Daylight-saving time does not save anything
By David Brunner
Senior Columnist

Changing your clock last Saturday night was not a cruel April Fool's joke. Unfortunately, however, for us Hoosiers who find the need to ask for a reimbursement from our life insurance policy for the hour lost this last weekend, the reasons given for this asinine change are a joke.

Somehow by the magic of daylight-saving time, we are supposed to believe Gov. Mitch Daniels and other supporters that we are safer in our cars and on our streets, more in-line with the rest of the country and world at large, and (doesn't this make your mouth water) "saving energy"!

Well, if you will allow me to borrow a phrase from a farmer friend of mine � who coincidentally does not support daylight-saving time � horse crap! And, obviously, so was the governor's fraudulent campaign to change daylight-saving time.

Not only did the governor lie to Hoosiers when he said that he advocated shifting the state to Central Time (for those of you now eternally confused, that's Chicago time) but his reasons make me wonder whether our esteemed governor can even read a watch!

There is really little evidence that daylight-saving time makes us (or our kids coming or going to school) any safer. In fact, recent research conducted by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders actually suggests that, because of the lost hour, auto accident rates increase in the days right after the spring shift.

Fortunately, it's not just Hoosier drivers who are going to be careening into a group of likewise sleepy school children huddled at bus stops - 47 other states observe daylight-saving time as well - but not for long. Six states, including Florida, Oregon and Washington currently have legislation floating around their statehouses calling for daylight-saving time exemption. These states are starting to realize - like Japan, India, China, and much of the rest of the world - that daylight-saving time is out-dated.

Sure, daylight-saving time might have been useful in Benjamin Franklin's day or in one of this country's two "great" wars, when energy was inadequate or in short supply and most of society was still confined to the illuminating powers of Mother Nature. But today we live in an increasingly 24-hour society and the amount of energy saved by having 23 hours in a day in April and 25 in October is mentionable at best.

Most supporters claim that daylight-saving time saves a whopping 1 percent of the nation's entire energy expenditures. But this number comes from a study done in 1975 � 30 years ago when Americans were hard-up to find an open McDonald's, Meijer, Denny's, or Wal-Mart at two or three or four in the morning. This insanely-applied statistic is even further discredited by a UCLA study done during the recent California energy crisis that found that little to no noticeable change in energy usage occurred during a mock year-round practice of daylight-saving time. Why? Because, the study suggests, we humans are lazy and we generally don't like to wake up, and in our wrestle to rouse we spend far more energy in our groggy morning routines than we save in our relaxing evening hours.

Daniels got lazy too. Instead of making real and tangible changes to the state budget and economic infrastructure he bought into the lies and controversial cant of this absurd and aging practice. Daniels must have realized that he could not save the state from economic calamity, so he would just "save time" instead.

Cute joke, governor. You'd just better hope that I don't vote a straight-Democratic ticket next election or you might be the one running out of time.

David Brunner is a graduate student. He can be reached at

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