Spring forward or be late Sunday

Daylight Savings Times arrives at 0200 Sunday (2:00 a.m.), which means we “Spring forward” and lose an hour of the day that we cannot recapture until November of this year.

As someone who used to keep time based on UTC (Coordinated Universal Times),  based on the 24-hour Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) time in England, I realize that what happens on a 12-hour clock face doesn’t mean much.  UTC time is 10:04 a.m. while EST is 5:04 a.m.

On Sunday morning, the time will be 06:04 a.m. while UTC unchanged at 10:04.  We will gain an hour of local time but that won’t mean a damn thing to those who follow what they consider “real-time.”

Same for the cows here in Floyd County, who expect feeding when the sun comes up, not what it says on a clock.

However, those who did not set their clocks ahead an hour before going to bed tonight could be late for church on Sunday or for other things they might have their schedule on Sunday.

Debate erupts twice a year when America goes on or off DST.

Writes Mark Joseph Stern on Slate:

Twice a year, Americans come together to complain about time. In November, we set our clocks back and complain that we will now have to suffer shorter days, facing the gloom of an afternoon sunset. In March, we set our clocks forward and complain about a lost hour of sleep, as well as darker mornings when we wake up. These gripes are all perfectly fair. What is unjust, however, is the unlikely scapegoat for these grievances: Daylight Saving Time. Many Americans have come to blame DST for their clock- and sunset-based woes. If you are one of them, I am here to tell you that you are dangerously mistaken.

This weekend, please direct your complaints at Standard Time, and don’t fault DST for giving us eight months of sunshine. Embrace it. And when soul-crushing afternoon darkness returns in November, remember who the real enemies are: Standard Time and all the misguided fools who seek to expand its tyranny.

That’s one way to look at the issue.

But the Detroit Free Press suggests we need to blame regular time:

Just like clockwork, daylight saving time is coming up in Lansing, again, and this time just a few days before Michiganders are due to spring forward.

In most legislative sessions, bills are introduced to eliminate daylight saving time in favor of staying on Eastern Standard Time year-round. Some of the bills get hearings, but none have ever gotten a vote.

This time, state Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, is sponsoring the timely bill, saying it’s a nuisance for workers and students to have to flip back and forth between the two times every spring and fall.

“The practice is antiquated and impractical and it’s time we put an end to it,” she said.

Hoitenga and others have argued that studies have shown that student performance falters, circadian rhythms suffer, and work-related accidents and health problems surge from sleep-deprived Michiganders trying to adjust to losing — or gaining — an hour of sleep.

Notes Gillian Brockell in The Washington Post:

As you grumble about your lost hour of sleep this weekend, just remember: Don’t blame Benjamin Franklin. Despite legend, the nerdiest Founding Father did not invent daylight saving time. (He did, however, suggest cities wake residents earlier on summer mornings by the sound of cannon fire, so perhaps it’s best he didn’t get his way.)

No, the reason you may have an extra cup of coffee Sunday is World War I. And golf.

Yes, golfers who wanted more afternoon daylight on the links came up with a proposal to make the day “longer”  but Germany made it happen first on April 30, 1916, to save coal used to help light factories.

At our house, I have wristwatches that know when the time changes so those clocks will read correctly in the morning.

My web sites run on servers controlled by UTC so it doesn’t matter what time it is there either.

But the switch twice a year is, more than anything, a pain in the ass and accomplishes little.  The days get longer this time of year because of seasonal change and that is welcome for those of us who write motorcycles and like time in the sun.

Maybe it’s time to forget this whole time zone stuff and just adopt UTC as the time all days and nights everywhere in the world.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse