26 October 2019 02:33
It's clock-changing time this weekend and research shows that 7 per cent of people reading this will forget, which apparently leads to one missed appointment for every 15 arranged. And so March 2021 (or October if nations so choose) will be the last time the EU changes its clocks leaving nations permanently on either standard time (winter time) or what is known internationally as daylight saving time (summer time). BST is the British term for what is known widely elsewhere as daylight saving time (DST) and is one hour in advance of GMT. Most other countries who use daylight saving also change clocks around the same time (although there is no worldwide coordination) which as you'll have noted is a five-month: seven-month split, not six: six as might be expected. Britain, other European nations and then the US, after it entered the war, were forced to follow suit, advancing clocks every spring and putting them back in autumn.
But if you shift the clocks forward or back you can work and spend leisure time in more of the daylight hours while still getting up at 7am and not (in theory at least) upsetting your routine. Other arguments in favour include energy-saving – hours worked during daylight need less heating and lighting, although dissenters say the air-conditioning is on longer in summer and numerous studies dispute whether energy is saved or lost by DST – and the synchronisation of travel patterns for workers. During the crisis of 1973 when oil-producing Arab countries introduced an oil embargo in protest at western nations' support for Israel in the Arab-Israeli war, DST became a useful tool for reducing energy consumption, apparently saving the US 10,000 barrels of oil a day. "So when my workers effectively turn up earlier in summer after the clocks change work can be delayed anyway." Dairy cows too are sensitive to daily timings, the twice-yearly shift of the clocks disrupts this. Perhaps the strongest argument against DST, or at least the changes in clocks twice a year, is that accidents occur with more frequency after the time shifts, especially fatal traffic collisions.
People who want to stay up late or start work early should be allowed to do so without the "deceit" (as US President Warren G Harding put it in 1922) of the government changing their clocks, runs the argument. Warren Gatland's side had to battle after France's fast start but capitalised on their rivals' ill discipline to squeeze into the semi-finals, 20-19 Reuters 7/50 19 October 2019 People gather in London to join the Final Say march for a people's vote Angela Christofilou/The Independent 8/50 18 October 2019 Protesters on Whitehall in London during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest PA 9/50 17 October 2019 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands during a news conference after agreeing on a Brexit deal, in Brussels Reuters 10/50 16 October 2019 A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool PA 11/50 15 October 2019 Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London Reuters 12/50 14 October 2019 Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign's throne ahead of delivering the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament AFP 13/50 13 October 2019 Great Britain's Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge Getty 34/50 22 September 2019 Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND - the Mental Health Charity PA 35/50 21 September 2019 Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by "The People's Vote" in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit AFP/Getty 36/50 20 September 2019 Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history Angela Christofilou/The Independent 37/50 19 September 2019 Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo Getty 38/50 18 September 2019 A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast PA 39/50 17 September 2019 Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament. Russia, however, had attempted to adopt year-round DST in 2011, a full hour ahead of winter time but when citizens in some regions complained it didn't get light until after 9am Vladimir Putin ditched the scheme. He went on to say that it's pretty certain very little, if any, energy is saved and the only people who like it are those trying to sell you stuff in the extra hour of evening daylight (and even then, only in summer).