Letters (Week of March 12, 2008)

Daylight Saving Time is the real WMD


I used to think Americans had become a laughingstock to the rest of the world because of Daylight Saving Time: ?We save daylight by changing our clocks.? I didn?t understand, and neither did they, that cutting off the bottom of a sheet and sewing it onto the top actually does not make the sheet longer.

I used to think if businesses wanted to start an hour earlier, they could do so voluntarily, and if it was a good thing it would catch on. That was then. Now that I?m older and wiser I realize that scientists and politicians have developed technology that is able to legislate the solar system.

By adding daylight, or should I say saving daylight, we can become more productive as a nation. With this also comes a great responsibility. We dare not share this powerful technology with the rest of the world until it can prove to us that it will use it only for peaceful purposes.

Imagine what would happen if Daylight Saving Time (codename: DST) fell into the wrong hands. What if some rogue country managed to get a hold of it from a politician trading military secrets in exchange for campaign funds, for example? It may take some time for them to develop it, but eventually they could use DST as a weapon.

Some twisted despot acquires an extra hour of daylight, and he suddenly starts rattling his sabre. He knows this extra daylight would increase production, generating more wealth, and wealth is power. If he directed this power against us, we would be forced to counter this aggression by moving our clocks ahead by two hours. That would show them who is boss.

Eventually, however, some demented scientist would discover a way to enrich DST. That would save even more daylight. Civilization as we know it would hang in the balance, as DST technology would escalate out of control.

I know it seems fantastic to believe that the seemingly bening concept of Daylight Saving Time could ever become a weapon of mass destruction, but they said the same thing about gunpowder.

There would be a scramble among world leaders to be the first to drop the ?big one? by skipping a whole month (it would probably be January). With a stroke of the pen, they would have eliminated the need for millions of dollars worth of heating oil, snow plowing, fixing frozen pipes, etc.

Whoever is first to do that could conceivably take over the world.

Loren Ratzloff


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