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No Time for Daylight Saving Time?

Posted by James Juo | Nov 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

Time to “fall back” an hour on Sunday, November 6, 2022. An annual ritual that may change with the Sunshine Protection Act that passed the U.S. Senate earlier this year to make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round.

According to a YouGov poll taken in March 2022, 64% of Americans want to stop changing the clocks twice a year, with a preference for permanent Daylight Saving Time (53%) over permanent Standard Time (32%).  But permanent Daylight Saving Time would result in much later sunrises in the winter. In Colorado, the sunrise on Saturday, November 5, was 7:33 A.M., but will be at 6:34 A.M. on Sunday, November 6.  Without the change back to standard time, sunrises would be after 8 A.M. in December and January. Those at more northern latitudes might not see the sun until after 9 A.M. in the winter.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended adopting standard time over Daylight Saving Time because year-round standard time “aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety.”

In Europe, a survey found that roughly 80 percent of 4.6 million surveyed were against Daylight Saving Time. In 2019, the European Union voted to end the annual time shifts, but that seems to have stalled for now.

Daylight saving time was adopted in the United States in 1942 as a wartime measure. In 1973, Congress made daylight saving time permanent for two years in an effort to reduce energy consumption, but beginning the day in the dark with the later winter sunrises was unpopular, and did not reduce energy consumption significantly. The experiment ended before the expiration of the two-year trial period.

“There are a broad variety of opinions about whether to keep the status quo, to move to a permanent time, and if so, what time that should be,” said U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee chair Frank Pallone. “We don't want to make a hasty change and then have it reversed several years later after public opinion turns against it—which is exactly what happened in the early 1970s.”

Daylight saving time is unpopular and may have adverse health consequences, but seems unlikely to change in the near term.

Northern hemisphere DST (blue); Southern hemisphere DST (orange); Formerly DST (light grey); Never used DST (dark grey)

About the Author

James Juo

James Juo is an experienced intellectual property attorney. He has successfully litigated various intellectual property disputes involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He also has counseled clients on the scope and validity of patent and trademark rights.


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