The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Argentine Province of Mendoza's Lower House this week began analyzing a bill to adopt a daylight saving time system and go rogue to GMT -4, it was reported.
The big mistake that Argentina has is to have a time zone that is wrong for its national territory, Andrea Pattini, director of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)'s Institute of Environment, Habitat and Energy (INAHE) said.
The project was submitted by Congressman Jorge Difonso during a session which was attended by Pattini and also by biologist and Conicet researcher Diego Golombek, who urged to solve the time zone error first.
Pattini maintained that the time zone that all Argentina should have is -4″ and it is currently at -3. This is due to the alternations that occurred over the years, when the time was modified in summer and winter, she explained.
In 1969 the GMT -3 time zone remained permanent and was not returned to the corresponding time zone. We don't know what happened, they made a mistake and instead of going back to -4, it remained at -3,″ she added.
Ulteriore time zone changes carried over the miscalculation and in the Summer, Argentine moved from -3 to -2 and then back to -3. Hence, the researchers promoted the idea of correcting the problem that encompasses the entire national territory and then discuss other changes in winter and summer.
Read also: Paraguay changes into GMT-4 Daylight Saving Time
Changing the time zone is about putting the official clock closer to solar time, that in the morning dawns with natural light and not at night. As we have less daylight hours, the big error that Argentina has is felt much more. In the west this is very noticeable, in Buenos Aires it is off by about 40 minutes, but in Mendoza -for example- we are off by one hour and 40,″ Pattini pointed out. She also said seasonal changes do not make much of a difference in terms of energy savings.
Golombek stressed that summer and winter changes do not have great benefits ... [because] what is saved on one hand, is spent on the other. He also explained the provincial lawmakers that adjusting the time zone to the solar hours nationwide would help people live under the adequate light for health, sleep and alertness.
From the energy point of view, Pattini said: If I go out to work at night, I turn on the light until it is daylight and I had no chance to nourish myself with natural light. For this we have to improve the buildings, so that they are designed to use natural light.
She also suggested changing habits, something as basic as not turning on the light when it is not necessary. We will have to get used to it, especially in the provinces where we usually have split schedules. It is a complex issue, but we have to discuss the possibility of a split timetable and change habits, which are neither easy nor popular, he said.
By split she meant a custom in many Argentine provinces to get up very early in the morning to go to study or work, then return home for lunch around noon, take a nap and then go back for the evening/night shift.
It will be necessary to know what socio-political reason causes countries to have the wrong time zone, added Pattini, who argued Chile and Spain have the same problem.
There are even countries that divide in two, East and West time. Due to the extension of Argentina it is not convenient, I would go for a more average time zone for the whole territory,” Pattini insisted.
Apparently unaware of these developments in his own province, former Vice President and current national Deputy Julio Cobos submitted a bill of his own to reestablish the -4 time zone.
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