All the Time in the World
George Pal’s The Time Machine, from 1960, explored questions of altering time and circumstance within a gripping adventure yarn.
Contrary to myth, daylight saving time was never instituted on behalf of farmers. Farmers are generally opposed to the practice. They would rather take back that hour of daylight from the end of the day in summer, when the heat of the day has built up, and return it to the beginning of the day, when the cool of the night lingers. It was office workers and the mercantile concerns that catered to them who had an interest in extending daylight past office hours, thereby opening up more time for shopping and other money-spending activities.
Big Ben in London, England, the most famous public clock in the western world, displays the time on a sunny day in September 2005. Photo by Robin Heymans.
The original three singers of the vocal group Bananarama reunited recently, and in this performance of their 1980s hit “Cruel Summer”, they show great timing 30 years later.
What’s the rationale then for daylight saving time in the new climate, when an hour of summer sunlight at the end of the day is hotter than it used to be? Because we’ve gotten used to extended twilight in the mid-latitudes in summer? Using the extra daylight time at the end of the day can be nice for cutting grass after work, or coaching a children’s soccer game, or socializing with neighbors. People did all those things and more (substitute baseball for soccer) in the past, and life went on. Like farmers, office workers may find it more pleasant to arise a bit earlier to do some chores in the morning. Leaving daylight saving time behind will cost only a little in convenience and schedule readjustment, but the saving in energy will put dollars back in the pockets of everyone but the fossil fuel companies, and may help bring back the cool of the evening.