BOSTON -- As the time comes to set clocks back an hour, a new proposal from a college professor could end the practice altogether.
A state commission in Massachusetts suggested switching from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard time, which would keep us from having to switch clocks.
But what if no one did?
Noon in Boston is 4 p.m. in London, which is 5 p.m. in Paris. But what if it was the same time everywhere?
Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins wants the whole world to use Universal Standard Time.
“In fact, physically, everyone in the world is on the same time,” he noted.
But he says solar-based time zones create confusion and a Universal Time Zone would fix that.
“You gradually would go obviously to a 24-hour dial on watches and clocks. That would become convenient, shall we say, for everyone and everyone's watch would be set on the same place around the world. Everyone,” he said.
So what time would you go to work, or head to bed? Hanke says you'd still be up with the sun and sleeping after sundown, but what we call those times would shift.
“Custom and practice would dictate your work time wherever you were and the sun is going to be dictating that as it is now,” he explained.
Not a fan? Too bad. Hanke says this change is already happening. In a global world, he says for safety, and for clarity it has to.
Electricity grids, GPS triangulation, financial exchanges, the military and flights, they all work off one time zone and it happened naturally.
“It is spontaneously happening now. I mean, the pilots -- no one dictated to them that they had to do this,” he said. “As technology keeps changing and we get faster and faster potential for interaction amongst people in different parts of the globe, there will be more and more Universal Time that's just adopted spontaneously. And when it's there every place, some political body could come in and bless it.”
Professor Hanke isn't done there. He'd also like to see a permanent, universal change to the calendar so that every date falls on the same day of the week, year after year.
Cox Media Group