Man invented the clock and from that time forward, he’s been messing with it.
We got a taste of the unpopularity of the annual rituals of pushing time forward every spring and pulling it back every fall when we asked Tulsa World readers for their suggestions for changes to state statutes (coincidentally) on the same day that the fall time change was implemented.
We have heard the voice of the masses, and that voice was shouting, “End daylight saving time!”
Some 34% of those who took part in the survey went with that idea, by far the most popular idea on the docket.
Other suggestions that seemed to rhyme in the vox populi were raising the minimum wage, prison sentence reform, an end to straight-party voting, death with dignity and raising the minimum age to purchase smoking products.
But the biggest numbers — the wisdom of the crowd — were there for undoing daylight saving time.
In a sense, society is struggling with its own evolution on this issue. Modernity led to more precise timepieces and more structured schedules. Time, increasingly, was money. The United States adopted the habit of adjusting the clock to take advantage of summer’s longer day starting in 1918. Since then Congress has occasionally messed with the fall-back and spring-forward dates in the name of productivity and energy saving.
Meanwhile, the people groused, especially when they lose an hour of sleep every March. Pets also seem to be at odds with the arbitrary annual rewind to the breakfast hour.
Two states — Hawaii and Arizona — refuse to take part in daylight saving time, and our little sample suggests there are quite a few people in Oklahoma who would say we shouldn’t, either.
The energy savings of daylight saving time is pretty modest, and the stress is real. There’s even some evidence that the risk of heart attack increases by 10% on the Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead an hour each spring.
But there is a commercial disadvantage to being the oddball state. If all our neighbors are changing their clocks twice a year and we aren’t, we end up the guys who are always late for meetings ... or absurdly early. Before we stop saving time, we need to make sure we aren’t preparing to waste it.
We’re not ready to jump into the crowd and endorse an end to daylight saving time in Oklahoma yet, but the strong response from our readers suggests the Oklahoma Legislature would be well advised to consider the issue.