Sunday, September 27, 2015

Daylight Saving Time again

It’s that time of year: New Zealand clocks “sprang forward” last night. I’ve begun to wonder more and more, why? And, I’m beginning to think it’s time to end the practice.

Changing the clock is easier than it used to be: Our electronic devices (computers, phones, tablets) change the time automatically. But our alarm clock doesn't nor do our two wall clocks, the oven’s clock or the microwave’s clock. I think the problem here isn’t that not enough clocks change automatically, it’s that we have too many clocks.

I didn’t notice the time change because I’m still dealing with this year’s Terrible, Awful Cold™, and I was in bed hours before the change and hours afterward. Even sleeping 10 hours or so a night, plus a long nap this afternoon, haven’t made me feel any better, so, really, changing the clocks is the least of my concerns right now.

But when I am well, I can’t help but be aware of how much people complain about the time change. Me, the only thing I complain about is when people insist on putting an “s” on saving in Daylight Saving Time. That annoys me—the time change itself, not much, usually.

What IS an issue, however, is working out time differences between New Zealand and other places. We don’t change our clocks the same time as other places do, and other places don’t change their clocks the same time that still other countries do. The point is, it’s chaos.

I think there’s a simple solution: Abandon Daylight Saving Time globally. Whatever rationalisations there may have once been—dubious though they were even then—are long since gone.

Time zones are a problem under the best of circumstances. Though I don’t think abolishing them would work, we can make them work better and predictably by ending the confusion and upheaval of changing the clocks twice a year.

Below is a video by C.G.P. Grey from nearly four years ago. I don’t know why I didn’t post it before, because it’s the sort of thing I would post. In any case, it talks about the history of Daylight Saving Time and an example of the problems it causes.

In any case, our clocks have changed. You’re unlikely to know what that means relative to other time zones, or when we next change our clocks (it’s the first Sunday in April), but don’t worry: Neither do most New Zealanders.

I recommend timeanddate.com as an excellent site to work out what the time is any place in the world, to arrange a time for an online meeting with someone in another country, etc. Plus, it’s easy to remember the web address anywhere—and any time—in the world you find yourself. The image at the top of this post is a royalty-free photo by Dean Jenkins, and is available from morgueFile.

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