March 13 saw me at the Boulder City swimming pool at 5:45 a.m. preparing to take the 7 a.m. water aerobics class. Why so early? Because it was the first Monday after we “sprang forward” to daylight saving time. Was I awake? No. Did I get a look from the aerobics instructor because I was not paying attention? Yes. That hour makes a difference.
Here are some fun facts. Did you know that the correct title of the change is daylight saving time – not daylight savings time; that in 2007 daylight saving time was pushed back three weeks to begin the second Sunday in March, and even Antarctica, where there is no daylight in the winter and a stretch of 24-hour daylight in the summer, observes daylight saving time at some research stations to keep the same time as suppliers in Chile or New Zealand, according to the fact-checking website Snopes? More fun facts about it can be found www.snopes.com/science/daylight.asp.
There is an internet meme of unknown origin that circulates every year that depicts an Indian elder saying “Only a white man would believe that if you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket you have a longer blanket.” So why do we continue with this practice?
Arizona, Hawaii and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time. If you walk halfway across the Hoover Dam or the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, you are crossing into Arizona and you, in fact, jump backwards in time during daylight saving time. The water intake towers alongside the cam note the correct zones in Nevada and Arizona.
Also, if you log on to Wildsafarilive.com, you can ride along with a live safari that streams out of South Africa, nine hours into our future. If you are watching in the evening in Nevada, you are, amazingly, watching tomorrow’s sunrise in South Africa.
So does it matter that we mess around with time when it is so indefinable?
Growing up in England, on the same latitude as Nova Scotia, Canada, I experienced summer days that began around 4 a.m. and ended about 10 p.m. and winter days that didn’t begin until 9 a.m. and ended with evening arriving around 3 p.m. It is understandable that daylight saving time, or war time as it used to be known, gave schoolchildren, farmers and workers an extra hour of daylight. With Nevada’s abundant sunshine, do we really need that extra hour of daylight?
When we “fall back” one hour on Nov. 5 to “normal” time, I propose that we follow the example of Arizona and other states and leave things the way they were before daylight saving time. That extra hour we gain is redundant in Nevada. Let’s return to standard time and set a practical trend for the other states to follow.
Angela Smith is a Ph.D. life coach, author and educator who has been resident in Nevada since 1992. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.