Ditching the Switch? U.S. States Rebel Against Time Change
The switch over to daylight savings time that the U.S. went through on Sunday might have been one of the last ones if a bill passed in the Senate is to be adopted. The upper chamber of the United States Congress on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that would make daylight savings or “springtime” permanent.
While U.S. states have been allowed to opt-out of daylight savings time – and Arizona and Hawaii are not participating in it – federal law currently prohibits states from adopting “springtime” permanently. Previous to the Senate bill, several states had already been rebelling against this. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states have passed laws or had successful referendums indicating that they are willing to make the permanent switch to daylight savings time. Many countries around the world are currently reassessing the concept of daylight savings, a practice that dates back to World War I and was adopted to save energy in the evenings.
While some studies have identified permanent standard time to be the time that more closely resembles the sun’s natural rhythm in the Northern hemisphere, proponents of permanent springtime are citing an extra hour of light in the evenings as the advantage of permanent daylight savings time.
By switching back and forth, countries can maximize morning light hours in the winter, when daylight is rare, and at the same time make evening longer in the summer when plenty of morning light is available anyways. The benefits of this approach are actually most visible in places of high Northern latitude, which experience dark winters, like Northern Europe. The U.S. is in latitude more comparable to Southern Europe.
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