Saving time

Ugh. It happened again. Parts of the world changed their clocks because it was 02:00 local time.

When I lived in Japan I got to experience the joy of one time zone in the whole country that does not change twice a year. It was glorious.

However, I did have to invest in blackout curtains because sunrise was around 04:30 in the summer. With the longer morning-side day still came a longer evening-side day, and the earlier peak day heat meant that maybe it would dissipate enough in time for a nice evening.

Daylight savings time needs to go away – kind of.

With countries as big East to West as the continental US, Mexico,and Canada, how to get rid of DST becomes problematic.

My favorite idea is, in autumn, to merge Eastern, and Central time into one time zone, combine Mountain and Pacific into another, and Alaska and Hawaii into a third.

Central and Mountain time zones would do nothing. Eastern would “fall” back to aline with Central Daylight time. Pacific time will “spring” ahead (for the second time in the year) to align with Mountain.

Most of Alaska stays on Alaska Standard Time. The rest of Alaska and Hawaii permanently “springs” ahead to Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time.

If my math is right (and there is zero guarantee that it is) the newly created Eastern time zone and the new Western time zone would be 1 hour different from each other – 10 AM in Toronto would be 09 AM in Los Angeles, 10 AM in Chicago would be 09 AM in Denver, and 10 AM in New York would be 9 AM in Mexico City. All of Alaska and Hawaii would be 2 hours behind Los Angeles and 3 hours behind New York: a 5 PM meeting in Detroit would be 4 PM in Phoenix, and 2 PM in Anchorage and Honolulu.

Coming out of this the US would have 3 time zones (mostly), Mexico would have 2, and Canada would have 3. South America would ideally similarly simplify.

Quartz has a good article about this from 10 years ago: Disappointingly, it only focused on the continental US with some through to Alaska and Hawaii.

UPDATE: I thought Atlantic was 0:30 off of Eastern time when I wrote this. I was wrong and adjusted things accordingly.

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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