WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Another example of the U.S. going it alone -- to the inconvenience of the world

Come Saturday night/Sunday morning, we'll all be setting back our clocks by one hour as we return to Eastern Standard Time from Eastern Daylight Time.

Maybe because I get up around 3:45 A.M. (although fall back is far better than spring forward!), personally, I'd prefer just staying on the same time throughout the year.

But that misses the bigger issue: The United States has greatly complicated global time conversion - creating a massive headache for global business and especially, global aviation - by being out-of-sync with the rest of the world that observes Daylight Saving Time.

That's because other countries observing Daylight Saving Time returned to Standard Time LAST weekend. So we end up with an oddball week in limbo that causes havoc.

Indeed, the U.S. Congress -- in its infinite wisdom -- passed legislation in 2007 starting DST three weeks EARLIER and ending DST one week later. So U.S. companies had to reset automated equipment and we put ourselves further out-of-sync with the rest of the world. (Given the intertwining of the United States and Canada, the Canadians had to follow our lead!)

Of course, not all places in North America observe Daylight Saving Time (Arizona, minus the Navajo nation; Puerto Rico; the U.S. Virgin Islands & Saskatchewan; no longer Indiana!); the Russians (plus Belarus & Uzbekistan) recently moved to Daylight Time year-round; and the Chinese compress four or five time zones into one (Beijing standard time) although some western Chinese regions do not strictly follow it. (China is the only large country besides India that officially follows only one time zone, although India time is at a half hour variance.)

But practically speaking, it's the United States' deviation on WHEN to switch back and forth between Standard and Daylight Time that causes the most inconvenience. Not insurmountable, but just another example of where the United States plays bull in the china shop. Yet another example of what some construe as Uncle Sam's arrogance.

For U.S.-based companies competing in a global economy, our out-of-sync time conversion sits on a list of other U.S. idiosyncrasies: The only remaining non-metric country in the world; one of the few "advanced" countries where second-language immersion from an early age is not the norm; etc.

By the way, I've found at least one website dedicated to ending Daylight Saving Time, or at least, keeping each time zone at the same time througout the year...


Posted at 7:41am on October 31, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Oct 31, 2013 8:18am
I wish we'd leave it in Daylight Savings Time year round.

Thu, Oct 31, 2013 9:16am
"personally, I'd prefer just staying on the same time throughout the year."

I agree 100%

Thu, Oct 31, 2013 6:57pm
Personally, I vote for good ole American exceptionalism. Why be like everybody else? I'd rather be different.

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