WebStamp March 11, 2020
Times Up for Daylight Saving
Ah, we have survived another time change, at least here in Alberta along with the other 40% of the World that performs the ritual of Daylight-Saving Time (DST). We “Spring” ahead and lose an hour so we can have more daylight in the summer evenings to enjoy, and in the Fall, we gain an hour to give us more daylight earlier in the coming long winter nights. Even though it makes sense to get more daylight when needed, it does disrupt worldwide transportation, productivity, and messes up people’s routines and health.
Ancient civilizations used a more flexible seasonal method of time adjustment than the currently used DST. Sunrise to sunset was divided into 12 hours resulting in longer summer daylight hours and shorter daylight hours in the winter. The Romans used different scales on their water clocks for each month to adjust the time change seasonally gradually. It was from the 14th Century that an equal length of time was given to the hour to standardize time for business, rail transport, and communication between places.
It was on July 1, 1908, that the world’s first DST was implemented when Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) turned their clocks forward. Regina followed in April of 1914 and Winnipeg & Brandon 2 years later. Also, in the German Empire and Austria, the clocks were turned ahead on April 30th in 1916. Within a few weeks the United Kingdom, France, and many other countries practiced DST. After WWI most countries returned to year-round standard time.
DST returned during WWII as “War Time” from 1942 to 1945 to support the U.S. war effort. German-occupied countries were on Double Summertime for 2 years from 1940. There were no rules for DST and every state and country practised it differently, or not at all, creating much confusion for travel, cargo, and communication between regions. In 1966 the Uniform Time Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress establishing a system of uniform daylight time throughout most of the USA within each time zone.
In Canada, we have adopted the rules set by the U.S. to coordinate with them as not to create much confusion with trade and travel. Eastern Saskatchewan permanently began using DST with the 1966 Time Act, and where the west of the province was allowed to choose whether to implement it. There are also a few small areas in B.C. and Ontario, and areas east of the 63º west longitude in Quebec that keep the same time year-round. B.C. is looking towards keeping DST time year-round, and the Yukon already legislated to remain on Pacific Daylight Time (DST).
With all this talk about all our neighbours keeping DST, the Alberta Government posted a public survey with 91% of Albertans wanting to stop changing their clocks twice a year. It seems like it is time to go with the flow and avoid confusion and don’t change our clocks ever again. By staying permanently on DST, we will continue to enjoy longer evening daylight for those after-work activities. Other advantages include less time confusion, fewer accidents, and health issues. People function and feel better when their routines aren’t adjusted back and forth.
Let us stop manipulating time, after all, it is constant. Why do we have to control something that never changes? No matter how you measure it time goes by at the same rate and there is no need to create confusion, chaos, and risk people’s health. Put an End to the Never-Ending DST Debate and stop wasting time deciding how to change it. Stop the nuisance and Make A Difference to your wellbeing by signing the Change.org petition to stop the DST ritual.
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WebStamp March 11, 2020