Today we had to go through the dreary routine of setting the clocks back by one hour as we move from daylight time to standard time. And then in the spring , we move the clocks forward by one hour again. I was interested to learn that in China they tried doing this biannual shifting from 1945 to 1948 and then again from 1986 to 1991 but then gave it up and now no longer shift the clocks.
But what was even more interesting is that while China is big enough that it should comprise five time zones, they have only one time (Beijing time which is UTC+8) for the entire nation. This was adopted by Mao Zedong in 1949. This results in an enormous simplification since one does not constantly have to specify the time zone when specifying the time for any event anywhere in the country.
What this means is that each region decides the time for when schools, businesses, and offices operate. So in some western regions of the country, schools might begin (say) at 11:00am. Since most people live in just one time zone, that would be easy to get used to and travelers would not have to reset their clocks when they go from one part of the country to another.
Of course, this uniform policy would never be tolerated in the US since so many people are so resistant to changes that go against the things that they have done for centuries. There would be armed groups of people taking to the streets saying that having one time for everyone smacks of socialism and violates their constitutional right to have breakfast at 8:00am whichever part of the country they might live in. They would not know that before the advent of rapid railroad travel in the US that required coordination of time for scheduling purposes, each town set its own local time, setting it to noon according to when the sun was at its highest point over that town. Initially, the standardization was used for just railroad schedules and people in a town would have both ‘railroad time’ and ‘local time’ but soon people adopted railroad time as the standard.
It would be even better if we went even further and the entire world adopted a single time. It would surely make a lot of things simpler when it came to scheduling events. Again, there would be huge arguments as to which time should be the single global time with the US likely insisting that one of their time zones should be the global standard. But whichever time was adopted, it would not take long to learn the local times for the daily routines.
I think it would be wonderful to have a single global time and no biannual shifting of clocks.
Of course it is unlikely to happen but I can dream, can’t I?