On Nov. 7, most of us will fall back an hour and restart the decades-old discussion of why we shift time twice a year.
A quick reminder: In spring, we “spring forward” to Daylight Time, giving us daylight well into the evening. But this Sunday, we’ll be back to Standard Time. Which is nice for bright mornings. But it means it’s dark before dinner. The clock change is cumbersome and confusing, and only about 70 countries in the world follow it. Even in the United States there’s no cohesion around Daylight Time; Arizona and Hawaii don’t make the switch.
And it’s something politicians of all parties can agree on. Senators Marco Rubio and Ed Markey have pushed to make Daylight Time permanent. The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced in 2018, and 19 states have already passed similar legislation to pave the way for year-round daylight savings, should Congress eventually allow it. But some scientists have their reservations, given how Daylight Time affects our body clocks and sleeping patterns.
[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]
This week, Jane Coaston digs into the debate with Dustin Buehler, a lecturer at the Willamette University College of Law and general counsel for Oregon’s governor, and Dr. Joseph Takahashi, the chair of the neuroscience department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Mr. Buehler thinks Daylight Time should be permanent, while Dr. Takahashi says Standard Time is the way to go.
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(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
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