On March 12 Most of the US and Canada will be up until one o’clock. Europe will suffer a similar loss two weeks later – a victim of the ongoing and unpopular practice of switching to daylight saving time. Most of the world has removed or abandoned the practice, but lawmakers in the US and Europe have been unable to stop the clock from changing.
During the First World War, when countries wanted to reduce energy costs, they began to switch daylight savings time between winter and summer – more daylight in the evening means less time when the lights are on. In the US and Europe, the practice has continued. But he is facing backlash from time to time.
“Globally, the debate has settled – there are many countries that don’t change the time,” says Ariadna Guel-Saens, coordinator of the Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society. Studies have shown that moving the clock forward and backward even by an hour can have a negative impact on the economy, road safety and health. Still, the US, Europe and a few other countries are struggling to break the habit. The thing is, as Gull Sans says, we’ll be stuck on standard time or daylight savings forever.
A year ago, the US Senate passed a bill to permanently advance the clock by one hour. But it was not taken up in the US House of Representatives, which needs to approve the bill before sending it to the president’s desk. A group of senators re-introduced the measure in early March 2023 to try again.
Europe is also trying to stop time changes, but crises have stopped the move: first it was Kovi-19. Then, over the past year, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn the Union’s attention. The European Parliament It voted to end the clock change in 2019, but did not get the approval it needed from the EU’s legislative body, the European Council. The Council referred the case to the EU Executive, the European Commissioner, for an impact assessment.
Progress is slow – and that’s bad for a number of reasons. Additional night lighting will reduce collisions on the roads during the night rush hour. That’s why Steve Calandrillo, a professor at Washington Law School who has studied daylight saving time in economics, advocates for its permanent adoption. “Darkness kills,” says Calandrillo. “And sunlight saves.” This has economic benefits. A study published last November argued that the extra hours of daylight savings in the evenings could reduce collisions enough to save about $1.2 billion in the US alone.
When people are active, more daylight makes them spend more money. “Americans are not willing to go out and shop in the dark,” Calandrillo said. A 2016 report from JPMorgan Chase & Co looked at the cost of living in Los Angeles at the start and end of daylight saving time and compared it to Phoenix, Arizona, which does not change the clock. The survey showed a 0.9 percent increase in daily credit card spending in Los Angeles in March, hours after jumping ahead of Phoenix and falling back in November to a 3.5 percent decline.