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Author Topic: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?  (Read 5811 times)

Offline Alandriel

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DST– daylight saving time– saves what exactly?
(original title, changed slightly to fit better into the chat forum)

Look outside


It's dark! (well, if you're across the big pond then it's creeping up on you too, just wait)

At 5.30pm in London (UK) it's all but pitch black, all thanks to yesterdays shift back to normal time

very uplifting indeed  ::)
especially considering the days are getting shorter and shorter anyways as we’re heading further and further into winter



Do we really ‘save’ something with DST?

Why can’t we simply keep summer time all the time? Wouldn’t that be better all around? Why / why not?

And just who makes/implements these decisions anyway?


I wants to know, on this dreary grey and prematurely dark afternoon  [|)]
« Last Edit: 31/10/2007 18:21:29 by Alandriel »


 

lyner

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #1 on: 28/10/2007 18:33:21 »
We 'save' the time when it is light, on summer mornings, and we would be zzzzzing in our bed, in the morning, missing it all.
People who live in the north claim that they would suffer because of the asymmetrical dawn and dusk in the winter if we kept the daylight saving hour.
 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #2 on: 28/10/2007 18:41:44 »
The issue may have made more sense when most businesses worked substantially with natural light, but these days, most business premisses have the lights on irrespective of the hours of daylight (if fact, I have worked in offices where it was bright sunshine outside, but people closed the curtains so as not to have the sun glare on their VDU screens, and the lights were on anyway), so it makes not the least difference to them.

All it really means these days is an increase in the number of accidents, as the whole population is suffering from mild jet lag for a week.
 

paul.fr

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #3 on: 28/10/2007 18:47:17 »
Some of these issues were discusse here:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=6926.0

what is a change this time, is that the forum clock is still correct!
 

Offline Alandriel

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #4 on: 29/10/2007 17:44:58 »
Thanks for the link Paul  :)- I do know about the history of DST.

I'm more asking about why we're still keeping it.
It really does not make much sense unless someone knows of any interesting statistics somewhere. Like George said, we're not really saving electricity as lights are pretty much on no matter what ..... but perhaps we are saving something, only I don't know - hence my question to you guys who know a lot more than I do.

I think DST is a nuissance and there are many more negatives than positives and I'm sure I'm not alone with this opinion. But how would one go about 'changing' what I think comes down to a government policy? Is it a government policy? I don't know - maybe the DST is upheld by..... I have no idea, that's why I'm asking.

Thanks for your patience with my persevearance  ;D

 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #5 on: 29/10/2007 19:38:43 »
The problem is that I suspect it is not something that is of sufficient political importance to warrant allocating political resources to do anything about.  It is there, and it does not have any strategic political importance to any government (who never have enough hours in the day to put through all the laws they want to put through) to allocate resources to change it.
 

lyner

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #6 on: 29/10/2007 22:00:21 »
Quote
I'm more asking about why we're still keeping it.
Don't you appreciate the nice long evenings you get in the Summer? It would be darker, sooner without DST - as, indeed, it was tonight.
It was, of course, introduced for agricultural work. It obviously makes no difference to office workers whilst at work but we mostly get weekends and we  make more use of the time after work than the time before work.
I don't think we should ever go to GMT, even in winter. Just have bright lights in your house in the mornings to deal with SAD  and to help you wake in he mornings.
« Last Edit: 29/10/2007 22:02:03 by sophiecentaur »
 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #7 on: 29/10/2007 22:38:19 »
Quote
I'm more asking about why we're still keeping it.
Don't you appreciate the nice long evenings you get in the Summer? It would be darker, sooner without DST - as, indeed, it was tonight.
It was, of course, introduced for agricultural work. It obviously makes no difference to office workers whilst at work but we mostly get weekends and we  make more use of the time after work than the time before work.
I don't think we should ever go to GMT, even in winter. Just have bright lights in your house in the mornings to deal with SAD  and to help you wake in he mornings.


My mother would agree with you.

