[gets ready for anarchy in the comments]

I think most of you are aware of the concept of Daylight Savings Time (some countries call it Summer time), but in the springtime clocks move forward one hour and in the fall they move back one hour.

Every Spring everyone on social media begins rambling and complaining that daylight savings time is stupid and why can’t we just stay on one time and I hate this and blah blah blah.  The US state of Florida has gone so far as to decide they want to stay on Daylight Savings Time.

a beach with a lifeguard tower and a sunset

Surprisingly it isn’t as simple as that.  Let’s look at the state of Arizona, for example.  Arizona (except for the Navajo lands in the northeast part of the state) does not follow daylight savings time.  For part of the year they’re in Mountain time and the other part of the year they’re in Pacific time.  Arizona can determine this on their own without any sort of blessing from Congress needed, you can exempt yourself from daylight savings without Congressional approval.  Florida’s decision, however, needs approval from Congress.  Basically you do not need permission to stay on standard time but need permission from Congress to stay on daylight savings time.

But that’s not why I think their crusade is dumb.  Here’s why.

Florida would be an hour ahead of the rest of the USA for half of the year

Florida is actually not that far east compared to other parts of the USA.  Miami, for example, is about 500 miles west of Boston.  Moving to permanent Daylight Savings Time would mean that for parts of the year Florida would be an hour ahead of Boston and New York.  Bear in mind that there are parts of the Florida panhandle that are currently in the Central Time Zone, these parts of the state would be dealing with a time difference of two hours compared to what they’re used to!

It’s patently ridiculous in my opinion, to have one state further ahead than states that are further east.  Arizona works because it ends up in time zones that are already in use, but currently there’s no US state that uses Eastern time plus 1 hour (called Atlantic time, which is what Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands use).

A switch like this works if the USA moves as one.  Nixon tried this in 1974 and it didn’t last.

Everybody switch to decaf for a minute and relax

I think it’s popular to complain on social media when daylight savings comes into effect because, well, we all like our sleep and it definitely affects that.  What we shouldn’t do is confuse social media complaining for policy recommendations.  Let’s just all agree to complain about it for a week without ruining time zones, k?  Something else will be along soon enough that we can switch to complaining about.


And thus endeth the rant.

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