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The United States should “back down” for the last time | Editorial

The United States should “back down” for the last time |  Editorial

Some people opposed altering “God’s timing.” But it doesn’t take a religious perspective to see that daylight saving time is out of step with the natural rhythm of life.

For centuries, civilization divided the day at the time when the sun was highest and called it noon. Standard time is natural time.

Eons before, the biological clocks of humans and other living beings had been set to the same daily rhythm, beyond the power of any Congress or Legislature to change them.

Farmers cannot tell roosters when to crow or tell cows when to be milked. You can’t persuade a teenager that it’s time to rise and shine, when the sun hasn’t.

Remember: it’s 2 am on Sunday.

Congress didn’t care. The semi-annual clock-changing ritual that he imposed on the United States is available again at 2 a.m. Sunday. Practical people will “back off” before going to bed. Forget it and you’ll arrive an hour early on Sunday.

Once the clocks are put back into place, they should stay there. Let this be the final “setback” and let the “breakthrough” be a fading memory by March.

It’s time for the Legislature to defend year-round standard time in Florida, even if other states don’t, and for Senator Marco Rubio to stop trying to get the nation to adopt permanent year-round daylight saving time.

The absence of bad news is good news

The Senate passed Rubio’s Sun Protection Act last year by unanimous consent, which meant most senators weren’t paying attention or didn’t care. Something so drastic deserves debate. The House did not accept it. This year, it hasn’t changed in either chamber of Congress; A case without news is good news.

Even better news would be if Rubio and others tried to repeal daylight saving time and make standard time permanent. This is much safer and healthier, and could even happen.

Florida and 18 other states have supported year-round daylight saving time if Congress allows it (Florida’s state proposal passed with overwhelming bipartisan support five years ago). Please no.

The last time Congress did that, during an energy crisis in 1974, it was so unpopular that it was quickly repealed.

Parents were furious about sending their children to school bus stops with flashlights in the dead of winter. Early morning traffic deaths increased, prompting cries of “daytime disaster hour.”

Tired of changing watches

The arguments in favor of permanently reimposing unnatural time only go so far, and not far enough.

People are literally sick and tired of resetting their smart watches and appliances twice a year. The hour lost in spring precedes significant statistical increases in heart attacks. There is evidence of more early morning car accidents, although data is conflicting on whether that is offset by fewer nighttime accidents.

As for heart attacks, studies show that 4% to 29% more of them occur in the week after the “breakthrough.”

There is less evidence that it saves a significant amount of energy, which has been the political justification for daylight saving time here and abroad through wars and oil shortages. Rather, it appears to match the business models of department stores, golf courses and other businesses that may benefit from a further downturn.

A medical consensus

The AMA and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine favor permanent standard time. When the AMA House of Delegates acted a year ago, it said “issues other than patient health” were behind year-round daylight saving time.

Year-round daylight saving time would largely undo the good work the Legislature did this year, enacting a requirement (HB 733) that by 2026 the instructional day cannot begin in Florida before 8 a.m. for schools middle schools or 8:30 am for high schools. Lawmakers should have finished the job and rescinded their 2018 call for Congress to enforce daylight saving time year-round.

Natural time throughout the year would improve student achievement. Ask any high school teacher.

Benjamin Franklin is often credited (or blamed) for creating daylight saving time, but the Franklin Institute, a science museum in Philadelphia, says it is “the only thing Franklin didn’t invent.”

According to his website, the legend stems from a tongue-in-cheek essay he wrote in 1784 while serving as an American diplomat in Paris. Startled by a noise upon seeing daylight at 6 a.m., he wrote that “your readers, who have never seen sunlight before noon,” should readjust their sleep schedules to get up and go to bed with the sun. .

He projected “immense savings” from wax and tallow candles that would no longer need to be purchased and proposed a tax on shutters and restrictions on the use of candles. Every dawn, he added, should be greeted with church bells and, if necessary, cannon firing to “effectively wake up the sluggish.”

He just meant that they should adjust their habits, not their watches. It would be more than a century before governments adopted that idea. As time goes. But the “extra hour” is not worth it. It’s time for daylight saving time to RIP.

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Steve Bousquet, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Dan Sweeney, Editorial Writer Martin Dyckman and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Editorials are the opinion of the Board and are written by one of its members or a designee. To contact us, send an email to cards@sun-sentinel.com.



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