Personally, I have a sentimental attachment to GMT, insofar as that is as close to the 'real' time in the UK that we are likely to get; but in practice, any time is arbitrary (evenings are neither shorter nor longer - if you want more time in the evening, start fork earlier, and finish work earlier - many companies on the Continent do start at 08:00 and finish at 16:00).  I would settle to all year round DST, if that would be the only way of avoiding having 2 clock shifts a year.
 

Offline kdlynn

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #8 on: 29/10/2007 23:31:14 »
i actually wake up better in the dark. bright sunshine when i first open my eyes just makes me want to close them again.
 

lyner

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #9 on: 30/10/2007 10:29:59 »
Quote
if you want more time in the evening, start fork earlier, and finish work earlier
It depends where you work - not everyone is in an office on flextime..
You can't choose to have evening events when you like. You can't choose when the last bus runs. You can't (yet) choose to watch all your tv an hour earlier.
No - most of us are stuck with the time that those  around us are using.
Who wants to go to bed when the party's in full swing?

Quote
if you want more time in the evening, start fork earlier, and finish work earlier

Draw the curtains then!
 

Offline Alandriel

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #10 on: 30/10/2007 17:20:54 »

Quote from: George
The problem is that I suspect it is not something that is of sufficient political importance to warrant allocating political resources to do anything about.
I’m with you on that.  :)
But the question remains, what can we - *I* - do? Petition Downing Street , I’m not a British subject……


Quote from: Sophie
Don't you appreciate the nice long evenings you get in the Summer?
Yes – and no.  ::) ;D
I don’t think it’s really that great to have sunlight all the way till 11pm …. and e.g. getting kids to sleep is a major headache.
I’m with you that we should never go to GMT – I think we should keep summer time ALL the time, even if it means 11pm sunsets (thankfully those fall mostly into the summer holidays anyway by which time the kids have adjusted from the initial shift in spring. It’s the May/June evenings I find difficult – but it’s also not *that* big of a deal)


Quote from: kadie
bright sunshine when i first open my eyes just makes me want to close them again

lol – but does it then not tickle your nose until you just have to get up.
Reminds me of my desert days when the sun used to rise at 5am and half an hour later you just HAD to get out of the sleeping bag, and not only because of the increased heat.


Quote from: sophie
No - most of us are stuck with the time that those  around us are using.
I think so too, even if you’re self employed you still have to ‘work/live’ around everything else.


So, are you up for a petition or is there a better way?
 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #11 on: 30/10/2007 18:20:36 »
But the question remains, what can we - *I* - do? Petition Downing Street , I’m not a British subject……

If you read the text there:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/
Quote
You must be a British citizen or resident to sign the petition.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #12 on: 30/10/2007 19:10:16 »
Thanks George, you made me go back and look more in-depth.  :)
For some reason I never quite took this e-petition thing serious ...

I did find a currently active petition: to change the system of daylight saving in order to give England lighter nights both in the summer and the winter.....This petition urges the Government to revert to a system, proposed earlier this year by the Local Government Association, whereby winter is GMT +1, equivalent to British Summer Time, and summer is GMT +2.


Rather than duplicate......it one runs till 16Nov - clickety if you're interested  ;D
 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #13 on: 31/10/2007 16:36:39 »
Topic moved her (after discussions with Alandriel) to because it was becoming more political that scientific, and moving it here allowed it to progress in that direction.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #14 on: 31/10/2007 17:37:01 »
Thanks George! :)

The petition I’ve pointed out means to simply move UK time in line with MEZ/CET yet still have the 1 hour time shift in spring and autumn. This is perhaps not as I had originally meant to discuss it (as George did point out to me).

I don’t actually care very much either way (time shifts or no time shifts) as long as the end result would be longer daylight hours in winter. Seeing an active petition running advocating just such an outcome I opted to support it rather than open up a new one.

I do care about having longer daylight during winter afternoons. There are simply more positives including safety issues around home going of young school children than negatives do not seriously consider making appropriate changes.

I’d like to hear your opinions on this, the pro’s and the con’s and who knows, perhaps a more ‘informed’ petition will be the way to go.

I’d also like to be able to ‘back it up’ with some statistics e.g. increase of road accidents? Others?  Perhaps you know where to find such figures?

