Monday, April 25, 2005

daylight shaving

indiana's dst bill keeps inching toward... well, nobody really knows what it's inching toward, other than a vote tomorrow. nobody really knows whether it'll pass, and legislators seemingly keep voting it on to the next stage simply to get it out of their hair. indeed, masson points out that even the editorial-writers don't have any better arguments anymore than "let's just vote and get it over with." (i highly recommend masson's blog for coverage of indiana dst and other legislative issues: it's very comprehensive).

although polls allege that a majority of hoosiers support going to dst, the lafayette journal-courier righly points out that a major drawback to this bill is that it does not settle the matter of which time zone indiana would be in. the goldsmith plan is to just pass the damn dst bill, and then figure out the time zone later. this is a bad idea: i suspect that a very large number of hoosiers would be happy to observe dst if we went to a specific time zone, but not if we went to the other.

the problem is that indiana is in a sort of geographical dead zone: if the time zone border were a straight line, it would cut right through the middle of the state. if we switch to EDT, then during the brunt of summer it won't get dark until near 10pm (an absolute nightmare [pun intended] for those of us who actually enjoy nighttime). if we switch to central, then during the winter it'll start getting dark around 3pm. so it's a shitty situation for indiana regardless. in fact this is the entire reason why indiana opted out of dst in the first place: there is no non-shitty solution. either we get shoved into a time zone where we don't really fit, or we're stuck in a land of confusion in between them. the only question is which scenario is the least shitty, and opinions on that are vastly different depending on your priorities.

the myth that our lack of dst somehow causes hoosier brain drain and prevents corporations from doing business here is clearly false. arizona and japan, for example, don't have any brain drain problems. adopting dst in indiana won't be some panacea that will reverse our economic problems. and i for one don't buy the "energy conservation" argument either: perhaps, if we went to EDT, hoosiers would use slightly less energy on keeping the lights on during the day. but they would also spend more energy on air conditioning, because the hours when the sun is out are the hours when it's warmest. and we all know that a/c uses more power than lights do. not to mention how much gasoline people will use: it's been said that dst encourages recreational driving. and with the high price of gas these days, that's an expense you can't afford to forget.

anyway, the full indiana senate votes on this tomorrow. if it passes, it moves on the house. if it fails in the senate, i think that means the bill is officially dead. at least until next year when they try to ram it down our throats yet again.

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