Thursday, July 21, 2005

Clocks, Cows and Udder Confusion

Hope ya like daylight savings time because it's on the verge of becoming the new standard time in the U.S. On Tuesday, a House-Senate conference committee agreed on language that would extend daylight savings time by two months as part of a comprehensive energy bill.

Under the proposed plan, we'd "spring forward" the first Sunday in March and "fall back" the last Sunday in November, giving us nine months of daylight savings time and just three of "standard" time. However, the resulting hue and cry over the time change now has Congress stepping back and reconsidering their zeal to mess with the clocks of 250 million people.

Supporters say we could reduce nationwide energy demand by as much as one percent, or 100,000 barrels of oil, per day. Some research indicates the extra hour of daylight would reduce the number of car accidents since people tend to drive faster on the way home than they do on the way to work. It might also cut down on crime since it's harder to do crimes without the cover of darkness.

Naturally, there are also some drawbacks. At the top of the list is the idea that little kids would be walking to school in the dark. It doesn't seem there are as many kids walking or biking to school these days, though. At least not in my (relatively safe urban) neighborhood.

Then you have dairy farmers complaining about how any time change messes up their cows' milking schedules. I don't quite understand that. Why can't they just milk the cows an hour earlier or later? Is there anyone out there who can explain this to a teat-shy city boy?


wes said...

Daylight savings is udderly stupid and should be outlawed, not extended. Somoene must be making money off of it for this to even be an issue. Follow the money.

jennifer said...

I don't know about the cows but I do know that I hate, hate, HATE Daylight Savings Time! I never feel quite right until we go back to Daylight Time As Mother Nature Intended It.

I was hoping they'd abolish DST instead of extending it! Aren't all the farms run by ginormous robots now anyway?

Travis said...

I'm not necessarily a fan of switching the clocks back & forth, but I do love DST for the extra hour of UV rays. It is so depressing going to work when it's dark and going home when it's dark, never seeing the sun. When the clock springs forward every March, I feel like school just let out for summer. I am a runner but not an early-riser, so I enjoy the opportunity to actually run in the daylight after work. Plus, especially in Austin, who doesn't love drinking beer outside in the evening sun? This would extend the beloved Happy Hour season another two months, a boon for the local economy.