Saturday, 30 October 2010

Changing The Clocks

Changing The Clocks: the 'Lighter Later' campaign

Any questions this weekend (29th Oct. 2010) was not remarkable for its good sense, but on one issue the majority of the panel seemed to agree; switching to European Time is absurd. The audience (if they understood Jonathan's confusing question) seemed to be largely of the opposite opinion. I understand that a serious campaign is currently being waged to get the present system (alternating between GMT and BST) to be changed in favour of the UK joining western Europe and making the same alternation but an hour ahead, so that the sun is at its zenith at 13.00 hrs in winter and 14.00 hrs in summer. (See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10362295)

This seems to me quite daft. The issue does not seem to be one that is up for grabs. Noon is when the sun is at its zenith. Calling that 14.00 hrs is plain perverse. It is like calling Monday 'Sunday' so that you can spend the morning in bed. (Admittedly, calling it 13.00 hrs as we have since 1916, seems a little perverse, but the measure was brought in during World War One, to save daylight and to increase the production of armaments.)

If there is an advantage in us getting up in the dark then let us do so by all means; we can get up at 06.00 hrs and call it 06.00; we don't have to call it 07.00 or 08.00 in order to get up. There may well be an avantage in the City of London opening for business at the same time as Frankfurt. So let them do that. It will be darker here than in Germany; that cannot be helped by any fiddling with the clock. It may well be that conditions for school children in Scotland, for mill workers in Lancashire and for dairy farmers in Cornwall are widely different. We don't need to agonize over a compromise. Let each working day be adjusted to suit.

My main reason for resisting the suggested change to western European time is that I am sure we would soon learn to adapt; we would soon learn to stay in bed till the clock said 09.00 hrs. if that suited us. After all, starting work at 09.00 is not an integral and unalterable part of the human condition. On the other hand, walking about in the dark does not suit the species, and never will.

Occidentis, MORPETH

2 comments:

Climate Guardian said...

How an absurd an argument about summer time and winter time, we humans love the sun , So i find it difficult to understand we shorten the day so we have to finish work and watch TV because its to dark to garden , BBQ have summer holidays etc. Scotland already has long summer days due to its position further north , we in the south should be enjoying the weather much more , it would help outdoor activities, of sports , which the UK has one of the poorest rates of uptake in Europe.

PALC said...

We should stay on GMT permanently. Why have BST in the winter? Crazy. Has anyone investigated the number of deaths attributed to sleep deprivation in the summer, because people have worked too late using the extended evening daylight and then still get up early to start as normal the next morning? There are also the effects on wildlife. They have a natural rhythm to life disturbed twice a year when we change our routine. This is when animals are breeding and rearing young. When once it was safe to cross the road suddenly the world has changed for them. They end up squished on the road creating orphans. I wont hear the woodpeckers in the morning from Monday either as the sound of traffic will drown out there sound. Its time the question was turned on its head. Not why do we put the clocks back in the Autumn. But, why do we put the clocks forward in Spring? Lets stay with GMT, we invented it!