Daylight saving time 2022 ends with clock change, standard time starts

Philly and most of the rest of the country turn back the clocks at 2 a.m. Sunday and return to what we call “standard time,” a term as misleading as “Daylight Savings Time.”

Standard Time these days is a bigger deviation, operating for almost a third of the year. And not a nanosecond of daylight is saved during the eight-month DST period.

Didn’t the US Senate vote to stop changing the clocks twice a year and make Daylight Savings Time the year-round standard? Yes. And hasn’t nearly every state legislator in the country proposed ditching the switch? Also true.

Dissatisfaction with the time-shifting ritual has grown in recent years, and almost everyone agrees that it’s time to end the unfair practice of time. But the debate over whether to back off and stay there or move forward forever has been political, polemical and nasty at times.

And it is unlikely to be resolved in time.

According to the National Conference of Legislatures, lawmakers clearly favor daylight saving time year-round, with bills passed in 19 states in the past five years alone. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are not among them.

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However, it remains unclear how much of this legislation is due to voters’ love of later sunsets in the warm seasons or successful lobbying by various interest groups representing golf courses; manufacturers of barbecue grills; restaurants offering outdoor dining; convenience stores; and for Halloween candy makers who want an extra hour of light for their fun.

On the other hand, the ski industry strongly opposes DST, which could delay preparations that the industry says should be done during daylight hours and thus reduce daily working hours. But most of the opposition seems to come from various public service and health groups.

That includes the National Association of Parents and Teachers, which is concerned about the safety of children riding buses in the dark, and a long list of public health advocates, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which believe DST is a major cause of sleep disturbances.

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Eric Herzog, a biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert on circadian rhythms, says the available science makes a strong case for year-round standard time, but he doesn’t see that prospect on the national horizon.

“All the medical and scientific societies that have argued for permanent standard time are not that important to policy makers,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, while introducing his Sun Protection Act, which calls for year-round DST, said the bill does everything from reducing traffic accidents to reducing childhood obesity.

It didn’t do much from there.

After it was approved by the Senate in March, it was sent to the House and basically nothing has happened since then.

Thus, state laws on the matter are currently moot: they cannot be enacted without Congressional approval.

For most of his career, the US was on standard time all year round.

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According to the Congressional Research Service, daylight savings time began in Germany on May 1, 1916, as an energy-saving measure. It was a first in the United States March 31, 1918.

Bad timing: It was Easter Sunday, the traditional day of sunrise services. The clergy and their congregations were not satisfied.

Congress eventually abandoned the concept, but in 1966 it was permanently reinstated nationwide.

Originally, the year was divided roughly equally between standard and daylight saving time, but the latter has gradually eclipsed the former so that most of the country observes standard time for only about four months.

During a severe energy crisis in 1974, the nation tried year-round DST. It went into effect on January 3, and by the end of the month the National School Boards Association called for an immediate end. The experiment ended in October of the following year.

In the meantime, expect the clocks to turn forward on March 12, just 126 more days away.

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