Governor Newsom: Restore permanent Standard Time to fight COVID-19 and wildfires.
2020 December 2
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of California
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, California 95814
Re: Restore permanent Standard Time to fight COVID-19 and wildfires.
Dear Governor Newsom,
Thank you for your courageous leadership in addressing COVID-19 and wildfires this year. As an additional step that is easy, inexpensive, and necessary to take, please cancel California’s upcoming clock change to Daylight Saving Time (DST) and restore permanent Standard Time as soon as possible. Permanent Standard Time is recommended by millions of scientists, doctors, and teachers to assure better sleep, immunity, public health, and public safety.[AASM][CSC][ESRS][RIVM][SRBR]
Sleep is an essential component to viral immunity,[Borrmann][Meira] and for years the CDC has described sleep deprivation as a nationwide epidemic.[Jin] Changing clocks to DST each spring acutely deprives sleep. Leaving clocks on DST all summer chronically deprives sleep (at an estimated average of 19 minutes nightly). DST’s sleep deprivation manifests as accidents, diseases (certain cancers estimated to increase 12–36%), lower school grades, lower wages (estimated to decrease 3–5%), shorter lifespans, and increased healthcare costs.[AASM][Borisenkov][Borrmann][CSC][Curtis][ESRS][Gibson][Giuntella][Gu][Jenkins][Juda][RIVM][Roenneberg][SRBR][Watson] Permanent Standard Time is a necessary measure in defeating COVID-19.
DST observation (not clock change) is also found to increase demand for morning heat and evening air conditioning, which increases annual costs for electricity and pollution control by many millions of dollars.[Kotchen] Permanent Standard Time will help California reduce wildfires and energy blackouts.
Scores of organizations representing millions of scientists, doctors, and teachers oppose DST and endorse permanent Standard Time, including the California Sleep Society, the National Parent Teacher Association, the National Safety Council, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Start School Later, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and the Society of Anesthesia & Sleep Medicine.[AASM][CSC][ESRS][RIVM][SRBR]
California voters approved Prop 7 in 2018 to end clock change. Prop 7 did not mandate either permanent Standard Time or permanent DST (confirmed by its author, Kansen Chu). Unfortunately, Assemblymember Chu followed with AB-7 for permanent DST, a bill that stalled and was federally forbidden from its start. Only permanent Standard Time is permitted and pre-approved by the 1966 Uniform Time Act.[Sheeler][Skelton][Watson] And again, chronobiologists warn permanent DST would be even more harmful than the status quo of biannual clock change.
Scientific polling shows overwhelming public support to end clock change, with slight preference for Standard Time.[AP] History shows public support for permanent DST reverses into opposition once its dark winter mornings are experienced.[BBC][Ripley][Yorkshire] Permanent DST would delay California’s sunrise to 8:44am, and past 8am for 3.5 months. Permanent Standard Time keeps sunrises before most work and school start times, for healthier sunlight exposure, circadian alignment, sleep, and immunity.
Please issue an executive order for permanent Standard Time before clocks change on March 14. Oregon and Washington will certainly join. California can lead the nation in the renewed movement for naturally healthy, permanent Standard Time, during this unprecedented moment in history. Alternatively, your office could tap members of the state Senate and Assembly to lead an emergency bill for permanent Standard Time. But please note March 14 is just 4.5 months away. And know that science, doctors, teachers, and history will support you. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.
Save Standard Time
PO Box 40238
San Francisco, California 94140
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2020). “Call for Elimination of Daylight Saving Time”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. https://aasm.org/american-academy-of-sleep-medicine-calls-for-elimination-of-daylight-saving-time/
AP-NORC (2019). “Daylight Saving Time vs Standard Time”. Center for Public Affairs Research. https://apnorc.org/projects/daylight-saving-time-vs-standard-time/
BBC (2014). “Russia: Putin Abolishes ‘Daylight Savings’ Time Change”. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-28423647
Borisenkov et al (2016). “Seven-Year Survey of Sleep Timing in Russian Children and Adolescents”. Biological Rhythm Research. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307547013_Seven-year_survey_of_sleep_timing_in_Russian_children_and_adolescents_chronic_1-h_forward_transition_of_social_clock_is_associated_with_increased_social_jetlag_and_winter_pattern_of_mood_seasonality
Borrmann et al (2020). “The Circadian Clock and Viral Infections”. Journal of Biological Rhythms. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0748730420967768
Canadian Society for Chronobiology (2019). “Turn Back the Clock on Daylight Savings: Why Standard Time All Year Round Is the Healthy Choice”. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-turn-back-the-clock-on-daylight-savings-why-standard-time-all-year/
Curtis (2019). “Daylight Saving Time: Harmed by Hands of the Clock”. The Irish Times. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/daylight-saving-time-harmed-by-hands-of-the-clock-1.4064179
European Sleep Research Society (2018). “Joint Statement to the EU Commission on DST”. EU Commission on DST. https://esrs.eu/joint-statement-to-the-eu-commission/
Gibson & Shrader (2015). “Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep”. Williams College Department of Economics Working Papers. https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/wilwileco/2015-17.htm
Giuntella & Mazzonna (2017). “Sunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone Borders”. Journal of Health Economics. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167629618309718
Gu et al (2017). “Longitude Position in a Time Zone and Cancer Risk in the United States”. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/26/8/1306
Jin & Ziebarth (2019). “Sleep, Health, and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time”. The National Bureau of Economic Research. https://ideas.repec.org/p/yor/hectdg/15-27.html
Juda et al (2019). “An Open Letter to the BC Government in Support of Permanent Standard Time”. Simon Fraser University. https://vault.sfu.ca/index.php/s/sAnv3Z4bcSwY4Gm
Kotchen & Grant (2008). “Does Daylight Saving Time Save Electricity?”. Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://voxeu.org/article/does-daylight-saving-time-save-electricity
Meira e Cruz et al (2020). “Putative contributions of circadian clock and sleep in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection”. European Respiratory Journal. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/55/6/2001023
Ripley (1974). “Senate Votes Return to Standard Time for Four Months and Sends Bill to Ford”. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1974/10/01/archives/senate-votes-return-to-standard-time-for-four-months-and-sends-bill.html
RIVM (2019). “Standard Time More Beneficial for Public Health Than Summer Time”. Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu. https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/standard-time-more-beneficial-for-public-health-than-summer-time
Roenneberg et al (2019). “Daylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones — A Battle Between Biological and Social Times”. Frontiers in Physiology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2019.00944/full
Sheeler (2019). “Daylight Saving Time Will Continue in California for Now, as Lawmaker Delays Bill”. Merced Sun–Star. https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/california/article234946067.html
Skelton (2018). “Year-Round Daylight Saving Time? More Dark Mornings Is Just One Downside”. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-daylight-saving-time-20180705-story.html
Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (2019). “Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time?”. Journal of Biological Rhythms. https://srbr.org/advocacy/daylight-saving-time-presskit/
Watson (2019). “Time to Show Leadership on the Daylight Saving Time Debate”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557642/?report=classic
Yorkshire (2018). “British Summer Time: Why Do We Change the Clocks?”. Yorkshire Evening Post. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-summer-time-why-do-we-change-clocks-313791
This letter has been emailed, faxed, and mailed to Governor Newsom’s office. Confirmation of receipt has been made by phone.