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The Berlin Perspective: Let’s Rehearse the Upcoming Time Change

Later this month, the daylight saving TIME ends. It is TIME to set our clocks. Let’s just make sure we turn them the right way this TIME. Or we will be in trouble.

Berlin, October 1st, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — There is no TIME to waste. The end of the daylight saving TIME in Europe, including Germany, is coming closer. In order to make sure we do it right, let’s rehearse setting our clocks tonight. This is how:

  1. Get up at 1:58 a.m..
  2. At 1:59 a.m., take your dusty kitchen clock off the wall.
  3. At 2:00 a.m., turn it to 3:00 a.m..
  4. Set it back to 2:00 a.m..
  5. At 2:01 a.m., go back to sleep.
  6. Get up again, at 2:58 a.m..
  7. Take the clock off the wall again, at 2:59 a.m..
  8. This TIME, turn it back by one hour, to 2:00 a.m..
  9. Then, turn it “back forward” to 3:00 a.m..
  10. Go back to sleep, at 3:01 a.m..

Frequent Rehearsals

Excellent. You just rehearsed setting your ugly kitchen clock from what the Germans call Winter TIME to Summer TIME. Then, you took a shot at turning it the other way, from daylight saving TIME to regular TIME. If your rehearsal was successful, you are fine. In case it did not work out, repeat it every night until October 30th, 2021, the day before the actual TIME change takes place. Then, on October 31st, repeat steps 6, 7, 8 and 10, but skip 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9.

This is how it works.

Since we are turning back the TIME, we will live through the same hour twice. It is the one from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.. So, once you changed the TIME, repeat whatever you did during the last hour, just to make sure you do not embark on an uncontrolled TIME travel trip by accident. This is like ‘Groundhog Day’. In case you do travel to the future unintended because you mixed things up, bring back the lottery numbers when (and if) you return.

Calculators Needed

Once the clocks are set to regular TIME, there will be issues to resolve. What are we going to do with the additional hour we have? Should we think about selling it?

By the way: What TIME is it in the United States of America? So, the U.S. East Coast is six hours behind, right? Wrong. After the TIME change on October 31st, the Americans will be five hours behind for a week, because they do their TIME change seven days later, on November 7th, 2021. This means we will need calculators in order to establish what TIME it is over there, in Boston, NYC, the D.C., Raleigh and at the Kennedy Space Center. In San Diego, L.A. and Seattle they will be eight hours behind for a week, instead of the usual nine.

Sick and Tired

Many smart countries already dumped the daylight saving TIME because they were sick and tired of switching back and forth their clocks with hardly any benefit. The daylight saving time does not save as much energy as its supporters expected, but it does mess up our sleeping rhythm. In most U.S. states, Mexico, parts of Australia, Paraguay and Chile, they still switch. So do we, the Europeans. The European Parliament wanted to throw those TIME switches overboard, but the MEPs and the governments in the member states got distracted by the Corona pandemic. It remains to be seen when the E.U. takes a decision on the matter. It’s about TIME.

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