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Making Waves

The Time Change

By Dave Carr

Ten days ago, we set our clocks back one hour.    This year, all across North America, we seem to have done so with much new energized debate on why.   So, twice a year now, is this going to be our great new conservation time-waster?  Well, First things first:  we largely employ Daylight Saving Time because our neighbours to the south do it.   T’was not always thus, but that has been the norm and principal reason for well over half a century  -- quote  to promote consistent economic and social interaction unquote.  But when the Americans started it for both world wars, it was called “War Time”, not Daylight Saving Time.    It was a significant energy conservation tool as all elements of society were geared up to fight the scourge.  In fact, in World War II, it went year round.    I think today, various jurisdictions are arguing the merits of time change without any of the history  --  just how important a tool  these changes were to getting things done.   Around here, it actually sounds kind of petty that we complain because it gets dark an hour earlier in the evening.   But in snowy Ontario, we also need to remember that it is coldest in those hours just before dawn:  would you like to just stay in the dark an extra hour each morning, right when Jack Frost is at his daily best?   Not me!   Simply put, energy use, traffic, and crime statistics, and more all improve when we spring forward.  And Sir Sanford Fleming, he who standardized time in the first place, he’d be rolling in his grave if he heard how we’re debating the time change.  Nope, I’ll suffer through the coming winter and know that turning my clock ahead next March is a sign of spring and a happy one!


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