Any planner will stress the necessity of a savings account for unforeseen occurrences. Put something away so you can pull it out when you need it. Try that with daylight. You just can’t defer the rotation of the earth, so that unused sunlight can be accessed months later when you want it. We really won’t be saving daylight when we switch over to Daylight Saving Time this Sunday. It really is about latitudes, longitudes and the rotation of the earth around the sun.
Don’t worry about the extra hour of sunlight killing your grass, as some folks claimed when Daylight Saving Time was adopted, throughout most of the USA, with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Each year, most of us set our clocks forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in November. Since the total hours of daylight are greater in the summer than the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the idea is not to waste daylight time in the later hours of each day when daylight lasts longer. Why not make use of that sunlight while you are still awake?
Arguments still abound about the practice from folks who claim their circadian rhythms are interrupted, for people who value the extra recreational outdoor time for fishing, golf, etc. Fireworks displays and drive-in movies don’t operate on the schedules they would prefer and the childhood pastime of catching lightning bugs happens an hour later in the summer. Do children’s bedtimes change? The debate rages in different parts of states and sometimes within the same community. Aspen, Colorado adopted Daylight Saving Time well before other parts of the state and cities surrounding it, but everyone knows Aspen has always marched to the beat of its own drum.
The complexity of the issue is exacerbated by the different interpretations of time zones. Phoenix, Arizona, is on Standard Mountain Time all year round, but Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is east of Phoenix, goes on Daylight time in March, each year, and off in November. So, at times, it’s the same time in each city and other times it is not.
It is obvious that the one thing we are not saving with this mess is our sanity. As the Chicago song used to ask…
“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”