Whining about Daylight Saving Time

If I were a pedant (which of course I’m not), I would feel compelled to articulate four pet peeves related to Daylight Saving Time:

  • Some people—I’m thinking of you, Ethel—call it Daylight Savings Time! (Apparently it has something to do with bank accounts.)
  • Some people insist on pointing out that it doesn’t actually save daylight; it just moves it around by an hour. (Yeah, we knew that.)
  • Some people (not you, I’m sure) think that we literally lose an hour when we switch. Or gain an hour. They usually aren’t sure which.
  • Some people argue vociferously that we shouldn’t switch back and forth twice a year. Just stick to standard time year-round. Or permanent DST. (But which?)

One complication is that we have these discrete time zones that jump by a full hour, so it’s dark at one side of a time zone while it’s light at the opposite side at ostensibly the same time.

But we could change that. DST is a result of legislation, not a fact of nature. Check out the wonderful web-based software tool that lets you explore four different parameters, immediately seeing the effects of tweaking them:

  • The latest reasonable sunset time (IYHO).
  • The earliest.
  • Whether sunrise or sunset time is more important.
  • Whether we abolish DST, or keep it year-round, or continue with what we have been doing.

There has been a recent movement in Massachusetts and Maine to move us from Eastern Time to Atlantic Time, or go to DST year-round if we stay on Eastern Time; that’s one of the many options you can investigate with this tool. Check it out!

Categories: Life, Teaching & Learning, Technology