Friday, August 12, 2022

Wind your clocks back! Daylight saving time concludes overnight

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — It’s time to “fall back” at 2 a.m., Nov. 7, as daylight saving time concludes until next spring. Winding back the clocks, in theory, will result in an extra hour of sleep, but it also means “shorter” days — days with less light and sunsets before 6 p.m. (5:13 p.m. on Nov. 7 in Wilmington) until winter solstice starts.

Days start getting lighter and “longer” by the end of January, and especially when daylight saving time kicks in again on Mar. 13, 2022 when clocks will “spring forward.”

The daylight saving time concept first was suggested by Benjamin Franklin in the late 18th century as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau’s “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.” Franklin thought by moving time forward during summer months, it would mean people would conserve energy — essentially, economize candle usage — with longer hours of natural sunlight offered from March through summer.

Yet, it didn’t officially go into effect until a century later during World War I as a way to save on coal, first approved in Germany, then across Europe. The U.S. followed suit in 1918 but dropped it after the war, as farmers complained about loss of morning light and hours of work.

Once WWII started, President Roosevelt enacted it again as “War Time,” but upon its conclusion, individual states, towns and cities began choosing whether to follow the time stamp, which created disorder. Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act in 1966, mandating clocks are wound back in August and forwarded in April.

In 2007 the Energy Policy Act of 2005 expanded the light months and created today’s standard of clocks winding back during the first Sunday in November and moving forward the third Sunday in March.

Federal law doesn’t allow states to have permanent recognition of daylight saving time, though 19 — Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Florida and California — have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to recognize it year round, should Congress ever shift. No traction has been made yet, not on The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 (making DST permanent nationwide) or H.R. 214 – the Daylight Act (allowing states to choose DST year-round).

Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not recognize daylight saving time but follow standard time.

And only 40% of countries follow daylight saving time.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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