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Double Daylight Savings Time? ARE YOU NUTS?

OK, let me just state the obvious upfront: you guys clearly no longer have kids under the age of 8. While you are imagining late, warm summer nights spent on the patio with fresh grilled burgers, a pitcher of Sangria with orange slices floating on top, all being passed around to friends who look like they came straight out of a J. Crew catalog, some of us are trying to convince 7-yr-old Timmy that it really is bedtime, even though he has to wear sunglasses in bed to cut down the glare on the pages of his favorite “nighttime” book.

But, wait, this is a show about cars. So I’ll just ask how your brilliant plan will affect those dads out there who purposely wait to leave on vacation until 9:00 pm so they can drive through the night while the kids sleep peacefully in the back seat. If I can get my head around your MIT-educated, New England-centric lunacy (note the astronomical reference to the proper ball in the sky for evening hours), you’re suggesting we delay our departure until around, say, MIDNIGHT. Of course, by then we’ll have drunk your pitcher of Sangria, so what do we care? All I can say is, the summer road safety of middle America is on your heads.


A summer weary English professor about to go on vacation to Florida with 4 kids 12 and under

I suspect that there will be more folks opposed to extension than otherwise for many of the reasons noted by Chuck.
Nota bene: it’s Daylight Saving time (without the extraneous “s”)

My clock has a problem with daylight savings time. I inherited a striking mantle clock from my grandmother. My grandmother did not like daylight savings time because she did not like FDR, and FDR instituted daylight savings time during WW II. At any rate, when I reset the clock for daylight time, after a day or so, the striker lags back one hour from the time. I adjust the clock and it may hold, but it may do the same thing. Usually, I have to readjust the clock for about a week and then all is well. However, the clock has no problems when I set it back to regular time in the fall. I don’t know what the clock would do if it had to be set on double daylight time.

I am certain that there is a mechanical explanation for what is happening, but since the clock works fine otherwise, I don’t take it to a clockmaker. Besides, it reminds me of my grandmother who was kind of ornery.

One little error in you plan. You suggested that the DDST would start on the last Saturday in June. That puts it pretty close to the Summer Solstice. Would it not be better to use the last Saturday in May and run to the last Saturday in July, therefor bracketing the Summer Solstice?

BTW, that won’t work so well here in the south. Out Summer Solstice isn’t as long as it is up north, but then our Winter Solstice isn’t as short either.

I say pick a time and stick with it, get rid of DST altogether.

I have a better idea – individuals who wish to follow this schedule if they please, and use computer software to calculate the differences, maybe as an iPhone app or something. They can plug in the figures about what times they need to be at work and whatnot according to the common way and, according to the new system, adjust their intended arrival times accordingly so they can maximize his daylight hours. It could perhaps be coordinated with astronomical data or weather almanac details about sunrises and sunsets.

If we’re going to have DST, ideally it would be implemented 15 minutes per week for 4 weeks. Otherwise we could simply set the clocks ahead by half an hour and leave it at that (these solutions would actually generate all sorts of problems).

In any geographical location, all need to agree on a common time or it will cause confusion. I remember seeing a report on TV a while back about a town where half of it observes DST and half does not, so for 6 months (or more now), you can throw a ball into the air and it will not come down until an hour later. Talk about hang time.

Oh and piter, this is for you, you’ll ask for it anyway

I heard your comments about double daylight saving time, and I was disgusted. I have nothing against getting up early and getting things done before the bulk of humanity have bothered to awaken, and changing the time that clocks show would make that more difficult. On a personal level, anyone who wishes can get up earlier, and those who control their own work hours can be finished with a ten hour day well before the standard work-day ends. Imposing that on others, who may not want it, is impolite; and you should remember that there are people who prefer to sleep until about Noon. The fundamental idea that you had was fine, but I strongly disagree with forcing it upon the world at large.

A much better idea for the world at large would be eliminating standard time and using local Sun time. Devices that would adjust for location are ubiquitous, so that matter of train schedules would be of no consequence. There could be public Sundials in parks, and people could adjust their timepieces as necessary from those.

If, on the other hand, you are concerned with the differences in the length of the day through the seasons, then you might want to organize a project that would remove the axial tilt from the Earth. without that tilt the day would be the same length on every day, but the length of the day would vary with the latitude. At the Equator the day would be twelve hours, and it would be zero hours at the poles. I advise against this project, because it would have negative impact on the climate.

Hey Ray! Your DST suggestion is genius! I couldn’t agree more! There are no words to describe how much I HATE the early darkness of winter. I am so enamoured with your idea I would consider relocating to any state enlightened enough to implement your plan.

