Why Do We Keep Changing the Clocks?

Colorado Stays Stuck in Old Time Changing Cycle

Trevor Phipps


Last weekend, Americans were forced to do something most have spoken out against and think should stop.

The act of changing the time for daylight savings has happened once again, and it is unclear whether Americans will ever be freed from the government-forced bi-annual time change.


In 2022, people across the country had some hope that the madness would end when Congress made a step towards stopping the time change by passing the Sunshine Protection Act. Colorado then followed suit earlier this year and passed a measure that would keep the state in daylight savings time permanently.


However, despite both efforts, Colorado and the rest of the country lost the annoying time changing battle. And even though multiple studies show a loss of production during time changes, and have even contributed switching the clock to health problems, lawmakers across the country have refused to work towards ending the ancient policy.


At one point, many thought that this year would have been the final time for Coloradans  to stop messing with the ridiculous time-changing ordeal. Earlier in the year, the state just needed two things to happen to be freed from the clock tampering policy, but neither one of them occurred.


First off, the U.S. House of Representatives would have had to follow in the footsteps of the Senate and pass the Sunshine Protection Act. This still has not taken place as discussion on the House floor has been stalled.


The second thing that needed to happen for Colorado to stop changing the clocks was for four other states in the Mountain Time Zone to choose to do the same. To date, three states (Montana, Wyoming and Utah) passed laws to keep daylight saving time permanently (meaning that clocks would stop “falling back” in November).


But Colorado never got a fourth state to agree. New Mexico had a measure that failed and no action has been taken by Idaho. Arizona has never had Daylight Savings Time, so they probably wouldn’t be interested in switching to it permanently.


According to multiple news sources, the Sunshine Protection Act got stalled in the U.S. House because lawmakers could not come to an agreement about this common sense plan. This is not a big surprise that Congress can’t agree on something, but what’s interesting is that everyone seems to agree that the government should stop mandating clock changes.


However, the debate that has reached a stalemate has had to do with whether or not Daylight Savings Time (the time between March and November) should stay or if the country should just stay on Standard Time that we have in place from November to March.


Other reports have said that lawmakers postponed the bill because there are “more important things” they are working on. Evidently, some lawmakers don’t think ending the time change should take priority over other pressing matters.


But I tend to disagree with this notion. Based on social media posts and the media attention the subject has received over the last year and a half, I think people do care more about the government screwing up sleep schedules by mandating clock changes, then they care about other matters the Congress deems “more important.”


Let’s take a look at the “more important” bills the U.S. House has discussed in the last year. It is not a new thing that lawmakers often propose bills that seem silly or pointless, but lately action in the House has seen lawmakers proposing bills that follow directly along party lines.


Several bills proposed had to do with foreign policy and dealt with matters outside of the border. Others had to do with issues that don’t seem as important to the majority of the American people.


One topic that was discussed was whether or not the country should make October “National Country Music Month.” Another bill proposed a national “Intersex Awareness Day.”


A Colorado Representative proposed a bill to authorize the location of a National Monument to honor the women’s suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Now don’t get me wrong the women’s suffrage movement should be applauded, but the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote passed in 1919. But now it is an important issue more than 100 years after it happened?


The History of Daylight Savings Time


After diving into the history of why we change the clocks, the issue appears to be even more stupid. Historians say that Benjamin Franklin first proposed a similar idea in the 1700s to save light by getting people up earlier in the morning. But he meant it as a joke.


The first time the idea of changing the clocks was proposed was in 1895 by a New Zealand entomologist who wanted to change the clocks in the summer to conserve energy and have more daylight in the evening. His proposal would help his hobby of studying insects after work in the evening.


The idea was slow to catch on but then in World War I many countries starting adopting it to conserve fuel. Similar policies took place during World War II before the U.S. standardized it in 1966.


So, the funny part is the answer to the question, why did the government start making us change our clocks? Well, according to Reuters, many think that it has to do with farmers, but this is actually a common myth.


In fact, many farmers are opposed to it because it is disruptive to their schedules. The real reason Daylight Savings Time was implemented in the first place was to conserve energy.


But recent studies have shown that messing with the clocks has little to no effect on the amount of energy used in the country. Therefore, the reasons we think we have to change the clocks and the actual reasons we do are both wrong.