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European Parliament set to end EU-wide daylight savings (dw.com)
315 points by mattjaynes 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 259 comments





I work in energy trading in Europe and for us this is a blessing. Of course we store our time series TZ aware, but many less professional small utilities or other market participants (incl. Grid operators) who e.g. Order power on hourly resolution with tz-unaware excel spreadsheets via email are a nightmare as each participants treatment of double or missing hours is different and requires manual processing.

Why don't you just make a system that the clients must enter data through? Instead of accepting spreadsheets...

But, yes, I can imagine this is a nightmare..


> Why don't you just make a system that the clients must enter data through? Instead of accepting spreadsheets...

It’s cheap to train people to fill out a spreadsheet. If you force people to use a custom data portal, you’ll likely increase error rates and give your counterparties a reason to prefer other shops.


Supply and demand. I would guess the clients can just go "no" and you either loose the electricity they provide or allow spreadsheets.

Working in the same sector, I can confirm this. We try to offer pretty much any half-way reasonable interface to our clients for that exact reason, be it spreadsheets or csv via mail or SFTP, REST APIs or a web interface.

yeah, it's both what you say and sales people's poor understanding of how annoying that is (and the fact that they get rewarded for closed contracts where operational costs dont matter)

I did some work in this sector about 10 years ago. We wrote a system to parse these spreadsheets, and convert the various units of measure. At the time, we were processing the data faster than anyone else and used that data to our advantage.

The reason we couldn't mandate our own system was that many facilities are jointly owned, and we only had the primary ownership of a minority of facilities.

Not surprised this hasn't changed !


I can imagine. In my country the electricity meters only deal with winter time (UTC+2). Most suppliers have different rates for day and night, so in winter night rates start at 12am and in summer they start at 11pm (or is it the other way around?) so nothing needs to be changed on the meter.

Naively I would like to think this was all done using a designed system, but this makes sense.

Any documented cases of the lights going out due to an email ending up in the spam folder?


To my knowledge, you won't loose power because your energy provider forgot to buy energy from the market, they still have to pay for it though (probably with late fees).

It depends on the market design of course, but generally, if too many energy providers did not match their consumption with generation (or bought power), that could lead to power outages.

Concerning the 'late fees': if your consumption exceeds your production, you pay what is called balancing energy. Essentially, you have to buy the energy for a price that is set by the transmission system operator depending on the total imbalance in the grid. In some cases, this might actually be beneficial to the energy provider as the balancing energy is sometimes cheaper than the prices you get on the sport market close to gate closure.


Hey, sorry for the OT message.

I like to connect with other devs working in the same industry as me. I work for Contigo Software, we make ETRM software and various other things for the energy industry.

There's various ways to contact me in my profile if your interested in chatting.


So many people, including a lot of comments here, seem to think that it’s designed around the winter. It’s not, it’s to move an hour of sunlight from the start of the day (say, 4am) to the end of the day (say, 9pm) so that you use less energy in the summer (hence the ‘savings’), and then you can enjoy that rather than being asleep.

Moving to summer time year-round means that the mornings in the winter will be darker. I like having a bit of daylight in the mornings in the winter, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone. As I’m sure a lot of people will when they realise that getting ‘rid’ of it makes the winter worse, not the summer better.


> "I like having a bit of daylight in the mornings in the winter"

I am the opposite. For me, the early morning winter sunrise is an annoyance, and just feels a waste of daylight if it's bright outside when I'm asleep. Sometimes in mid-winter it seems like its already starting to get dark when I'm just getting started with my day. Awful!


I agree - leaving the clocks unchanged means more light in the evenings (or, where I am, more like the late afternoons).

I am with you. I enjoy long summer evenings when it is till some light at 11pm and you can be swimming, camping, whatever. Winter time would mean sun rising ~3:30 in the morning. I have no desire do get up that early.

Unless you desire to get up at 4:30 in the morning, you're going to have to invest in some curtains either way. At that point, the exact time of sunrise doesn't really matter.

Alas, early sunshine wakes up some noisy birds, so curtains may not be the entire solution :(

That's OK, bird numbers have gone down significantly over the decades [0], they'll soon not be a problem.

[0] https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-ca...


