Daylight Savings? Isn’t there a better way??

Hooray, thank goodness for Arizona!  Daylight savings has come and nothing changes.  What are we saving with daylight savings?  Whatever it is we give it back in the fall.  But meanwhile the sun goes merrily on its way ignoring the clocks and their various settings.  The sun defiantly rises to the middle of the sky in the middle of the day no matter what hour we declare it noon.

And aren’t time zones political in nature?  Years ago when I flew regularly from Delhi to Karachi we all adjusted our watches by fifteen minutes, not marking our changed position on the earth’s surface, but marking the importance of political borders. There is still a fifteen minute time difference between India and Nepal.  Newfoundland is a half hour off from the Canadian mainland, but the French islands of St Pierre and Miquelon in exactly the same longitude are in the same time zone as France. Solidarity!

China and India have only one time zone.  Hmmm.  I wonder what the sun has to say about that.  Russia stays on Daylight time year round, trying to keep ahead of the sun.  Chile while lying directly under New York shares a time zone with western Greenland.  Argentina shares a time zone with easternmost Brazil even though Brazil juts far into the Atlantic.  And of course Hugo Chavez gave Venezuela its own time zone so that he would not have to share the sunshine with the United States!

Even in Arizona time zones can get hinky.  We share the same time with the Pacific zone for part of the year and with the Mountain States for the remainder of the year.  But the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona does change its clocks for daylight savings.  If you live on the edge of the reservation you may be constantly juggling your watch.

Why daylight savings at all I ask myself?  Why four time zones?  Arizona is able to live well in two time zones year round without touching the clock.  Why not combine Pacific and Mountain time by allowing Utah to stay on Standard Time year round and California to stay on Daylight  time?  (With their adjoining states of course!)  And if it works well in the west, why not combine Central and Eastern time in the same way?  That might mean there would be a two hour time difference between the two zones but it should beat the three hour difference we have now with four zones.

I think this is a perfectly reasonable and logical suggestion.  And it would make it easier to call my grandkids in California and New York at any time of the year.  Don’t worry.  The sun will figure it out and go on its rounds as if nothing had changed at all!


About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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