Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?

by Green Deane

in Blog

G.V. Hudson is to blame

It is time for my semi-annual rant and wish that G.V. Hudson had a different hobby. Hudson, a New Zealander, collected insects and was a shift worker. In 1895 he proposed Daylight Savings Time so he could collect insects after work in daylight. The world rightly ignored his idea but it was also championed by a golfer William Willett in 1907. He fought for it tirelessly and the world rightfully ignored him as well.  But, to save energy during WWI, Germany adopted Daylight Saving Time and soon other countries in the conflict followed. The pox has been on humanity since. In the fall Americans set their clocks back to standard time, or what I call solar time. In the spring they go back on artificial time.

Golfer William Willett had the same bad idea

As I have mentioned before I stopped changing my clocks years ago. I absolutely refuse to go on “daylight savings time.” The entire idea strikes me a silly particularly when one considers there is a fixed amount of daylight no matter how we set our clocks. It is rightfully called “daylight slaving time.” Only the government would cut the top foot off a blanket, sew it on the bottom, and then argue the blanket is longer.

What really got to me was the seasonal flipping, spring forward, fall back. It always left me out of sorts for weeks. Now I don’t flip. I don’t change when I get up, when I eat, when I go to bed or when I feed the animals. This family stays on solar time.  I just recognize that for half the year the rest of the country thinks it is ahead of me by one hour.

Semi-annual nonsense

Fortunately nature is not so wrong headed. Animals and plants ignore the time change. Cows get milked at the same time no matter what hour it is. Plants grow the same while we pretend there is more light in the evenings during summer. (Though as a kid I remember marveling that at 9 p.m. it was still light outside.)

There is also a philosophical reasons. So much of our lives is artificial. And artificial “daylight savings” time is but one more thing to knock us out of sync with the world around us. I spend a lot of time with Mother Nature and I prefer her time to man’s. And grumpy me, I like to use my watches (12 and 24-hour) as compasses, and that’s easier if one stays on solar time. Thus I do. And more than one study shows it actually cost more to go on Daylight Savings Time.

From a factual point of view, the majority of people on earth do NOT go on daylight savings time. How sensible. Asia doesn’t nor does Africa. Most equatorial countries don’t. Great Britain and Ireland tried staying on DST permanently from 1968 to 1971 but went back because it was unpopular. Most of Arizona does not go on DST either.  Lead the way Arizona. Daylight Savings Time is a bad idea that needs to go away.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron September 29, 2016 at 17:36

Anything that can separate modern mankind from his/her relationship to the earth, this the government is certain to institute. It is our highest responsibility not to let this brave new world encroach on our biological instincts where they are in correlation to creation. So few people in America concern themselves anymore with pursuing a primal intimacy with the earth. For me, in my university years, nothing took away more from my and my family’s time with nature than DST. Plainly, that is where the process starts, at about eighteen. I would encourage readers to make a concerted effort not to let our modern socialism alienate us from the once factor in our lives without which we cannot make do.

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sl0j0n September 21, 2016 at 13:53

Hello, “Green Deane”:
Not only are those good reasons for eliminating so-called “DST”,
but I think I know the best reason yet;
EVERY year, a few people DIE because of “DST”.
[Usually, pedestrians or joggers/runners. ]
NO amount of money is worth a single human life.
The only reasonable solution is ELIMINATE “DST”; the sooner, the better.
Trying to justify “DST” for economic reasons [slavery, anyone?] is just plain WRONG!

Have a GREAT day, Neighbor!

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Anise February 21, 2016 at 21:18

We need to stay on DST all year long!! So many people are forced to work under horrible florescent lights in offices and desperately need that extra hour of light in the evenings.

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Bruce January 1, 2016 at 13:28

I thought I was alone in my absolute disdain of this bs!!

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Virginia October 25, 2015 at 21:45

“Daylight savings time” is on my “to be abolished” list!

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bert October 9, 2015 at 12:49

… there may be something seriously wrong with men, or women, who think they can change what time the Sun comes up …

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Kris May 3, 2015 at 19:36

Well, I have to be the lone voice of pro-DST. I agree it’s a pain to reset the clocks twice a year – personally, I’d rather be on DST all year long. As long as most of the population’s day is constrained by the 9-5 workday, it matters whether you have more free time before work or after work. Personally, I enjoy having a bigger chunk after work, and enjoying long summer evenings. Time zones are equally abrupt; I used to live on the west side of the local time zone line and it’d be dark by 4pm in winter; now I live on the east side of it and it gets dark at a more reasonable 5pm. The only part of the anti-DST argument I can’t relate to is how difficult it is to change one’s (internal) clock by an hour. Over the years I’ve traveled to India regularly to visit relatives – a 10 1/2 hr time change – and jetlag only lasts a day or so. I don’t even notice a one hour change.

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Green Deane May 3, 2015 at 20:52

Great Britain tried DST permanently but only for a few years because people didn’t like it.

