I stole that headline from this story on Vox, which notes that the referendum vote isn’t all that significant: “The proposal simply grants the California State Legislature the power to vote to change the clocks permanently. Any changes would need to start with a two-thirds majority vote in the state legislature. And even then, the time change wouldn’t be a given. Congress would have to approve it, that has uncertain prospects too.”
Still, it reflects what appears to be a growing sentiment against having clocks spring forward and fall back. We’ve seen that sentiment in New England, where there’s a small but fervent group who want to move us into Atlantic standard time, the zone used by Nova Scotia and most other Maritime provinces, ending the daylight savings switcheroo. The Massachusetts legislature is considering it and groups in Maine and Rhode Island said they’ll move if Massachusetts does (nobody in New England wants to be in a different time zone than Boston). The N.H. House passed a proposal for that idea last year, but the state Senate killed the idea.
Part of the issue is how much our time zone pushes parts of New England away from solar time – that is, how many hours away from noon is the sun highest in the sky. Here’s a map showing how much the whole world is off solar time; New England is unusual in that we’re a little early much of the year; usually the problem is that the sun rises and sets later in the day than it would under solar time.
That discrepancy also explains a truly geeky push to dump all time zones and have everybody use Coordinated Universal Time (the time at Greenwich, England, which is where all time zones are based due to historical accident). Hey, why not – that’s what computers do!