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Ditch DST

Published September 2, 2013 2:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This summer's record heat is stressing roads, humans, plants, animals and the electric grid. We don't control the weather, but, mercifully, we can do something to tolerate heat stress better next year: The Utah Legislature can opt Utah out of daylight saving time.

By turning our clocks forward each spring, we shift work time earlier in the solar day and give up an hour of pleasant and useful daylight before work at 65-70 degrees, in exchange for an hour after work at 90-100 degrees. Many more people walk, jog and bike past my home in the cool of the morning than in the heat of the afternoon. Excluding a 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. block of hours for work and commuting, non-work daylight hours are 5 degrees cooler on average with standard time. Dropping DST would give back cool morning private time and help us enjoy the cool of evenings more fully.

Of the many important reasons to jettison DST, heat stress is high on the list. Consider an Aug. 2 story in The Tribune — "Extreme heat causes mayhem in Utah" — and see that it is nonsense to give up the coolest hour of daylight to the hegemony of DST.

John K. Hayes Jr.

Salt Lake City