There has long been debate about the value, or lack of it, of daylight saving time, not only in Canada but throughout the world.
Is it possible a decision one way or the other might be in the offing?.
In the U.S., a recent story in The Washington Post said the national policy of switching from standard time to daylight saving time and back again is under legislative challenge from coast to coast. Multiple initiatives in Congress and in statehouses would terminate the country’s current system of time toggling.
But it’s not that these proposals call for it to stay with standard time; instead it would be to have daylight saving time year-round..
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently reintroduced a bill to make daylight saving time a year-round reality across the country, with no more biannual time changes and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) introduced matching legislation in the House.
The Florida legislature last year voted to adopt daylight saving time year-round and the legislation was signed by the governor. However, it has never been put into effect because anything involving a time change is the prerogative of the U.S. Congress.. .
China has already eliminated daylight saving and according to a story in Bloomberg News, daylight saving affects only about 1.6 billion people worldwide, which it says “means 79% of the world’s population is spared the annoyance of synchronizing their watches and clocks twice a year.”
Daylight saving time was first implemented by Germany during World War I and its use soon spread. It has been in use in Canada for 100 years and you can be sure if the U.S. makes a change, Canada will too..
The issue of daylight saving has always been controversial, particularly among farmers, who like early morning daylight in the summer, which is why to this day in Canada Saskatchewan remains on standard time year-round.
In the U.S., Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands still reject DST.
It seems there are two issues here.
One is whether changing the clock is inherently a bad idea, because of sleep disruption, negative health effects and the general confusion generated by a jumpy time system. The other issue is whether we need to favour the evening over the morning when trying to distribute our sunlight — not just during spring and summer and early fall but throughout the year.
Researchers have published a variety of studies that question the wisdom of changing the clock. A 2016 study found evidence that the switch back to standard time in the fall is associated with a spike in diagnoses of depression, for example. A study published in Europe in 2018 found a “modest” increase in heart attacks after the clocks change, with the effect more pronounced during the springtime shift. Certainly the time change can disrupt our sleep cycles, particularly in the spring, research shows.
If I had to come down on one side or the other, I would opt for daylight saving year-round because I believe most people will make better use of the longer light in the evening that daylight saving brings than they would of the earlier sunrise with standard time.
But actually I would prefer to stay with what we have. I think it gives us the best of both worlds, earlier sunrise with standard time in the winter and longer evenings in the summer with daylight saving time.
However, I must admit that I am hardly affected by the time change. Whereas it upsets some people immensely and takes them some time to make the adjustment, it is hardly noticeable to me.
A lot of noise was made when DST originally came into play that there was money to be saved by switching to it for part of the year. I have never bought into that thought.
No matter how you set the clock, an hour ahead or an hour back, surely the cost of doing business or running a home is going to be pretty well the same.
Actually I have long thought the term daylight saving was a misnomer. Nothing is saved, it is simply that the time is adjusted. It would have been better named something along the lines of non-standard time.
Anyway I prefer the earlier arrival of daylight in the winter as is the case with standard time. Under daylight saving it would remain dark until after 9 a.m,
And I prefer the longer evenings in the summer that daylight saving brings.
So put me down as someone who is not in favour of Canada making any permanent change, either to standard time or daylight saving. I like it the way it is.
I FIND THERE IS ONE positive I am taking away from the winter at hand – it is sharpening my memory.
I find I am concentrating on remembering where the potholes are so I can avoid them. In fact, I am avoiding some streets entirely, Bay Street being an example.
I note they did some work there on Friday but as far as I am concerned they stopped short of completing the job.
I am also remembering streets to avoid where it is virtually impossible to for two vehicles to pass each other, Illinois in the subdivision in which I live being one of them.
On Tuesday another vehicle had to back up to the intersection with Indiana to allow me and the motorist in the vehicle behind me to pass. I had attempted to get close enough to the snowbank to enable passing but kept sliding sideways. If I had pressed on, it was obvious I would have ended up sliding into the other vehicle.
However, although the winter may be helping me work on my memory, I still say enough already.