Joggers run along the Charles River, along the skyline of Boston on a sunny winter day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder – RTX2Y72G
BOSTON – with the Lack of authority to change the laws of physics to get more sunlight on the darkest days of winter, a special commission is instead seen or Massachusetts in the laws of man and the daylight saving time throughout the year.
If the proposal is adopted, Massachusetts residents would not have to put their clocks back in November and forward in March, when most of the US.
Benefits of the dst all year round could be energy savings and less seasonal depression, proponents suggest.
Skeptics claim that it would be impractical for Massachusetts to make such a change on its own as the rest of New England. And as the sun later in the day would rise later in the morning, that the dangers to children walking to school in the dark.
“Are we just trading one problem for another problem?” asked the Republican state Rep. Paul Frost, a member of the 11-member commission that met for the first time Wednesday and hopes to make recommendations by 31 March.
Massachusetts is not alone in weighing the pros and cons of the season time is shifting. California, Alaska, and nearly a dozen other states have discussed similar measures.
Some of Massachusetts’ neighbors also have broached the subject. A Rhode Island legislator proposed a bill last year that he hoped would lead the entire Northeast region to shift one hour to the east to the Atlantic time Zone, including several of the Canadian maritime provinces.
“When I moved here in 2011, I was shocked when the sun set at 4:11 am and I thought to myself: there must be a better way,” said Tom Emswiler, a Quincy resident who wrote a newspaper op-ed and asked his state senator to submit a bill to create the commission, which Emswiler was later named.
The New England region protrudes further into the Atlantic than other eastern states, making the winter days seem even shorter, Emswhile said. Public health data suggest that more heart attacks and car accidents arise as the clocks spring forward in March and sleep patterns are changed, ” he said.
Although the potential energy savings are in dispute, panel member Peter Shattuck said after the Congress in 2005 extended daylight saving time by several weeks, the energy consumed during the extra period, fell by 0.5 percent.
“If the people don’t have to turn on the lights so early, they use less electricity,” said Shattuck, Massachusetts director for Acadia Center, an energy-and environmental-advocacy group.
The members of the commission pledged to keep an open mind. That includes Frost, who nonetheless threw herself skeptical.
“I have a lot of problems … of the safety aspect of the economy aspect of a confusion aspect,” said the Prince, who wonder how Boston could be in one time zone part of the year, while the states scarcely an hour to the north and the south can be in another.
The change can be better, ” he said, as if it were made in consultation with the rest of the New England or the Northeast region.