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EU to abolish daylight savings time?

If ever there were proof that we’re mere cogs in the machine (and that machine is a clock) daylight savings time would have to be it. 



Before the internet (and the internet of things), changing back the clocks was like a ritual we wilfully followed under orders from Them. Nowadays, for the most part, our devices and appliances (except for my circa 1988 oven) automatically adjusts time and we’re suddenly propelled into the future/past sans De Lorean.


And it’s coming. In just a matter of weeks, an hour will have been stolen from us, only to be given back when we don’t want it.


If you hadn’t guessed I’m not a fan of daylight savings time. Sure I love the extra hour of sunlight on a summer’s day, but in the dead of a Melbourne winter, I’m tired of leaving the office in the dark, having arrived in much the same way. 


Professor Thomas Kantermann, an expert on chronobiology at the University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management in Germany agrees with me, having studied the impact of daylight savings time on humans.


"We are like other animals," he told RN Breakfast.


"And we have this biology ticking in us that tries to synchronise us with the environment, and adding this artificial clock change, this pretending we are moving into a different time zone — it just irritates."


"If you have morning light, you synchronise with the day, and it helps you to fall asleep at an adequate time in the evening," he explained.


"If you have no daylight in the morning and only daylight or brighter light in the latter part of the day or the evenings, it makes you sleep later; it shifts your clock into the night."


His fellow Europeans seem to have taken his point - along with the results of a recent survey which saw 84% of 4.6 million respondents calling for an end to seasonal clock changes. 


The European Commission is thus proposing to end seasonal clock changes in Europe in 2019, giving Member States the freedom to decide once and for all whether they want to permanently apply summer- or wintertime. 


"We are proposing to put an end to seasonal clock changes as of next year. This very ambitious timetable will allow citizens to reap the benefits without delay. We are now inviting Member States and businesses to make the necessary preparations to ensure a coordinated approach across the EU," Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said.


The Commission's proposal is currently in front of the European Parliament and the Council, and should it be accepted, each Member State would advise by April 2019 whether it intends to apply permanent summer- or wintertime. 


“The last mandatory change to summertime would take place on Sunday 31 March 2019,” a statement from the Commission read.


“After this, the Member States wishing to permanently switch back to wintertime would still be able to make one last seasonal clock change on Sunday 27 October 2019. Following that date, seasonal clock changes would no longer be possible.”


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 21 September 2018

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