We Need Another Fall-Back Plan

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This week I wanted to use my side of the page here to discuss something that’s bothered me, and I’m sure many others, for years.

Not to be too Jerry Seinfeld about this, but what’s the deal with daylight savings?

As an avid outdoorsman and sports lover living in Newport Beach, it’s a complete downer when those clocks roll back.  The sun is setting at 5 o’clock now, the wind chill around the ocean is starting to get pretty cold, and our daylight is simply being stolen from us because of an idea Benjamin Franklin wrote about in an essay titled, “An Economical Project,” in 1784.  (Others had the idea as well, but Franklin generally gets the most credit.)

Since this isn’t the last segment of “60 Minutes” and I’m not a cranky, 91-year-old pundit, let’s look at it from the world of sports.  Less daylight means less outside time for children and adults.  Sure baseball, football, and soccer fields have lights for nighttime practice, but what about non-lighted golf courses, swimming pools, and, for us surfers, the ocean?

Don’t get me wrong; when the sun goes down, sports can still take place, it’s just different when it gets dark so early.  I used to work at a lighted golf course, and even though our lights stayed on until 10 p.m. we did the majority of our afternoon business from 4-6 p.m. as people were getting off work.  Once the sun went down, the place turned into a ghost town.

Also, sitting on your surfboard waiting for waves while the sun sets on the horizon is a beautiful sight, but when the wind starts howling and the air temperature drops instantly, it’s absolutely no fun at all!

Setting the clocks forward in the spring makes sense to me because it provides more daylight for farmers and daytime activity.  It’s good for our current energy crisis because it provides an extra hour of natural light in the evening, which keeps our electricity bills down.

I understand the foundation of the idea for daylight savings, but isn’t it time we re-examined the practicality of it?  I’ve even heard of it ruining people’s sleep schedules!

I’m by no means an economic expert, and I don’t know the global effects of daylight savings, but I can tell you that I’m not the first person to oppose this practice.

I don’t particularly like playing sports under fluorescent lights. I like playing basketball during the day, I like golfing when the sun is coming up, and I like being in the ocean and not shivering so much that I chip a tooth.

If I’m way of base here feel free to write us with your replies, but I know when autumn rolls around and the afternoons seem so dark that a lot of people go into hibernation mode and aren’t too happy about it.  So come on government, just because Franklin is on the 100, doesn’t mean we have to still institute his ideas.

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