Time to complain about Daylight Saving Time…

3 minute read

April 5, 2019, 1:16 PM

So it’s been about twelve years since the last time that I wrote about Daylight Saving Time (DST).  That previous instance was back in 2007, which was the first year that the current date rules were used.  That put “spring forward” on the second Sunday of March, and “fall back” on the first Sunday in November.  And apparently, I was justified in being a bit on edge about the new time change date, because the next day, when it took effect, I ended up oversleeping and showed up for work late.  Oops.  But considering that I got fired from that job a few weeks later… oh, well.

One thing that I’ve noticed since the switch is that no one seems to know when it’s time to change anymore.  2019 is the 13th year of the new schedule, and the changeover date still catches me by surprise.  It feels random to me.  It’s not the first Sunday in March, but the second Sunday.  It’s not a new month with a time change, but rather a mid-month thing.

In any case, I would love to do away with the whole charade of changing our clocks twice a year.  I would lean towards abolishing DST in favor of standard time rather than adopting DST year-round.  Ultimately, standard time is the one that more closely lines up with the sun.  “Noon” is supposed to be when the sun is at the highest point in the sky.  If you’re going to adopt one time standard year round, ditch DST.  Going to DST year-round would essentially mean moving up a time zone, putting the east coast of the United States on Atlantic Time, putting the midwest on Eastern Time, putting the Rockies on Central Time, and putting the west coast on Mountain Time.

What’s funny is how many people that I’ve seen that believe that switching to DST year-round will mean that the days will be longer during the winter.  I’ve had to disabuse many people of this notion, and explain that no, the days won’t be any longer under year-round DST.  The amount of daylight would still gradually get longer from December to June, and gradually get shorter from June to December.  The sun and the Earth are just doing their thing, and don’t care how we humans measure time.  All that eliminating the time change would accomplish would be to eliminate the abrupt shift in sunrise and sunset times twice a year caused by the manipulating of our clocks.  And if you couldn’t tell already, I’m fine with that.

Meanwhile, the method of moving away from the twice-annual time change varies depending on what you want to do.  Individual states are allowed to decline to change to DST.  Arizona and Hawaii already do this.  However, states are not allowed to do the reverse and adopt DST year-round.  If they follow DST, they are only permitted to do it in accordance with the federal dates.  I don’t know quite what I think about this, where states can reject DST entirely, but not embrace it 100% without an act of Congress.  It still accomplishes the goal of eliminating the time change, but while I would prefer standard time year-round, I would accept year-round DST.  What we don’t want is different states’ doing different things, for example, if Maryland and New Jersey were to adopt standard time year-round, and Pennsylvania, between these two states, were to adopt DST year-round.  That would be bothersome and confusing, losing and gaining hours as I’m traveling along I-95 or otherwise interacting with different states over the course of a day.

All in all, it’s long past time to stop the madness.  Give me one time standard and let me keep it all the time.

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