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Who Knew? Debate Over Switch to Permanent Daylight Savings Ignites Furious Passion

Most of us grew up knowing that time zones weren’t a “thing” until the railroads were built and it became somewhat important to know what time – relative to the other stupid town’s time – a train might show up. And we all at some point learned that the country went to daylight savings time during World War II as a means to save electricity. After the war, people decided they liked daylight savings time, especially during the summer, and here we are.

Here we are for now. There is a movement asking Congress to make daylight savings time permanent, nationwide, and not have the clocks shifting back and forth. That the movement became political and heated might at first be surprising. Then one remembers it’s the United States, circa 2021.

Obviously, money stands on one side (the golf course industry, for one, millions on the line) and on the other side? Some doctors, who believe that the natural time zones fit our circadian rhythms better, and some people simply prefer the “way it is supposed to be.” Politico sets out the dynamic of a battle between the two leading opponents, and the matter has become surprisingly bitter, one might say filled with disdain and distrust, between David S. Prerau, an expert on daylight saving time, and Scott Yates, head of “Save the Standard Time” (Who even begrudgingly admits he’d just prefer one time and not going back and forth, which makes one want to lightly slap both their heads and say the compromise is right there.), Regardless, Politico writes:

Since the beginning of 2020, Yates put up blog posts that suggested Pea was getting funding from, among others, the pharmaceutical industry, and calling him a “sock puppet.” In the infamous phone call in January 2021, Yates said he told Pea that he would take down those posts if Pea stopped interacting with him on Twitter. Pea agreed but did not follow through, Yates said, so he never took the posts down.

The feud has grown to such an extent that Pea said he consulted lawyers. When asked why it had gotten to this place, Yates said he had the exact same question. It was supposed to be fun, he said.

Black men in this country get pulled over for speeding and end up shot, we had an attack on democracy on January 6th, but these two pick, “What time is it?” upon which to unleash their political fury and passion.

According to the Politico article, the push for year-long daylight savings time is likely to win, if Congress ever gets around to doing anything, which is a dubious proposition in and of itself.

It is fairly easy to understand why permanent daylight savings time would win, especially If one lives in the north and especially on the eastern side of a time zone. It is really annoying to be asked at 7:00 p.m. to run out to get toilet paper in the freezing cold and what seems to be the middle of the night, despite the fact that one might be on the 13th hole at the exact same time in July.

There is likely some value in having a period of time during which snuggling around the fire, during a light snowstorm, in the dark, at 5:00 p.m., might be good for the soul.

Without regard to the personal feud, and despite the general bipartisan agreement among both sides of the aisle, one is left relying upon the seemingly impossible, Congress organizing itself enough to pass a bill and get it over to the White House…. updates promised…. as needed.

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