Clearly, shifting the time by an hour keeps the birds asleep longer.

Your comment was probably meant to be silly, but in case not:

Using wall clock time as the measure, this would mean the birds sleep later. The hour we used to call 4am would be called 5am. Birds will wake up at the same physical time, but what matters is what our clocks say.


So just change the hours you work during the Winter! Why do you have to modify the actual clock that everyone else uses to do that?

Most people can't simply change the hours they work for their employer and it sounds out of touch to present an argument that assumes most workers have that level of autonomy.

Maybe legislation should focus on that problem makeing sure that a) people who could have this autonomy can get it and b) where fixed schedules are unavoidable they get shifted accordingly instead of playing with the clock.

That would be great but convincing School Boards of that would be a non-trivial task.

According to someone farther down in the comments here, India has no DST and simply starts school later in the winter. I guess that's just too hard for America?

I'm an Indian and that doesn't ring a bell. School used to start at 8.00 for me. Throughout the year. No dst. When I started working for a European company, it was insane that I had to wind back clocks.

Sorry if I was incorrect. Here's the comment I was referring to:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19318022


DST causes trauma for people with bipolar disorder, heart attacks go up, etc. Also, on a selfish note, it's irritating to program around.

DST is a legislative solution to the problem of getting everyone to change scheduling. So why not use legislation to get those school boards to change scheduling directly?


I can answer this one to some extent, at least for America: the school boards are all run at the local level, which is why our education system is so inconsistent and generally poor, and there's huge resistance to any mandates from the Federal level, and it's like herding cats to get the States to agree on anything. I suppose it should be possible to get State governments to separately legislate that school districts in that state change their hours (since, after all, some states may care more than others, and different states really do have different latitudes which affects their daylight hours), but again it'd have huge resistance since every local school board thinks they know best.

The US federal government does not have the power to do that.
rsik 13 days ago [flagged]

downvotes instead of rational arguments? On HN? Either pigs are flying or it's Wednesday again.

Could you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News?

Also, going on about downvoting breaks the site guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.


> So just change the hours you work during the Winter

Only the petit bourgeoisie (and not all of them, because often the capital and labor portion of their support is separated in modern capitalist/mixed economies) both labor and have even the theoretical ability to direct the hours of the labor, and even there there is a coordination problem since there is value in aligning core work hours with others. In any case, because consistent hours are, ceteris paribus, slightly cheaper, rationally it will be more common for work not to move without mandated clock shifts.

EDIT: To clarify, more common than is the case with clock shifts, not more common than work having seasonal shifts. The latter may also be the case, but is not the conclusion just from the being a marginal cost that doesn't exist when clock shifts are mandated.


You're both right and wrong: the need to "move" that hour is needed only during a period of the year (latitute-dependent; on average March-October in the northern hemisphere) that mostly cover the Summer (Winter in the southern hemisphere), in order to synchronize our body-clock with the sunrise (which depends on your location).

Obviously a solution that is "one size, fit all" doesn't exists, hence those (poorly informed) discussions...

The energy's story is mostly a consequence.


> I like having a bit of daylight in the mornings in the winter, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone. As I’m sure a lot of people will when they realise that getting ‘rid’ of it makes the winter worse, not the summer better.

Considering that society is already built around morning larks and all the advantages they enjoy, this decision is a tiny, if pleasant victory for the night owls.

I can't recall the last time I was awake early enough to take advantage of that early sunlight hour. It was probably years ago.


> Moving to summer time year-round means that the mornings in the winter will be darker

The US is already on DST most of the year, so permanent DST is simply the minimum-change method of abandoning clock shifts.


Please consult public health experts before making any decision like this. I have a feeling that suicide rates in the US northern states might go up if they stay on a permanent DST.

Year-round summer time sounds horrifying, is there anything I can do to prevent it?

Ask your boss if you can come to the office hour later in winter time.

Har har. That's not the problem, the problem is for everyone else who can't "just come an hour later" and especially for teenagers who will have to suffer even earlier school times for the entire year. From all I know, having winter time year-round will be objectively worse in aggregate, so I want to not have that happen. I already participated in the initial EU questionnaire and voted for repealing DST, but I don't want to end up on summer time all year.