 

another_someone

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Re: DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #15 on: 31/10/2007 18:41:34 »
http://www.cwu.org/news.asp?step=3&NID=1659
Quote
Less than 9 months after seeing off the last attempt to alter the clocks in the UK, Tory MP Tim Yeo has launched another private members bill in the house of commons. The "Energy Saving (Daylight) Bill" proposes exactly the same as the previous "Lighter Evenings (Experiment) Bill" which failed last May. The bill proposes to change the law so as to advance time in England one hour ahead of GMT during winter and by two hours ahead of GMT during summer. This so called "double summertime" is aimed at creating lighter evenings and darker mornings by altering the way Britain's clocks are set.

CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce has once again been busy lobbying Ministers to maintain the Governments continued backing of the Communication Workers Union's total opposition to "double summertime" and to block the "Energy Saving (Daylight) Bill" from becoming law.

Dave told government Ministers that the CWU strongly opposes the "Energy Saving (Daylight) Bill" on the basis of the sort of difficulties that a change to the way Britain's clocks are set would cause to Postal Delivery Workers and BT Telecommunications Engineers who are out on the streets in the early mornings.

Setting out the Union's case against the bill Dave Joyce said "we have a powerful case against the bill and the Union's opposition to the bill is based on a number of issues; a key concern for the CWU is that our Delivery Workforce of 80,000 Postmen and Women delivering letters, packets and parcels across the UK would not benefit at all from the creation of lighter evenings but would certainly suffer as a result of working on the darker mornings when deliveries are made. The claim from the Bill's supporters is that we could all benefit from a reduction in road accidents on winter afternoons when the rush hour coincides with fading light. However, it fails to consider the obvious increased risk of accidents caused by the darker mornings to Postal Workers, BT Workers and others because that's the time people are rushing to work and road conditions in winter are poorer due to lower temperatures, rain sleet, snow and ice etc. Our members would be disadvantaged in a number of ways as a result of working on darker mornings including the increased risk of more road accident casualties, assaults, slips and trips, thefts and attacks."

Dave added "We have 30,000 people delivering on cycles every day and this Bill will not help them by putting them to work in the dark longer. In fact it will increase the risk of an accident and in most cycle accident cases involving our members the investigation reveals that the car or lorry driver involved say they didn’t see the cyclist!"

A major concern for the CWU is the increasing crime statistics against CWU members. Dave said "We are seeing a steady increase in assaults, thefts and attacks on postal delivery workers and working longer in the dark will not make that increasing risk any better. Assaults and attacks on postal workers increase in the winter due to the dark mornings and that could worsen by imposing extra hours of darkness because criminals prefer to commit a crime during hours of darkness. If this change does come into being then the whole risk profile changes and the government, Royal Mail and Police forces will have to do even more to protect our people and control the safety risks. A high proportion of our delivery workers are women I would add."

"Similarly our members working for British Telecom as engineers, particularly in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, who climb telegraph poles, working overhead or working underground down manholes and underground structures in adverse conditions due to poor, inadequate lighting, would face greater risks." "Working at height is the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury. Climbing in the dark is far more dangerous. Additionally, many engineers now carry expensive equipment and work alone which is another worry in respect of the increase crime risk." said Dave.

Dave added "Those who base their support for the Energy Saving (Daylight) Bill on the possibility that changing the clocks will reduce the number of people who are killed and injured on our roads would be better concentrating their efforts on supporting improved occupational road safety policies being adopted by employers and commercial lorry and car fleet operators as well as supporting the Trade Unions demand for the HSE to become involved by regulating occupational road risk and for 'at work' Road Traffic Accidents becoming reportable under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) plus pursuing better driver training standards, better driver behaviour, better roads and a better awareness of safety and the highway code."

Another major flaw with this Bill is the prospect of having different time zones within the United Kingdom. Dave told Ministers "if the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland parliaments decide as may be likely not to adopt the clock change it would be bedlam. Royal Mail is a national service operating on tight schedules, timetables and delivery deadlines and targets. It would be a nightmare scenario attempting to deliver consistency across the UK if we were made to operate a postal service against varying UK time-zones with Royal Mail vehicles, trains, planes and boats crossing boarders every day and night." 