Dear Tom and Ray.
Double Dog Daylight (D-cubed) Savings time is something I thought of years and years ago although I had not thought of the clever moniker. I have thought about the details of this idea on many more than one early morning which OBVIOUSLY you have not. This does not surprise me considering the car talk motto of unencumbered by the thought process, so below you will find details which were appropriately encumbered.
First of all you start and end the on the wrong day, you should start on the last weekend of MAY not JUNE, and end the first weekend of August, not September. I expected MIT grads to understand that the most light would be saved when the longest day of the year is in the middle of D-cubed Savings time, not the beginning.
Second you did not take into account the latitudinal implications. D-cubed Savings time would only work in the northern latitudes (the reason for this is left as an exercise for the reader), so we have to separate the states along a latitudinal line which separates the northern and southern states. I would suggest the Mason Dixon line since it already separates the north from the south and has done so for generations. This would create a whole new set of time zones called North Eastern, North Central, North Mountain, and North Pacific, South Eastern, South Central, South Mountain, and South Pacific (we would have to get permission for the decendants of Rogers and Hammerstein to use that last name). TV show announcements might be a little awkward –“ NCIS Los Angeles” tonight at 8 south eastern or 7 south central, or 7 North East or 8 North Central – but it is only re runs in the summer so who cares.
Finally your idea of eliminating a car talk show at the beginning of D-cubed time while well intentioned is also flawed. You certainly would eliminate a show in May, but then you would have to put on two shows back to back in August which would undoubtedly drive away your last loyal fan.
Respectfully Submitted from just North of the Mason Dixon Line
Art Nilson

It also depends on how far to the western edge of the time zone you are. When I lived in CT mid summer it would get dark around 9. When I moved to Cleveland, the western edge of the eastern time zone, the sun came up later but it was light until almost 10 PM.

You guys are not the first to think of this. As a matter of fact, Josef Stalin implemented an extra hour of Daylight Saving Time in Soviet Russia many years ago - do you really want to be like that whacko? Since he implemented the extra hour by edict, he wasn’t around to retract it after he died in 1953, so Russia was off by an hour ever since. They finally got around to changing it back in 1992. As luck would have it, I was traveling from Tokyo onto the Trans-Siberian RR that summer when the Russian government finally acted to remedy the error. Even though I started in Tokyo, by the time I got to Irkutsk, four time zones away, I found myself back in the Tokyo time zone.

The energy bill of 2005 changed DST to start earlier and end later in the year beginning in 2007, and it cost industry and business millions of dollars to deal with it. The computer industry had to issue software patches, and business had to apply those patches. Yes, the patches for much of the software was an automatic update, but we still had many that simply didn’t work. Even now, 4 years I still have people who, for a couple of weeks twice a year, are late or early for meetings because their Outlook is an hour off during that time.

I really don’t want to have to deal with that again.

Are you crazy?!?!?!? Ed has the right idea with the cost, but I live in Florida and the sun already sets at 20:30 with twilight at 21:00, you want this to go another hour later? I will need to put blackout curtains in my daughters room in the hope that she might fall asleep.

If you have problems in the frozen north with getting sunlight then wake up earlier and don’t punish your southern brethren because of your choice of latitude. DST is bad enough as it is. The fact that the US has more of it makes life even more miserable.

With regards to West Nile, there are so few cases of that in the US the benefit would be the same as doing a complete brake system inspection every time you get in your car. Thank goodness you are not Senators or Congressman this is bad enough of an idea to get traction in Washington.

Gotta double down on what Keith said. Your plan actually starts DDST AFTER summer solstice, which doesn’t make much sense. Solstice occurs on June 21st or 22nd where even in the midsouth it stays light until nearly 10:00 at night

Actually, shifting daylight around during the summer months when there is already more of it doesn’t make much sense either. A useful adaptation of DST would be to leave the summer hours alone and shift the winter hours when daylight is truly precious. That probably makes a little too much sense however.

As someone who was in school and not yet driving back when the Nixon/Ford regime decided to implement year-round DST for a year, I can assure you firsthand that having schoolkids waiting outside beside the street for their morning bus in the dark does not make “a little too much sense”.

I was appalled and amazed when I heard your plan for Double Dawg Daylight Savings Time. This plan is terribly irresponsible and reckless.

I hold degrees in physics and applied statistics, and I have used this training to extensively investigate the environmental impacts of daylight savings time.

Daylight Savings Time was first adopted in Europe in 1916, and in the US in 1918 with passage of the Act to Preserve Daylight and Provide Standard Time for the United States. This Act was repealed in 1919, but applied intermittently through 1945 when it was once again abandoned. It was finally reinstated in 1966 when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. This situation was further exasperated with the energy bill of 2005.

Now, if we assume for the sake of discussion that the average data on the rise in earth’s surface temperature as reported by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is reliable, and we compare those data with the chronology of observance of Daylight Savings Time, we see a very strong statistical correlation. Rises in average temperature track very will with the practice of daylight savings time, and temperatures moderate or decline during periods of repeal of daylight savings time.

This should be no surprise to any thinking individual:
Q: What is the source of daylight?
A: Radiation from the sun.
Q: What is the primary source of heat for the earth?
A. Radiation from the sun.
So, if we save up daylight, year after year, the only logical expectation is that the earth will become warmer.

Of course, we could always do what the Romans (and everyone else until recently) did–declare sunrise to be six in the morning every day, and sunset to be six in the afternoon. Why do we have to have hours of the same length every day, anyway?


“Of course, we could always do what the Romans (and everyone else until recently) did–declare sunrise to be six in the morning every day, and sunset to be six in the afternoon”.

I like this idea. I wouldn’t have to adjust my sundial for daylight time.