the dates surrounding the winter break. And, if this is a problem, why start school so early? School (especially junior high and high school) typically starts before most people start work. School start times can be pushed forward a half hour or so.
We're closer to Chicago than New York. While true, what does that have to do with anything? So is Detroit. So is Rapid City, South Dakota. Both are in different time zones, because that's where they fit in the longitude of the world.
The cows don't like it. The stupidest reason I've heard. Sure, when the cows want to be milked is when you're going to milk the cows, and it really doesn't matter if the clock says 5 AM or 6 AM. I don't think farmers, whose work doesn't really care about the clock, should drive this debate.

But the most important concern I have is that we won't draw on what should be a plainly obvious resource. Why not ask the people at the same longitude who enjoy Daylight Savings Time? Michigan's West Coast, with more daylight in summer and less in winter, has Daylight Savings Time. They like it, don't they? Why not get their opinion before deciding for Indiana?


At 10:24 PM, Blogger gecko said...

Being in California, I don't appreciate the sun setting so early. When I travelled on a pre-house-hunting trip to Washington State, I didn't appreciate the light going out on our foray's either. I guess I'm stuck with it though.

I think the aguements against it that you mentioned are pretty lame also. Cows?

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Yes, cows. Apparently, the farmers' lobby is opposed to Daylight Savings Time. I can't think of any reason for this opposition.

I didn't even mention the obvious one: you have to change your clocks. Ironically, because we don't observe Daylight Savings Time, I have to reset my VCR. My VCR can handle the change to daylight savings time automatically, but cannot handle that the show on Cartoon Network that starts at 10 AM in March starts at 9 AM in May.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Nathan Frampton said...

I agree with you but am confused. I live in Zionsville. Right now it's the same time it is in Ohio.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Yes, but he thought that Indiana was still an hour behind Ohio, like in April through October. That was the confusion.


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