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Steve April 8, 2015 at 12:41

Hey Green Deane,
Very fun website. I love your humor and good nature. I agree with your assessment of DST. It has been shown to actually cause more harm with the interruption of the sleep cycle and does not save us any energy. It is interesting that 93% of plants are inedible to us. I think that the plants that are edible should give us some nutrition and or medicinal value. While it is true that some pretty flowers can make the food we eat more appealing I wonder what is the the actual nutritional value. I think that foraging also has an important benefit beyond the actual food that you harvest. It allows you to be closer to nature and to observe it at its finest. Without plants we would have little to eat but we cannot eat grass we are not designed that way. But as you point out we can eat what eats the plants. One last point most of what we take as fact is in fact myth. It is important to be skeptical and to really learn and this website I believe helps to accomplish that.

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Karl May 17, 2015 at 11:31

Tell me a story! The youngest children, eyes sparkling, are ready to hear a story. If it’s getting dark, and there are prospects of bedtime delayed, so much the better.
And the older we get, the more eager to tell. That reminds me… When I was your age,…
And basically, it’s all myth. Believe what you choose. Close your eyes, make a wish, blow out the candle!

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Terry March 22, 2015 at 15:52

Just found your site while searching for pictures of wapato (duck potato) sprouts and am enjoying it quite a bit for the most part. I was put off by what I construe of the use of some narrow-minded language being used for native Americans in the wapato article, in particular because a lot of what we know about indigenous food was conveyed by them.
Despite being an old-timer too and perhaps because I only recently received my bachelors degree, which included anthropology course on native Americans so I’ve become sensitive to the use of certain inflammatory words. I’ve also worked for some tribal governments on green, renewable energy project and have found much to respect about their culture. Regardless of my disagreement, I think you have a great site, which I’ll continue to visit.

I do agree with your position about the inanity of dst. My premise is that it is a control issue – to get everyone to go along with something because the government wants us to be obedient. Might be too wild for some, but I just think common sense has left us.

Thanks again for your site.

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Green Deane March 23, 2015 at 21:06

At least I did not call them squaws…

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Kay September 17, 2015 at 14:41

“At least I did not call them squaws…”
Only “squawlettes”, which is somehow better?
(This comment is made with gentle amusement, not indignation or castigation.)

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Green Deane September 18, 2015 at 17:20

You must be referring to another article rather than the one on time. And I thought I had written such things out.

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bilbo baggins October 30, 2014 at 14:54

“Ah, Dean, if you were chained to a cubicle or otherwise employed in a ‘normal’ job on a regular workday schedule, you would no doubt have more sympathy for DST.”

I am a cubical worker and i hate DST with a passion. Having lived in Asian and Arizona where it is not practiced I find it even more annoying.

I’ve had it. I’m going to solar time and not conforming.
If more people would just do this we could get off this rubbish once and for all.

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Green Deane October 30, 2014 at 20:15

I was a cubical inmate for quite a while. I still refused to go along with the nonsense, which is again this week. Except you are all now joining me.

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Julia July 10, 2014 at 12:06

Right on the money. I absolutely hate DST, and all summer long I have to remind myself of the REAL time to stay sane.

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RM McWilliams June 28, 2014 at 21:29

Ah, Dean, if you were chained to a cubicle or otherwise employed in a ‘normal’ job on a regular workday schedule, you would no doubt have more sympathy for DST – though your points about changing twice a year and being out of synch with nature are well taken.

Of course, there is little to forage after a workday in the winter in northern New England, eh? Still, changing the hours of the ‘standard’ workday, and schoolday, does make more sense. Isn’t it wonderful to not have to be constrained by those?!

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Green Deane June 29, 2014 at 18:00

I am nearly 64 and in that span of time I have had cubicle jobs and even then I ignored the time change.

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Kim March 27, 2015 at 01:36

Wouldn’t it make more sense to change the time of a workers shift twice a year rather than changing time itself?

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Gordon Gaines November 7, 2012 at 22:46

I have always thought it was stupid also. It doesn’t make any sense, I would much rather be on solar time all year.

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Miserere November 9, 2011 at 11:21

I disagree with changing the clocks, but I think that in the Eastern US we should stay on DST all year round; that is, we should turn the clocks forward one fateful Spring, and never change them back again.

This is even more true in the UK, where in the dead of Winter it’s night by 15:30.

If you want to stay with Solar Time (and there are good reasons that makes sense), then I suggest that we shift our lives back an hour. The normal work day would be 8-4 instead of 9-5; children would start and end their school day an hour early; the 10 o’clock news would become the 9 o’clock news, etc.

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Green Deane November 9, 2011 at 11:32

While I could live with DST I prefer solar time, but what I really hate is flipping twice a year. That is why I refuse to do it. If I remember correctly the UK tried not long ago staying on DST for three years and it didn’t work out.

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