Seeing the light on Daylight Savings Time

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It’s Saturday night and, while sane people are out somewhere having a drink or watching a movie or socializing with friends, we’re trying to come up with a topic for an editorial.

This time, an editorial idea comes easy, because in less than four hours – at 2 a.m. on March 10 – Daylight Savings Time will begin for another year.

That puzzling ritual is back again. Of course, rituals are not bad just because they are rituals. Religious rituals are generally harmless and often amusing, unless some sort of human sacrifice or mutilation is involved. And there are innumerable rituals in secular society which most people cannot understand, but we do anyway.

Then there are rituals like Daylight Savings Time. It can only be called a ritual, because no one really understands why it happens without doing some research on the Internet. We looked up the reasons, and in all honesty it still doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Readers of The Hub with exceptional memories might recall that we expressed our opposition to changing our clocks twice a year in an editorial in November of 2017.

Normally, we would not be writing about the same topic just a year-and-a-half later, but some new and exciting things are happening in the world of Daylight Savings Time.

Later this month, the European Parliament will vote on a proposal to abandon Daylight Savings Time throughout the European Union (without the United Kingdom, we assume.)

There seems to be a growing movement in Europe to get rid of it as early as 2021, although the idea is to leave the decision to each country.

A public consultation in Europe received 4.6 million responses and 84 per cent were against Daylight Savings Time.

A change in Europe would be huge for all of us who think Daylight Savings Time is nonsense.

Closer to home there is a growing movement in the three western American states – California, Oregon and Washington – to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, and there are even bills in state legislatures.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan also wrote to the three governors for information on the proposed change. According to news reports, Horgan believes B.C. and the three states should jointly decide to either keep or abandon Daylight Savings Time.

These are heady days for those of us who would like to see Daylight Savings Time become a thing of the past.

It was way back in 1916 when it was first adopted anywhere by Germany and Austria-Hungary during the First World War. Since then, it has spread around the world, although some countries have never used it at all. In Canada, Saskatchewan is notable because it does not.

Of course, the NWT is solidly in sync with Alberta, and nothing will change here until in changes there.

There has been debate for years whether Daylight Savings Time is beneficial, or creates more problems than it is worth. We’re solidly in the latter camp.

Perhaps it made some sense a hundred years ago, but whatever that reason was is long gone.

Daylight Savings Time is an anachronism. It’s time is done.


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