Daylight saving time not going anywhere, author says

Time zone expert Michael Downing says trying to switch to daylight saving year-round isn't a solution.

Time zone expert Michael Downing says trying to switch to daylight saving year-round isn't a solution

Daylight saving time is not used everywhere in the world, not even in all parts of Canada. Saskatchewan and some parts of B.C. do not adjust their clocks in the spring and fall. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Daylight saving's one-hour leap forward is welcomed by some for the extra light it provides, but it's also despised by those who suffer from the adverse health effects of sleep disruption.

But love it or hate it, daylight saving time isn't likely going away anytime soon, says a U.S. author who has thoroughly researched the topic.

"The biggest block to ending daylight saving is really the worldwide romance particular in the northern hemisphere with summer and with late summer nights," said Michael Downing, the author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.

Michael Downing researched the history and ongoing politics behind daylight saving time for his book 'Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.' (Twitter/@downingmichaelb)

"It's unlikely that we're going to get rid of it at this point in history."

That's despite a growing movement south of the border to either abandon daylight time or keep it year-round or abandon it entirely. Legislation has been proposed by lawmakers in Oregon, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, South Dakota and Alaska.

Regions that don't use DST in Canada include most of Saskatchewan, and some communities in B.C., northwestern Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut.

Creston is one town in B.C. which doesn't observe daylight saving — it is Mountain Standard Time year round 

Mayor Ron Toyota said city council tried to poll its residents on whether or not they wanted daylight saving but said the question itself led to confusion.

"It's come down to status quo," he said, and added:

"People don't realize that the country of China only has one time zone. And they work with that."

Daylight saving year-round?

For those who argue that daylight saving should be year-round, Downing said it simply wouldn't work.

"The problem is we can't create enough daylight to make it make sense in those dark months in November to January, February and even March," he said.

"If we turn our clocks forward in January in the northern hemisphere, most of us won't see a sunrise until nine or 10 in the morning, so nobody wants that.

"The problem is we only have a limited amount of daylight."

Downing said he doesn't mind daylight saving, but would prefer the change is not as drastic.

I have to admit, to my utter shame, I am looking forward to those long late, summer sunset times," he said.

"So I remain partial to daylight saving, though I wish we'd go back to a plan where we had six months of it and then didn't spring forward until it was genuinely spring.

With files from CBC's B.C. Almanac

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Daylight saving time not going away anytime soon, author says


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