State Rep. Russ Diamond (R-102) wants the state to consider abolishing Daylight Saving Time.
The idea might seem fantastic at face value: Ditch Daylight Saving Time? Surely this Ben Franklin invention is as American as apple pie, a crucial policy for local farmers.
Yet nothing I said in the above paragraph is accurate. Ben Franklin did not invent Daylight Saving Time, and all the wisdom he actually conferred was that you should get up with the sun. (By the way, farmers likely knew this fact already, given the impartiality of cows and other animals as to the actual time of day.)
In fact, Daylight Saving Time in the US was a wartime energy conservation effort not standardized until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act. Arizona and Hawaii opted out at the time and remain the only states that don’t implement DST. Some states are trying to go the other way, in going full DST, but this change requires congressional approval.
Pennsylvania could join the movement, too, if Rep. Russ Diamond has his way. In his recent co-sponsorship memo previewing upcoming legislation, he lays out a multipoint argument for getting rid of the time change.
His main arguments for ending what he calls an “antiquated ritual of changing clocks”:
- Energy savings from changing clocks has historically been negligible at best.”
- There are more negative side effects from changing clocks than benefits.
- Changing clocks twice every year simply because “we’ve always done it that way” is not enough reason to continue the practice.
We have included some of his references at the bottom of this post.
Rep. Diamond says that going to full EST makes more sense than full DST because Pennsylvania is between the 75th and 80th parallels, or towards the middle of EST, our noon should already approximate the sun’s zenith on EST.
“I do believe if PA takes the lead on this, other states will follow,” said Rep. Diamond in an email to LebTown.
He has posted the idea to Facebook as well, where it has received a mixed reaction.
What do you think? Read his full memo here and let us know in the comments. 👇
Supporting links provided by Rep. Diamond
Fatal accidents following changes in daylight savings time: the American experience. (Sleep Medicine Medical Journal)
Changes in ischemic stroke occurrence following daylight saving time transitions. (Sleep Medicine Medical Journal)
Changing to daylight saving time cuts into sleep and increases workplace injuries. (Journal of Applied Psychology)
Small shifts in diurnal rhythms are associated with an increase in suicide: The effect of daylight saving (Sleep and Biological Rhythms Journal)