It might be easier to stomach the August fizzle of a bill intended to kill off Daylight Saving Time in California given the extra hour of sleep the annual shift back to Standard Time will net you this Sunday, but that doesn't mean complaints from DST opponents have been quelled.
As happens every year, at 2 a.m. Sunday clocks will "fall back," giving us all an extra hour in the early morning to do with what we will. (I choose "sleeping," but you guys are way more fun than me and probably have better ideas.) As the SFMTA cutely notes, (sic throughout) "While most smart phones will make the time adjustment automatically, don’t forget to wind those watches and clocks back one-hour." Yes, indeed, wind those things thataway!
The change in time is also a cue for various publications to pen crabbypieces on why changing time is bad. My favorite this year comes from WDEF-TV 12, which "provides local programming as well as network programs from CBS to residents of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley." According to the station, "many Americans" will be "grumbling on Monday when they leave work and find full-on darkness awaiting," but they'll be more upset to learn that the time change is "not healthy for the economy."
According to WDEF, a report from JPMorgan Chase Institute says that “There is a perception that DST increases spending among those consumers who make use of the extra daylight to frequent shops and restaurants, or spend money on outdoor recreation and other activities...Our unprecedented view of spending around the beginning and end of DST does not support consumer spending claims of DST advocates.”
Basically, the report claims, people who find it dark when they leave work would rather head home than shop or dine out, which means businesses aren't seeing spending from these nightfall fearing consumers.
Quartz also argues that "Fewer muggings and sexual assaults occur during DST months because fewer potential victims are out after dark," which not only seems to support JPMorgan's arguments regarding decreased nighttime activity, but suggests that those non-spending consumers have the right idea when they hustle home.
Regardless of these arguments, California will continue to be a time-changing state, as opposition in the state Senate kept a bill letting voters choose DST's fate off next week's ballot. One of the proposal's most vocal opponents? Terming-out senator San Francisco Mark Leno, who objected that "there's some real unintended consequences" if CA voters agreed to pick one time and stick with it. For example, for half the year we'd be four hours behind the East Coast instead of three, a time difference that could make life well nigh insufferable for people with bosses back east.
Not mentioned, but the first thing I wondered: Would the bill have meant that we'd get network broadcasts of TV shows "early" or "late"? I guess we'll never know, as San Jose Assemblyman Kansen Chu, who proposed the measure, hasn't indicated any interest in resuming the fight. Guess I'll see you back here on March 12, 2017, when DST resumes!