Daylight saving time part 2, continues the blog from last week, as promised.

     Since daylight saving time creates the illusion of the sun rising and setting one hour later on the clock, but does not add any additional daylight, the already later sunrise times under standard time are pushed an hour later on the clock with daylight saving time. Late sunrise times can become unpopular in the winter months which essentially forces workers and schoolchildren to begin the day in darkness. In 1974 following the enactment of the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Act in the United States, there were complaints of children going to school in the dark and working people commuting and starting their work day in pitch darkness during the winter months. The complaints led to the repeal of the act in October 1974 when standard time was restored until February 23, 1975. In 1976, the United States returned to the schedule set under the Uniform Time Act of 1966. In 1971, year-round daylight time in the United Kingdom was abandoned after a 3-year experiment because of complaints about winter sunrise times. The same complaints also led to Russia abandoning DST and instituting standard time year round in 2014.

     The shift in apparent time is also motivated by practicality. In American temperate latitudes, for example, the sun rises around 04:30 on the summer solstice and sets around 19:30. Since most people are sound asleep at 04:30, it makes more sense to pretend that 04:30 is actually 05:30, thus enabling people to be active in the evening light until what we decide to call 20:30 or later. Of course, these times apply only in the center of the time bands at multiples of fifteen degrees longitude. Farther east within a time zone, the sun rises and sets earlier than 12:00 (rechristened 13:00); farther west, later.

     Are you confused yet? You are only halfway through Daylight Savings Time Part 2.

     The manipulation of time at higher latitudes, like in IcelandNunavutScandinavia or Alaska, has little impact on daily life, because the length of day and night changes more extremely throughout the seasons, and thus sunrise and sunset times are significantly out of phase with standard working hours regardless of manipulations of the clock. DST is also of little use for locations near the equator, because these regions see only a small variation in daylight in the course of the year.

     In most countries that observe seasonal daylight saving time, the clock observed in winter is legally named “standard time”, in accordance with the standardization of time zones to agree with the local mean time near the center of each region. An exception exists in Ireland, where its winter clock has the same offset (UTC±00:00) and legal name as that in Britain (Greenwich Mean Time)—but while its summer clock also has the same offset as Britain’s (UTC+01:00), its legal name is Irish Standard Time as opposed to British Summer Time.

     While most countries that change clocks for daylight saving time observe standard time in winter and DST in summer, Morocco observes (since 2019) daylight saving time every month but Ramadan. During the holy month (the date of which is determined by the lunar calendar and thus moves annually with regard to the Gregorian calendar), the country’s civil clocks observe Western European Time (UTC+00:00, which geographically overlaps most of the nation). At the close of this month, its clocks are turned forward to Western European Summer Time (UTC+01:00), where they remain until the return of the holy month the following year.

     Now, I’m thoroughly confused.

     Finally for this week, and on a lighter note, in the mid-1980s, Clorox and 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. provided the primary funding for the Daylight Saving Time Coalition behind the 1987 extension to U.S. DST. Why, I have no idea, but both U.S. Senators from IdahoLarry Craig and Mike Crapo, voted for it based on the premise that fast-food restaurants sell more French fries (made from Idaho potatoes) during DST.

     I told you this was fascinating stuff. More next week. Daylight Savings Time Part 2 extends into Part 3…and maybe more.


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