Winter time all year wouldn't be good enough either. It's still way too early to be waking up at customary hours of winter time.

We made a huge mistake when we allowed larks not owls to set schedule our economy and society runs by.


The graphic would seem to indicate that the UK and Portugal observe a time zone of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC±0). This is nonsense, of course; UTC is not a time zone. I believe the UK observes GMT (UTC±0) and Portugal uses Western European Time (UTC±0).

It's also worth looking up the story of why Coordinated Universal Time is abbreviated UTC and not CUT, if you haven't heard it. Time zones are great.


> I believe the UK observes GMT (UTC±0)

That's correct, with BST in the Summer. It can get confusing when working with people from different countries who aren't aware of BST and who schedule meetings explicitly in GMT, thinking that it automatically includes daylight saving.


In my experience, it gets more confusing for English people who schedule meetings in GMT in the summer and then are an hour late.

It's also a problem for software engineers in the UK, for whom 6 months of the year utc and local time are the same, resulting in people not knowing the difference. In the rest of the world it's bleedin obvious.

A downside to inventing time I guess ;)


The two times a year when you find out which new tests were written to use local time instead of UTC.

Yup, on occassion you think you've set up a server correctly but it's actually on local time, only to find everything breaks come the end of March.

Also in software dev and yes it's a pain, I've had to point out multiple times that UTC != GMT.

A downside to believing that you invented the concept of measuring time.

Ah that old trick

Not to mention when people say PST when that is explicitly the _wrong_ time zone half the year.

It's PDT in summer.


BST is all year, just it is the same as GMT for (roughly) half the year

The "S" stands for "Summer", and I strongly recommend reading things like https://infiniteundo.com/post/25509354022/more-falsehoods-pr... and http://creativedeletion.com/2015/01/28/falsehoods-programmer... before confidently making statements on this subject.

number 35. contradicts what you said

British Standard Time existed all year (~50 years ago) but British Summer Time is defined as "the period beginning at one o'clock, Greenwich mean time, in the morning of the last Sunday in March and ending at one o'clock, Greenwich mean time, in the morning of the last Sunday in October."

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/262/article/2/made


This is actually the standardised, Europe-wide definition of summer time, which is followed by all EU nations. Prior to 2002, the UK had various different start and end dates over the years.

The `daylight saving` purpose is intriguing.

I'm very curious why people long time ago, decided to change clocks, instead of work/school start and finish times. Like we start in April at 8:00 am, and in November, at 9:00.


I believe the reason is that it costs less to move the hands of a clock than to print and distribute new timetables for trains, buses, etc.

That could cost less today because we use much less paper, but updating web sites and databases is still a large amount of work. It's far easier to communicate to all the country when to move the clock and keep everything else the same.


It actually costs in an entirely different way, when you screw with everybody's sleeping schedules, cause accidents with wildlife getting surprised by brisk changes in traffic peaks. Personally, I never dealt well with the change, either, so this means I have one less thing to worry about in pollinosis season. Good riddance.

Do you have any credible sources that say wildlife is affected in any way by daylight savings?

I don't have a source, but my understanding was that deer tend to learn when it's safe to cross the road. When all of a sudden people change their driving habits by an hour, deer start to get hit by cars that they didn't expect to be there.

Where I live, we get both. They change both the time and the bus schedules in accordance with the seasons.

Growing up in India (which has no DST), that's how it worked. School would start later during the winter months.

Because, even to take the simplest case of just considering workplaces and schools, unless all workplaces and all schools shift their hours by the same amount on the same day--along with all the transportation systems associated with them--they'll be out of sync when some change and some don't. And, even if you assume that such perfect synchronization is possible and perfectly communicated (by everyone having different summer and non-summer hours), why not just make the change centrally instead?

Lets also try and spread working times from (mostly) 9-5 to 6-2, 7-3, 8-4, 9-5 and 10-6 so we can solve the traffic congestion problem, all while enabling people to work when they work best.

And 30 h work weeks, could instead of 5 days x 6 hours, be 4 days x 7.5 hours, so that people didn't need to commute at all, one day per week.

I would love this. But it seems what pegs everyone to the same schedule is uniform school hours for K-12.

There's a lot of research lately indicating that the current school hours are harmful and should be adjusted.

