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There are a few answers to this that help with the gnome taskbar date-time display, and one answer that gives me exactly what I want, namely,

date +%Y-%m-%dT%T

which I've incorporated into .bashrc as an alias. Now, is there a way to change date permanently? Or do you always have to add these options? I'm afraid some programming I will do might not access a bash alias or I'll forget to add the options.

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You could run your system with the Universal timezone, or use the TZ environment variable env TZ=Universal date .

Otherwise you are faced with configuring each application that 1) You use; and 2) displays the date.

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