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Editorís Scratchpad

Saturday, July 5, 2003


Let there be no
daylight savings time


There's nothing like an idea you think is bright and everyone else is annoyed by, but here goes -- time zones are a waste of time.

The concept of "time" is arbitrary anyway. The idea that time is different around the planet was invented by navigators, and when trains began running regularly the globe was diced up into 24 so-called time zones to preserve an artificial semblance of "local time." Time zones might feel like they've been here forever, but they date back only to 1884 -- and not all nations recognize them.

The answer is to have a single global time -- Greenwich Mean Time is a good place to start -- and a 24-hour clock to abolish a.m. and p.m. Everyone on the planet can synchronize their watches.

OK, so you no longer set your alarm clock at 6 a.m. -- it might be 1300, depending on where you live. But it would be the same every day. And the same elsewhere. Long-distance calls don't have to be juggled. Airline flights would no longer seem like time-travel adventures.

And since when has daylight savings time actually saved any daylight, anyway?

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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