Ross: The sun is setting on Seattle and it’s got me all mopey and restless
Nov 7, 2023, 8:05 AM | Updated: 8:15 am
(Photo by Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)
Yesterday evening, I stood in the kitchen and looked out at the backyard. You know what I saw? Nothing. Because suddenly it’s very dark at 5 p.m. and even darker when it’s dark and cloudy and raining at 5 p.m.
And I think we can all agree it’s ridiculous that this happens year after year, and the government does nothing about it. Because even if we finally eliminate Daylight Saving Time, what they don’t tell you is that it does nothing to give us more daylight. Which, even now, is shrinking by three minutes per day and, on Dec. 21 will shrink to just 8 hours and 25 minutes.
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This is why we get all mopey and restless even though we just got an extra hour of sleep because we see daylight slipping away. And even that 8 hours and 25 minutes is deceptive because most of us will have to work for eight hours on Dec. 21, which leaves only 25 minutes of daylight for personal use, most of which will be eaten up by the commute.
And that’s because Seattle is about the same latitude as the northern tip of Maine. We forget that. Essentially, we are Maine without the maple syrup.
But I’ve checked the science, and the science says our latitude is not going to change, so we have to console ourselves by realizing we are not the only major city facing this.
For example, Paris has it worse. On Dec. 21, Paris – the city of light – gets only 7 hours and 56 minutes of daylight — twenty-nine fewer minutes than we will get because it is farther north than we are.
And London is worse than Paris. The shortest day will be only 7 hours and 50 minutes, 35 minutes shorter than we get, and the sunset that day is at 3:51, whereas ours is at 4:17.
That’s why the British had to establish their empire; it was the only way to keep the sun from setting too early.
Actually, Seattle’s done pretty much the same thing between Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. The sun never sets on a Seattle company.
So try to look on the bright side the next time you start feeling the November gloom; we are not alone, and this is not forever.
Before you know it, the days will be getting longer; by June, we’ll be complaining about the heat, and by this time next year– no one will care about the short days! Because the mother of all elections will blot out the sun entirely.
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