"People have short memories it would appear to us in the CWU. The last substantial vote in the House of Commons on this issue was in 1971.  There was a free vote and it resulted in a majority of 285 in favour of abandoning the "double summertime" experiment that had been taking place. After having lived through that experiment with the clocks for three years, there was universal opposition to its continuation from all parties."

After a four year experiment Portugal abandoned "double summertime" and the evidence from the experiment in Portugal was that the number of road traffic accidents rose when summer time changed between 1992 and 1996."On the question of energy savings, the Building Research Establishment has produced figures which indicate that a change to "double summertime" would not lead to a reduction in energy use. Further to this the experience in Portugal on electricity consumption savings during their four year experiment with "double summertime" reported that energy savings were insignificant."

"Over the past 15 years there has been 8 attempts via Private Members Bills in both the Commons and the Lords an attempt to effect this change. They all failed and so should this Bill."

Dave concluded "Those who support this and previous bills as an "extra daylight" measure need to realise that you don't get extra daylight simply by passing a new law so we need to make best use of the existing daylight. The further north you go in the winter, the fewer hours of daylight there are and in the winter it gets light much later. In Aberdeen for example there is not as much daylight as in the south of England.

The fundamental fact is that there is only so much daylight and that won't change by moving it forwards, backwards or sideways. This bill is just as flawed as previous bills of the same nature; it is trying to square a circle and we don't see why our members should be disadvantaged by the proposed "double summertime", an experiment of which the results are very predictable. The measures proposed in this Bill are not worthy of serious consideration and I've told MPs that the Union hopes this bill won't see the light of day."
 

another_someone

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DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #16 on: 31/10/2007 18:59:32 »
Interestingly, given the arguments that lighter evenings would reduce accidents involving children:

http://www.cheshire.gov.uk/roads/FactsAndFigs.htm
Quote
Child road accident rates increase during the summer months when they spend time playing outside without supervision.

I am not sure whether I would place too much trust in the following source, but mostly there seems to be a total lack of real evidence on the matter:

http://www.abd.org.uk/pr/166.htm
Quote
A new and influential analysis of road casualty statistics claims that abandoning the October clock change, resulting in lighter evenings and darker mornings, would save 160 lives, including a whole class full of child pedestrians every year. Government safety advisor Robert Gifford said on the Today programme this morning that he was "absolutely convinced" by this report.

An ABD spokesman said: "If this is so, why has this analysis not been done before? Permanent summer time was abandoned in the 1970s, partially because road deaths supposedly increased, but now we have a full scientific study that says the opposite. Perhaps the focus on speed kills, which is based on simplistic, unscientific, knee jerk prejudice rather than on a proper assessment of accident causation, has prevented this research from being done earlier."

The comment about the abandonment of the previous trial being premature is supported by comments made by Mr. Tim Yeo (MP for South Suffolk) reported in Hansard:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070126/debtext/70126-0002.htm
Quote
The Bill requires the panel to report specifically on changes in the number of road traffic accidents, the level of energy consumption and the level of ill health, and on any other areas that the panel believes have been directly affected by the alteration in the clocks. The importance of that panel is that it will give the public unbiased information on which to form a view about the advantages and disadvantages of the change. It will then be for Parliament to decide whether to continue the three-year experiment, and whether to make the change permanent.

When the last experiment took place almost 40 years ago, it was abandoned after over-hasty examination of inadequate, and possibly misleading, evidence on the impact of the change. The decision to abandon that experiment was a seriously wrong judgment. In any event, we must now judge the issue on the basis of what it does in today’s conditions.

One other aspect of the Bill requires to be explained. Clauses 5, 6 and 7 provide for the changes proposed in the Bill to be treated as a devolved issue, so that the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly can decide for themselves whether those parts of the United Kingdom should conduct the same experiment as England.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

DST– daylight saving time– why? What do you think?
« Reply #16 on: 31/10/2007 18:59:32 »

 

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