DST: Bad for All, but Worse for Some

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Once again,
it’s time to exercise the misguided practice of Daylight Saving
Time. Originally imposed in 1918 to conserve energy for that insane
slaughter and rampage known as World War 1, it was immediately dropped
a year later – and by public demand. However, it was reinstated during
World War 2 and practiced continuously – winter and summer. After
the War, states and localities were left to themselves to decide
about DST, but in 1966, it became the law of the land. In 2007,
the duration of DST was extended from early March until early November – the longest it has ever been – except for the times it was yearlong.

Besides energy
conservation, which has been a major, but dubious, justification
for DST, there has also been an alleged benefit to farmers. But,
that’s ridiculous because no one needs to coordinate his or her
actions with real solar time more than do farmers. Ask any of them.
And supposedly, DST is good for business because it gets people
spending more money on leisure activities such as sporting equipment,
bar-b-queing, etc. So, DST helps us be good little consumers.

However, this
deliberate deviation from real solar time hurts us all, but some
suffer more than others depending on where they live. I will explain,
but first let’s look at why DST is such a harmful practice.

Like other
creatures, humans are circadian beings, meaning that our biological
rhythms are timed with the earth’s rotation around the sun. The
most obvious example is the wake/sleep cycle, but there are others,
for example, hormonal secretion. In men, DHEA and Testosterone are
pumped out in copious amounts in the morning; melatonin pours out
in the evening after the sun goes down; and it’s during deep sleep
at night that Growth Hormone is released. In women, it is more complicated
because of the menstrual cycle. But, it is vital for both sexes
to remain in sync with real solar time. Dire consequences follow
if we don’t. For instance, we know now that night workers have a
much higher incidence of cancer, and it’s believed to result from
melatonin suppression. Melatonin is a hormone that is most often
associated with inducing sleep, but it does so much more. Melatonin
is the most potent antioxidant in your body, meaning that, milligram
per milligram, it is by far the strongest. It is also the most global
antioxidant, meaning that it goes everywhere, protecting everything.
Melatonin is also anti-mutagenic. It prevents abnormal cell divisions,
and it encourages apoptosis, which is how deviant cells self-destruct.
But staying up at night in the artificial light shuts down melatonin
secretion – almost completely.

But, it isn’t
just our sleep and our hormones that have a circadian bias. So do
our patterns of eating, digesting, thinking, responding sexually,
and ultimately our entire mood depends on being in sync with Nature’s
clock. There is no question that Daylight Saving Time puts a needless
strain on everyone. But, it’s worse for some than for others.

Let’s take
Central Time as an example. The meridian for the Central Time zone
goes through New Orleans, Louisiana, which means that during Standard
Time, official time matches solar time – in New Orleans. Perfect!
But, for every degree of longitude that you move west of New Orleans
within the Central Time Zone, you have to put the clock back 4 minutes
to remain in sync with real solar time. So for me, for instance,
living in Austin, Texas, which is 7.5 degrees of longitude west
of New Orleans, 7.5 x 4 = 30 minutes of deviation. So, even during
Standard Time, my clock is skewed by half an hour. When it says
12 Noon, it’s really 11:30 AM. But, during Daylight Saving Time,
our time is further skewed by an additional hour. So, in the summer
when we say it’s 12 Noon, it’s really only 10:30 AM! That’s ridiculous.
It’s no wonder that people marvel at how hot it is here at 5 PM
in the summer. It’s because it’s really only 3:30!

But, it’s just
the opposite for Lew Rockwell in Auburn, Alabama, which is also
in the Central Time Zone, but east of the center meridian. Because
the sun reaches him earlier, it’s later in the day for him than
it is in New Orleans. During Standard Time, real solar time for
him is a little less than half an hour later than what his clock
says. If it says, 12 Noon, it’s really about 12:22. But, during
Daylight Saving Time, since he moves his clock forward, he corrects
that deviation and then overshoots it by a little more than half
an hour. During DST, he gets about the same amount of deviation
that we get in Austin during Standard Time. But, during both CST
and DST, he is within one hour of his real solar time. He never
gets the hour and a half skewing that we get here in Austin. That’s
why we call him Lucky Lew.

So, find out
where the center meridian is for your time zone. In blunt language:
if you’re west of it, you’re screwed, and if you’re east of it,
you’re getting off easy.

The ones I
worry about most from this Daylight Saving nonsense are the kids.
Children are uncorrupted solar beings. They are growing and developing,
and they need everything to be in sync. Look how difficult it is
for a child to stay up all night compared to an adult. Look at how
they suffer from even slight sleep deprivation, how it shows up
in their little faces with swollen, puffy eyes and listless looks.
DST is child abuse, and as a grandfather, I resent what is being
done to my grandchildren.

If I were in
charge, not only would I do away with Daylight Saving Time, I would
also increase the number of time zones. For instance, the meridian
going through San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and cities further north
along the same line would have a time zone. Why not? We’re talking
about tens of millions of people in the United States alone. Why
shouldn’t they be allowed to live in sync with solar time? I think
it’s everyone’s right – as an Earthling! – to live in
real solar time. But, the first step would be to just do away with
Daylight Saving Time. That would be so easy, and it could be done
so fast. It wouldn’t involve doing anything. We would just
have to stop doing something that was stupid. But, that’s
a tall order when politicians are involved.

So, what am
I going to be doing on Sunday morning? I can tell you what I won’t
be doing: I won’t be fiddling with my clocks. I’m leaving them as
they are. And as much as possible, I will ignore Daylight Saving
Time. It’s just my little way of sticking it to The Man.

Ralph
Cinque [send him mail]
has worked as a chiropractor, nutritionist, and health spa operator.
He offers a free
weekly health newsletter
.

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