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Daylight saving – permanent 2 hour shift

Comment 14th July 2010

There would be several advantages to shifting our clocks forward by 2 hours all the time.

The conventions of UK society do not match the times of daylight.  Schools and shops start at 9.00 (instead of 7.30 or 8.00 on the Continent).    In the summer, even with our 1hr shift forward, a lot of daylight is wasted in the mornings before anybody gets up.  This is also true in October and March.  The centre of most people's day is around 2.00pm or later.  For example a school child might get up at 8.00 and go to bed at 9.00pm so his day is centred at 2.30pm.  A London commuter gets up at 7.00am and goes to bed at 11.00pm – day centred at 3.00pm.

It would save power for lighting if the centre of people's day matched midday by the sun.  This requires a 2 or 3 hr shift forward.  It would also give more time for outside activities in the  evenings.

It is often said that Scotland would not like this.  Well, they have their own Parliament and so can set their own time.  The UK Government could then consider charging them a Carbon Tax for wasting power that could have been saved.

Why does this matter?

The increase in evening daylight would be a bonus to outside activities.  Estimates from Cambridge University suggest that as much as 6% of our power consumption could be saved by this 2hr forward shift.   This reduction in our Carbon Footprint would  be comparable to that planned from installing expensive renewable generators and all at a cost near to zero!

Traffic accidents would probably be balanced out from morning to evening

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