With Daylight Saving Upon Us, Should We Rethink Time Zones?
Pro tip: Remember to set your clocks tonight if you live somewhere that observes daylight saving time. In the meantime, we can spend our remaining unsaved hours questioning why so much of the world sticks with outdated Imperial Time. That’s the subject of this piece up at Quartz by Allison Schrager, who proposes a radical shift in the way we group time zones:
“Let’s end seasonal time changes and, while we are at it, reorganize time zones entirely. I propose time zones that better complement global commerce and enhance coordination. To start I propose two time zones, instead of four, for the continental United States.”
Her rationalization stems from economic reasons. The whole point of our current time zone system, after all, was for economic coordination in a world where Great Britain (the head honcho of the world in 1884) was at the center — thus, Imperial Time. As you may have noticed, a lot of stuff has changed in the past 131 years. We’ve experienced globalization in a manner that doesn’t exactly jive with Imperial Time and even less so with what results from daylight saving time. For example, Schrager notes that springing forward tonight will cost the airline industries nearly $150 million alone. Wouldn’t things be better if we didn’t have to worry about that? Wouldn’t fewer time zones make things much easier? Schrager sure thinks so:
“The appeal of the current system is its parallel structure: 24 hours and 24 time zones. 10 to 12 time zones would cause two-hour jumps between adjacent time zones. But we are about to enter a period of time discontinuity, when rich Western countries haphazardly adopt daylight saving, and most other countries don’t. Imperial Time and Daylight Saving Time are both out of date. It’s time for a change.”
Read more at Quartz.
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