This year, daylight savings time is starting earlier, and as with any change, there are people out there who love it and people who are upset about it. They all seem to be forgetting one thing, which I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everybody of—changing the numbers on a clock does not actually change what time it is.

Take this guy, for example, who is happy to have more daylight savings time:

Jerry Smits, who runs his own painting company in Southern California, says that he can get more work done with the time change. Since exterior paint has to be applied by 3 p.m. to dry properly, Smits can squeeze in another job during daylight saving time.

– “The new daylight saving time: Will it really work?“, Columbia News Service

Listen, Jerry. Putting the clocks ahead does not actually make the sun set an hour later in the day. There are no more hours of sunlight than the day before. If you want to get more work done, just wake up when the sun wakes up. You can call it three in the afternoon if you want and work until midnight in bright sunshine, but the sun’s going to set at the same time regardless.

Same goes to you farmers. Cows do not observe daylight savings time. They do not set their clocks back or forward an hour and expect you out in the barn to do the milking when the big hand and the little hand are wherever they like the big hand and little hand to be when being milked. If anything they probably get confused when you start showing up an hour early in the spring.

The people who tend to think daylight savings matter are actually the ones to whom it matters the least. If you require daylight to do your work, you’re working with animals who know no time, or doing anything else that depends on the day/night cycle, then the arbitrary numbers on a little display don’t change anything about what you do. For the rest of us, all that changes is how bright it is when we happen to leave our classrooms and offices to venture into some other builing.

The only thing that actually changes the number of hours in the day is the tilt of the Earth’s axis and its orbit around the sun, and no act of the US Congress is going to change that.

Random FAQ Comments (1)

One Response to “Daylight savings time change”

  1. Anita says:

    the other day there was a “report” on Today, Tonight (an appalling “current affairs” program) about daylight savings. “Daylight savings? Daylight Robbery! Making you eat more! Making you fat! Disrupting your family life!” The worst part? Mum was like “I’m glad somebody else thinks so too!” …

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