I realize that I’m probably in the minority, likely a minuscule minority, but I don’t think it’s a big deal to change our clocks twice a year to go into and come out of daylight saving time. I like that going back to standard time in the fall makes sure that it is light when most work and school days start during the winter.
There is momentum in both Congress and the Colorado legislature to shift to year-round daylight saving time, and it looks possible, if not likely, that the change is on the way.
A lot of things have changed since daylight saving time was first widely adopted in the United States over 100 years ago. One of the arguments to shift clocks forward in the spring was to save energy. When it stayed light one hour later, people didn’t need to turn on lights as early each night. That argument has become obsolete as the things that consume much of our energy use now, such as central heat and air, home appliances, televisions, and computers, didn’t exist when daylight saving time started and when they are used doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with if it is light or dark outside.
Most of the arguments against changing back and forth between standard and daylight savings times have to do with the impacts of one less hour of sleep when we spring forward. There are studies that suggest that the hour of sleep that is lost as we make the transition each spring leads to depression, increased traffic accidents and work injuries and a decrease in productivity in the first several days as we adjust our sleep schedules each year.
According to Sunrise-Sunset.org, if we had been on year-round daylight saving time while we were on standard time in the 2021-2022 season, the sun would not have come up before 8 a.m. in Colorado from Dec. 1 to Feb. 7. If we make the shift to permanent daylight saving time, it will be necessary for us to identify and address unintended consequences of most people’s days beginning in the dark for more than two months each year.
If the last two years of living through a worldwide pandemic have shown us anything, it is that people are remarkably resilient. We can and do adjust to a wide variety of changes regularly. For the people like me, who support changing our clocks twice each year, the transition to year-round daylight saving time is one more thing we’ll learn to live with.
Greg Romberg had a long career in state and local government and in government relations. He represented corporate, government and trade association clients before federal, state and local governments. He lives in Evergreen with his wife, Laurie.