U.S. Senate Unanimously Votes To End Changing Clocks Twice A Year

U.S. Senate Unanimously Votes To End Changing Clocks Twice A Yearby Gary Leff on March 16, 2022

What I always hated most about winter was how early it got dark. It would be dark before I left work in the evening. Work from home solved that for me long before it did for most other people but I still hated changing the clocks.

Airlines hate it even more, because of how it messes with their schedules. And what’s worse than changing the clocks is that the U.S. and Europe do it at different times. So all of a sudden a flight that leaves the U.S. at, say, 7 p.m. will arrive in Europe at a different time. That’s especially a problem at slot-controlled airports where airlines are assigned specific arrival and departure times. They manage this, of course, but it’s an unnecessarily complex hassle.

Well, U.S. rejoice because the Senate has just unanimously passed a bill to permanently end the practice of changing the clocks twice a year (it passed by unanimous consent). This wouldn’t start until November 2023 (so we just wouldn’t ‘fall back’ at that time). Waiting makes the transition easier, especially on… airlines (although it won’t be completely seamless unless other parts of the world go along).

Rubio noted that the bill delays implementation to November 2023, because, he said, the transportation industry has already built out schedules on the existing time and asked for additional months to make the adjustment.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, the lead Democratic sponsor, said Tuesday ahead of passage of the bill that “this would give us a chance for Americans all across the country to be rid of fall back and make Daylights Savings Time permanent and to add a little sunlight into most people’s lives.”

Personally I hate changing clocks in opposite directions from my family in New South Wales, Australia and having to calculate two different amounts of time for the difference between us when calling.

Daylight Savings Time was first implemented in parts of Canada beginning in 1908. Broad adoption began during World War I in Germany and Austria-Hungary, followed by the United States in 1918. The 1970s energy crisis saw more widespread adoption. Growing up I learned this was ‘for the farmers’ but many farmers don’t change their clocks since animals don’t change their patterns with the change of clocks. There are lots of debates over whether it saves energy or burns energy, whether the changes to our bodies for a few days entail significant economic loss, and even whether it leads to spikes in crime. Probably the effect isn’t very large either way, but then what’s the point in putting us collectively through it?

There’s no official word on if or when the U.S. House would take up the measure.

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