The biannual shifting of the clocks took place Sunday morning, and you may be a little discombobulated.

If the twice-a-year clock-resetting leaves you grumpy, you’re not alone; there’s a growing global movement to end this pointless and, frankly, weird 20th century tradition that has persisted despite having no real practical benefit. The European Parliament is expected to vote to stop observing daylight saving time later this month. Last year, the Florida Legislature voted to move to full-time daylight saving if Congress allows it. And in November, Californians voted to start the process to move to year-round daylight saving time as well. Currently, all states except Hawaii and Arizona observe daylight saving time, but about half are considering proposals to stop doing so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Federal law sets the date we change the clocks, and allows states to opt out and stay on standard time (but not daylight saving time).

You can see the potential problem: If a handful of states decided to stop changing clocks and revert to standard time while the rest of the nation continues to go back and forth and a few states lobby for permission to go to full-time daylight saving time, it could lead to chaos, with a bunch of different states on a bunch of different times.

For the record, we would prefer a national shift to year-round daylight saving, which means more daylight in the evening during the winter, when more people are awake. A 2001 study by the California Energy Commission estimated that there might be small savings in energy usage by sticking with permanent daylight saving time. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida.) has introduced a bill to make daylight saving time permanent for the entire country.

What Congress should not do is allow states to do their own thing, or force the nation to keep observing this outdated time shift. The length of day does not increase; even all our fancy technology can’t alter the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the sun. And we don’t save energy. There’s just no good reason to keep skipping back and forth in time every year

Editorial by the Los Angeles Times
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