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A Rabbi, Farmer and Pilot Walk Into Congress…No, This Is Not A Joke!

Some things seem so simple. The country can save energy and extend sunlight later into the evening by modifying daylight saving time. The result would be less energy consumption, less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity. These are all good things. Unfortunately, as the Los Angeles Times reports, there are always people who can find fault even with the best of ideas:

Airline Industry: who virulently complain that increasing daylight saving time will “wreak havoc on their schedules” and will “inconvenience and frustrate passengers.”

The airlines’ position that this will put us out of sync with the rest of the world is quite an exaggeration. Maybe some schedules will have to be adjusted, maybe not. But the airline industry’s sudden concern over the frustration level of passengers is hard to take seriously. Let’s remember that this comment is coming from an industry that can have one fly across the country and not get a meal, that has cut leg room to the point that circulation is lost, and that has somehow figured out a blackout schedule that keeps me from using frequent flyer miles to go to Hawaii.

Farmers: who complain that they will have to do their chores in the dark.

Farmers have whined about daylight saving time since it was first instituted during WWI, then again in WWII, and pretty much ever since. This means that they might need to get up a little earlier to milk cows and so forth. Quipped Sen. Barton (Texas) in response, “cows don’t have wrist watches.”

Orthodox Jews: whose leaders describe it as a “prescription of trouble.”

According to at least one Rabbi, moving the clocks could affect sunrise services thereby impacting what time worshipers are able to get to work. I respect piety but would hope that Jewish groups would understand the need for this country to begin reducing its reliance on Middle East oil.

There are a few other groups including parents who worry about kids going to school in the dark and certain religious sects that believe we should never change “God’s Time.” However, increasing daylight saving time is still one of those rare ideas that benefits so many people while inconveniencing only a few. If anyone can think of a different idea that accomplishes the same economic, environmental, and social objectives with less effort then by all means run for President as you’ll have our vote. I didn’t think so.

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Update: The House and Senate have shortened the proposed changes to Daylight Saving Time to be just four weeks and these changes will only become law if the overall energy bill is passed (never a certainty).

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3 Responses to “A Rabbi, Farmer and Pilot Walk Into Congress…No, This Is Not A Joke!”

  1. 1
    Greg Says:

    Modifying Daylight savings time won’t give us more daylight. The sun will still rise and set in accordance orbit of the earth around the sun, regardless of what the federal government says.

    Changing DST such that sunrise would come at, for example, 8:45 AM would just mean that the energy not used at the end of the day would be used at the beginning by people getting ready for work. For my part, I rise at 5AM every morning to get to work by 7:30AM (I have a long commute) Rearranging DST would mean I’d have to consume more energy than I am now.

    Instead of screwing around with conservation ideas that won’t conserve anything, we should be focusing on new sources of energy. There hasn’t been a nuclear power plant built in this country since the 1970’s. They’re cheaper than coal/oil/gas, they’re cleaner (they create solid waste that can be stored safely rather than dumping burnt toxins into the air), and they’re more efficient than other alternative sources like wind “power.”

    But here’s some advice to the conservationists: If you want to conserve elecricity, try working on an energy efficient source of light. Fortunately, I have four words for you: White light emitting diodes.

  2. 2
    Insider Says:

    As a whole, we still believe that the non-conservation benefits still out weigh the perceived costs. Furthermore, it is estimated that the savings equate to 10,000/barrells a day–a drop in the bucket compared to overall energy usage but material nonetheless. We agree that nuclear power needs to be put back on the front burner and ironically that sentiment is being echoed by certain conservationists. We’re not up to speed on the “white light emitting diodes” but a quick Google search on the term lead to a few sites that indicated that it is an area with promise. Let us know if you have published anything on this area in your blog and we’ll link to it.

  3. 3
    Walt Mondale Says:

    I’m happy to see Independant Sources taking more activist/liberal positions. Got a problem? Pass a law. Not enough daylight? Carefully crafted legislation should solve the problem. Let the government save daylight for you. Look what a great job they’re doing saving for your retirement. Hey, maybe they can go beyond just saving daylight, maybe they can put it in a lockbox.