It wasn’t until I moved to Saskatchewan and then returned to Alberta that I really, really realized something is wrong with society.
Why on earth are we still changing our clocks?
Sure, having grown up in rural, farmer operated Alberta, I was conditioned into the need for Daylight Saving in order to allow for harvest and other operations to take place at a decent hour and hopefully with some daylight left at the end of the day. (I say decent in a snarky, condescending way knowing full well it didn’t matter if it was 4 or 5 a.m. when the cows got milked, it was still far too early for me to be waking up).
That was also back in the day when farms like ours — you know, the ones who couldn’t afford the latest combine or tractor with an enclosed cab — needed that light to be able to work by in the fields without resorting to the large floodlight flashlights being attached to the machinery. Which, by the way, would only last until you wanted to head toward home thereby leaving you walking back because you didn’t want to risk breaking something or getting stuck. That was sometimes quite the hike when you were three sections from home.
You know how long its been since then, noting I used the phrase ‘back in the day’, so many of you will also remember that this discussion about the clocks changing has come up at least twice per year for nearly as long as people have been turning the hands of time forward or back (depending on what time of year it was).
I want to start by addressing the reason this came into being. Farmers can operate 24 hours, seven days a week (okay, weather permitting) with machines that can almost run by themselves with lights that can turn 2 a.m. into nearly 2 p.m.
In fact, the lighting packages on farm equipment now are beginning to rival those run by police tactical units (just ask acreage owners, but that’s a topic for another day).
What that translates into is there really is no need for the ‘extra hour of daylight’. But, what about all the outdoor activities and sports that take advantage of it?
Realistically, the only sport that may need to make adjustments is football, and even then it would only be necessary in small rural centres since big centres and places such as Lacombe, Camrose and Wetaskiwin have lights on their fields. Plus, it really only becomes and issue starting in the final week of October when the sun disappears close to 6 p.m.
For those arguing that soccer and baseball are affected, anyone in Alberta playing those sports in October are likely (in no particular order) cold, wet and a bit loopy or they have lights too.
As for the other kinds of things people do outside, they don’t need the sun either since people go jogging or running at hours I can’t imagine why (then again, anytime before noon I question). They also work on vehicles, in their yards and drive large distances to shop or do other things in the dark.
On the positive side, we could eliminate the potential of being late, or too early, for work or appointments in the days after a change as well as the medically scientific statistical finding that state accidents are more likely following the clocks being moved plus all agonizing pain involved in trying to reprogram all the electronic clocks one has now.
So, what really are the reasons left to keep moving our clocks, other than to say we don’t live in Saskatchewan or Creston, B.C.?
But that is…just an observation.