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Monday, November 8, 2021

Daylight Saving Time 2021 Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Priorities...

Back in March of this year, KoopaTV published an article that was a detailed contact list for members of Congress who could get the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 passed through Committee. If this legislation would pass, it would keep the United States on permanent Daylight Saving(s) Time, and end biannual clock switching. While my personal preference would be constant Standard Time (and I got jumped by a bunch of Standard Time activists on Twitter for promoting the Sunshine Protection Act), I'm willing to advocate for constant Daylight Saving Time since that would also achieve my goal.

Time switching is terrible. Adjusting all the clocks is a pain. The effect on sleep is loathsome and unhealthy. Trying to coordinate events and things at specific times is confusing. Did you know that timezones actually change their name? Eastern Standard Time (EST) turns into Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), for example. It gets particularly messy when working with people from other countries. This includes things like livestreams, as noted by Fire Emblem YouTuber Mekkah who had to put out this post because lots of people were confused:

“If you're seeing my videos or streams go live an hour earlier than usual, that might be because Europe ended Daylight Savings Time this weekend while your part of the world did not! Two times a year, timezone math between Europeans and Americans especially becomes more complex than it already is because these two continents start and end Daylight savings time a week apart.”


I've listened to stories from friends and fellow KoopaTV staffers about how the change has personally affected them. Staffer Witch Princess says that she didn't bother fixing clocks from a Saturday power outage because they'd have to be changed again on Sunday anyway, so she didn't know what time it was. (Probably why she doesn't come to any of our reaction logs anymore because she keeps missing them from time differences.) I've had another friend describe how Dragon Quest Tact screwed over their stamina because Daylight Saving Time ended and free-to-play games have time-based stamina systems that act like you're trying to manipulate the system when the system clock changes.

Anyway, there are updates to the Sunshine Protection Act. Well... the process of getting it into law. Since March 15.


Unfortunately, the bills are stuck in their respective committees in both chambers of Congress. No actual actions have occurred since we last talked about it. However, it has gotten more co-sponsors. In the Senate, there are five additional cosponsors: Democrats Patty Murray (Washington), Alex Padilla (California), and Martin Heinrich (New Mexico) along with Republicans Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania). Pat Toomey even tweeted about it recently. Marsha Blackburn's support is notable, because she's actually on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation that KoopaTV showcased back in March.

Over in the House, there are far more cosponsors. I don't really feel like listing all of them, but there's a good mix of Republicans and Democrats, and there are even five new cosponsors as of this month. Perhaps the most important cosponsor in terms of committees is Darren Soto (D-Florida-9).

Since Senator (and fraud) Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts promised me three years ago that she'd get back to me in three to five days about Daylight Saving Time (and of course she never did), I decided this year to send her fellow Massachusetts Senator, Ed Markey, a message of encouragement for his cosponsoring of the Sunshine Protection Act. (And make up for me trashing him eight years ago.) He actually did reply to me, and he sent me this on July 6 of this year:
“Thank you for contacting me about the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 (S. 623). I appreciate hearing from you.

I am an original cosponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 (S. 623), which was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio on March 09, 2021. This bill would make Daylight Saving Time year-round, negating the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and I will continue to support it as it moves through the legislative process.

Daylight Saving Time has allowed American families everywhere to enjoy more daylight hours into the afternoon and evening for decades. In addition to the benefits of energy savings, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity, Daylight Saving Time helps clear away the winter blues a little earlier by making everyone feel a little sunnier. That is why I co-authored a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that extended Daylight Saving Time by three weeks in the spring and one week in the fall. This bill was signed into law on July 29, 2005.”


It's important to note that my goal is to eliminate clock-switching. His goal is specifically for year-round Daylight Saving Time. It might be difficult for him to compromise on year-round Standard Time, which is the other alternative to not having clock-switching.

He's also proud of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that unaligned the United States (and later Canada) from Europe. That was a dumb decision. He doesn't share the philosophical reasoning that I and many other people have. But maybe this should be a big tent coalition and compromise might be necessary.

Anyway, perhaps one reason why these bills aren't being worked on is because Congress is so busy with all of this other stuff going on, like infrastructure and monumental social spending paid for by big tax increases and inflation. Things that actually matter, like the fundamental flow of time, are put on the wayside. Everyone should calm down, chill out, and refocus (with the help of constituent phone calls and emails) on bipartisan issues that will make a real, positive difference and quickly: abolishing biannual clock changing.



Today, states can switch to year-round Standard Time without needing Congress's approval—but they need approval for year-round Daylight Saving Time. Ludwig wonders why more states aren't just switching to Standard Time and putting this silliness behind them. It's probably because it would complicate commerce with neighbouring states. But if everyone thinks like that, nothing will ever get done! You should urge your Congresspeople (as well as other people's Congresspeople) to get moving on this.

4 comments :

  1. I agree with you that the 2005 energy legislation that George Bush signed, was "dumb."
    Personally, I have no problems with the time shifting. I don't buy into the argument about having to reset our clocks. In today's society, it's automatically done on your devices for you.. So, unless you are setting your clocks at home manually. I know the issue is more complicated than that. But, the retail industry has had plenty to do with these DST extensions. First one started in 1987. Second extension started in 2007. The second one pushed me over the edge.Why? Well, you can see the consequences of that today. Morning sunrises are delayed too late into the morning, such as in March and early November. The candy lobby won by extending DST past Halloween. In southern climates, the golf industry won by starting DST in early to mid March...way earlier than our European counterparts.
    There are four Federal bills being pushed onto the American people. There are also 19 States that will go to year round DST, if the Federal bill is rammed through. The option to stop clock changes, at the State level, and remain on Standard Time year round...is a hard sell. People want their long summer days. But, it is not needed nor welcome in the October-March period.
    We tried this in 1974 and a portion of 1975. It was a failure and we reverted back to the six month observance of Standard Time. Now, we sit at only four months of Standard Time. Perhaps our society will have to learn the "hard way." Experience a full autumn and winter on DST. Wake up and commute in the dark. All for that extra hour in the evening, in the cold and inclement weather...especially in the northern States.
    My suggestion? As a compromise, change the dates closer to the equinoxes. Standard Time kicks in first weekend of October. Daylight time returns last weekend of April, past Easter. I believe that would allow for a gentler adjustment. Standard Time is a healthier choice, but the forces that are in retail...golfing, barbecue,shopping, hospitality..all of it, will have to allow for a reduced DST season. Either that, or have time zone boundaries redrawn, so that the western edges of time zones don't end up with sunrises approaching 9 or 9:30am during December and January. That's my take on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With regards to setting clocks manually, I have... quite a number of those. The car, the microwave, the oven, multiple analogue clocks, the alarm clock (which does it automatically... but based on pre-2005 legislation timings...), thermostats, the 3DS, the Wii U...

      I think it's worth fighting those lobbies to do the right thing. This is the sort of thing where people can feel the differences within their own body. People don't like that.

      Delete
  2. I lucked out this Daylight Savings Time and my daughters slept longer and I did not have to get up an hour earlir.

    ReplyDelete

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