Before long we’ll be moving the clocks back an hour yet again (or at least most of us will), but that’s not what this story is about. There’s a new proposal that doesn’t seek to eliminate Daylight Savings Time but instead would eliminate time zones all across the United States and the rest of the world as well. And it comes to us from no less of an august source than Johns Hopkins. Now that I’ve picked my jaw up off the floor, let’s see what this is all about. Here are two of their professors discussing the idea on CNN this weekend.
Assuming you made it through at least part of that discussion, you’ll see that these two professors are talking about having the entire world reset to Greenwich Mean Time. They argue that everyone would adjust to the new times “within the year.” Since 8 am GMT works out to three in the morning in New York, that doesn’t mean that you’d be starting work in the middle of the night. You’d just have to get used to the clock saying 3 am when you started work, but the sun would be up as normal.
I suppose that in theory, people could get used to that, but what they don’t say is why we should. They invoke the example of the 1800s when the United States actually had hundreds of time zones (literally) and it was causing problems for the trains. That much may be true, but we’ve gotten used to it by now and I don’t see many trains getting into head-on collisions because the engineers couldn’t figure out what time it was.
Believe it or not, this isn’t a new idea for these guys, nor is it their only proposal to mess with timekeeping. Their names are Richard Conn Henry and Steve Hanke, and back in 2012, they were pushing not only the universal time zone concept but also a new calendar they had devised. The revised calendar would ensure that the same calendar date would fall on the same day of the week every year. Talk about a solution in search of a problem.
Maybe there’s just something in the water over at Johns Hopkins. They’ve run into plenty of other “issues” with their staff, including injuring dogs during botched medical experiments. (They don’t do so well with barn owls, either.)
If that’s not enough, check out their plan for stopping asteroids that might threaten to strike the Earth. Unfortunately, virtually everyone else in the scientific community thinks it’s a bad idea.
But don’t worry. Once you’ve adjusted to the sun coming up at two in the morning every day, you’ll be comforted with your new calendar because your birthday will fall on the same day of the week every year. Won’t that be nice? Thanks, Johns Hopkins!