A week after EU lawmakers called for a full evaluation of daylight saving time, breakfast show presenter at Ara City Radio Sam Steen gives his two cents on the time changing phenomenon.
So, it seems the European Union are going to review the use of daylight saving time. Good. About damn time! Do I feel a little bit too strongly about this subject without fully understanding the minute details and real-world consequences? Absolutely! But this is the post-Brexit, post-Trump world that we’re living in and for some reason I’ve been given a soap box so I’m going to shout from it and you’re just going to have to get over it and get on with it, snowflake!
The way things work at the moment is that on a common date in spring and autumn, all 28 member states put their clocks forward and back by one hour. This gives us an extra hour of daylight in the evening in summer and an extra hour of daylight in the morning in winter. On the face of things that sounds OK, right? The more daylight the better, it seems to make sense and advocates say that the changing of the clocks both saves energy and reduces traffic accidents.
Double summer time
Double summer time, which, regardless of what it means, sounds like a lot of fun, has also been suggested. First used in Britain during the second world war, it would do what it sounds like it would do and add two hours on to our evenings. Now again, that sounds lovely. Imagine the stretch in the evenings with an extra two hours! Oh, the barbecues you could have, the long nights on the terraces would be wonderful, kids could play outdoors until they slumped, exhausted, over their climbing frames or collected in piles at the end of slides, what a glorious late-night utopia it would be!
But you see, this is my problem. My personal gripe against summer time. I don’t really do night time and summer time isn’t much fun in the mornings. Especially the further north you go. In Finland, some 700,000 people signed a petition calling for the end of daylight saving time because summer time means it gets lighter later. A double summer time would mean that at certain times of the year it wouldn’t be daytime until 10am in some parts of Northern Europe.
Even 9am is too late for me because you see, I’m a morning person. Not because I want to be, but because I have to be. Being a morning radio presenter means that my alarm goes off at 4.45am, a completely ludicrous hour I’m sure you will agree. It’s the middle of the night for most reasonable people and, in the winter, it is pitch dark when I leave the house at 5.30am. Night time, cold, quiet on the roads and a little lonely but then as we creep in to springtime it starts to get brighter.
By the time the clocks are just about to change at the end of March it’s actually quite bright around about 6am. It’s still very quiet but as the sun rises that becomes beautiful and peaceful, birds start to chirp and everything seems better. Then the clocks change and we early risers are plunged back in to darkness again. Why? It’s still staying brighter for longer in the evenings, you can still stay out in the evenings if you want to, you can still play most sports under floodlights, except golf maybe but who cares about that? Just give us our mornings!