Whatever We Do With Daylight Saving Time People Won’t Be Happy
I've been trying to figure it out for years. What's best for us? To keep changing the clocks twice a year? Forget Daylight Saving Time? Or adopt daylight saving time year round? The truth is, looking at America as a whole. Some group of people somewhere aren't going to be happy. And Cartographer Andy Woodruff illustrates this nicely via maps on his website. Kudos to the Vox Article for turning me on to his illustrations.
During Daylight Saving Time the "problem" some would argue is there aren't a lot of days where the sun rises before 7:00AM CDT. Head west toward the Mountain Time Zone and it gets worse. Essentially this problem plays out in all the other time zones too.
According to Woodruff's illustrations if we adopt Daylight Saving Time year round, sun rises after 7:00AM CDT would be more of a "problem" for us in Missouri, and for many in the country.
Get rid of Daylight Saving Time altogether and it does tend give many places a sunrise at 7:00AM or earlier. And using Wooruff's "reasonable" sunset time of 5:00PM, it doesn't really create a sunset time that's going to be any worse for people than we experience from late November through late January.
That 5:00PM "reasonable" sunset time is where people might have an issue. Because, yes, it will get darker an hour earlier in the summer. According to Woodruff's interactive map, we'd see roughly 115-120 days with a sunset after 7:00PM CST in West Central Missouri, and no days with a sunset after 8:00PM CST. Observing Daylight Saving Time we get those 115-120 days with a sunset after 8:00PM CDT.
And that's the main problem. Sunrise after 7:00AM. Parents are going to be worried about kids walking to school, or waiting for the bus in the dark. The sun always setting by 8:00PM, and many days by 7:00PM and people are going to complain about the sun setting too early for much of the year.
The reality is there isn't a good way to make everyone happy. That's the one truth whether we dump Daylight Saving Time, adopt it year round, or just keep it like we always have.
If I were a betting man though, I'd bet on us adopting Daylight Saving Time year round. Why? We're almost already there. We've shrunk how long we're on standard time to about four months and one week. So people, like it or not, are used to sunrises after 7:00AM. And state legislatures seem to like the idea of it being lighter later. I think many of us feel that way too. I'd be happy to get rid of those early sunsets from mid November through late January.