Is This Pennsylvania’s Last Daylight Savings Time?
Time to turn your clocks ahead tonight. Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday morning.
This week in Harrisburg, one member of the House of Representatives wrote some legislation that would put an end to this ritual forever.
For those born in an analog era: Before they all started setting themselves, people used to have to remember to turn their clocks ahead the night before.
Tonight, essentially, we lose an hour: 2 a.m. instantly becomes 3 a.m. And when we lose that hour, we apparently lose a lot more.
State Rep. Russ Diamond Says #StopTheMadness
State Representative Russ Diamond (PA-102), from Lebanon County, says, #StopTheMadness.
Diamond wants to put Pennsylvania on Standard Time forever. He says the act of turning clocks back and forth during the year provides no benefit, only harm.
On Monday, he introduced a co-sponsorship memo in the House to get legislation on its first step to becoming law. He’s got 8 co-sponsors so far. And, Diamond tells Coal Region Canary at least one member of the Schuylkill County delegation in Harrisburg supports this.
“In the near future I will be introducing legislation to permanently place Pennsylvania on Eastern Standard Time and end the outdated ritual of “springing forward and falling back.” Daylight Saving Time (DST), launched during World War I as an attempt to save energy, has outlived its usefulness,” his memo reads.
He says that turning clocks ahead and back is now just one of those things we do because the people before us did it. And it has to stop.
“Energy savings from changing clocks has historically been negligible at best. Due to the proliferation of air conditioning, energy usage during DST may actually increase. The phase-out of incandescent bulbs further minimizes energy differentials. Office buildings, manufacturing facilities, retail stores, and other workplaces remain climate controlled and/or illuminated by energy efficient lighting both day and night. There is no national crisis that changing clocks helps to alleviate.”
Now, Diamond’s plan would eventually have us turn our clocks back one last time. Then, we “don’t touch that dial” again.
That would put Pennsylvania on PERMANENT Standard Time.
Why? Because even he points out in a Facebook post that more people prefer permanent Daylight Savings Time over Standard Time.
He says to do that, we need to go to Washington.
Diamond tells the Canary, “A fair share said they’d prefer permanent Daylight Saving Time, but we can’t do that without Congressional approval. We can, however, remain on Standard Time without the need to grovel to anyone else.”
The timing of Diamond’s memo is as obvious as the timing of this article. But overall, why now? Why this when he hears from people needling him on Facebook about property taxes?
To Diamond’s credit, he answers just about every gripe people give him about those property taxes. And on this Daylight Savings Time issue, he says, “Now is always the best time to stop performing an outdated and needless ritual like changing clocks twice every year.”
Going It Alone
If Pennsylvania enacts permanent Standard Time, we’d be alone (for the most part) in not going through what he calls that needless ritual.
Playing devil’s advocate, the Canary asked if there is any danger in Pennsylvania acting alone on this. OK, we called it “cavalier.”
“Not cavalier at all. As the Keystone State, we are capable of leading the nation with smart policy, rather than following,” Diamond says.
He quashed any idea that our unique time zone would make for logistics issues for businesses. He pointed to his recent stint as a truck driver — more on that below — as case in point.
“Freight companies and such deal with states in multiple time zones all the time,” he says. “When I was a truck driver, I worked off Central Time because the company’s home terminal was in Wisconsin. Plenty of PA companies do lots of business all over the world with nary a hitch. It isn’t rocket science.”
Is Turning Clocks Back and Forth Really Dangerous?
When you ask yourself that over and over, it seems pretty ridiculous that you’d have to ask more than once. Is it dangerous to mess with time? Who are we to play God?
But are all the studies that link health problems and safety issues just pointing out coincidence?
Diamond doesn’t think so.
“The negative impacts are real and spike in the weeks following clock changes,” he says. “There is no merit at all to continuing such a disruptive but needless ritual.”
Russ Diamond … That Name Rings a Bell
The name may be familiar to some Schuylkill County residents. Not only is Diamond from just over the line in Lebanon County, he once dabbled into Schuylkill politics.
In 2004, Diamond opposed Tim Holden and Scott Paterno for the old PA-17th Congressional District race. Diamond ran as a Libertarian and got more than 5,000 votes but was a distant third. He got out of politics and became a truck driver. Apparently, that drove him crazy enough to get back into politics.
Time change image: DepositPhotos.com