Don't forget spread the free weekend days randomly between companies.


You forgot my favourite time slots, 11-7, 12-8 and 1-9 :)

Afternoon or night?

Afternoon.

Couldn't agree more. I see it already happening on some companies that allow employees to arrive anytime between 7am and 11am and leave once they do their daily hours. In my job I'd say somewhere between 10 and 20% of the people arrive before 8am or after 10am. I suppose it could be even better if there was an actual policy of organising it so as to improve spreading as much as possible.

Or just improve cycling and public transport infrastructure, and let more people wfh

Someday US will get this too! Right after the metric system.

Seriously speaking: I wish US gets rid of the clock change (one way or the other).


It's pretty much up to individual states.

Except there is federal law on this that affects their decisions. [0]

I wish we would at least call it "summer time" instead of the lie "daylight savings time." There's no daylight "saved."

[0] http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/usc.html


It affects their decisions in some nominal capacity, but it is still up to the states and territories. Federal laws don't have the authority to supersede local laws whenever they want.

"As of 2014, the following states and territories are not observing DST: Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.[7]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_the_Un...


I thought that winter time was the default and summer time was opt-in by the states. But that both California and Florida when seeking to change to summer time all year round had to get approval from congress.

The relatively recent change adding an entire month of DST originated with Congress, not the states. That's more than nominal.

The ‘savings’ refers to the energy saved, not the daylight.

1. Various studies of energy savings have reached mixed conclusions. Energy savings from DST is not necessarily true. [0]

2. The 'saving' in the older form 'daylight saving time' certainly referred to 'saving daylight' for use in the evening and not 'saving energy.

In either case, the use of the word 'saving' or 'savings' is, at best, deceptive, and some would say a great example of Orwellian language. Why not call it "We're going to force everyone to change their schedules by an hour" time?

[0] https://www.livescience.com/56725-does-daylight-saving-time-...


Part of the reason that timezones are so annoying to work with, is that it's often easy to forget about them.

Getting rid of summer time will just make this worse.


> right after the metric system

I think folks who want the US to be metric will have to go industry-by-industry.


> mandated EU-wide summer time has only existed since 2002

and this repeal only repeals the mandatory adherence to daylight savings. Their next problem is consistency and coordination of the removal of DST among member states. And the Germans seem to be dominating the vote as well, so the really hard work in negotiating with others to remove their DST is the real barrier.


"And the Germans seem to be dominating the vote..."

On what basis are Germany dominating the vote? They cannot. No EU member state can dominate a vote. Germany could at best lobby other member states, as other member states can (and do) lobby Germany.


> On what basis are Germany dominating the vote?

The initial EU online public vote was dominated by German voters. There were 4.6 Million votes, of which 3 Million came from Germany [1]:

"More than 80 percent of respondents to the largest online survey in EU history are in favor of abolishing changing the clocks in summer and winter, EU sources reported Wednesday. Around 4.6 million people took part in the survey, which ran between July 4 and August 16. Three million of the respondents were from Germany.

And from the EU Commission report [2]:

"It should be noted that the largest amount of responses came from Germany (70% of all replies), which has a statistical influence on the average results."

That said, from section 3.2 of the EU Commission report, Cyprus & Greece were the only two countries where citizens voted to keep daylight saving.

[1] https://www.dw.com/en/eu-citizens-feel-times-up-for-changing...

[2] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52...


Edit: I think I misunderstood your comment. I thought you meant Greece and Cyprus prefer to keep summer time for ever. Whereas you probably meant that Greece and Cyprus wanted to keep changing the clocks.

Anyway I leave my initial comment below.

I think you read that wrong. You should look at section 3.5.

"The highest share of respondents in favour of “permanent summertime” is in Portugal (79%), Cyprus (73%) and Poland (72%)."


> On what basis are Germany dominating the vote?

"In the largest survey ever conducted by the European Commission, 80% of around 4.6 million respondents said they favor abolishing the finicky practice of changing the clocks in summer and winter"

"While citizens from all EU member states voted in the poll, around two-thirds of responses came from Germany "

https://qz.com/1375622/eu-citizens-voted-to-abolish-daylight...


Reason being that people picked this up very quickly and for once this poll even made it into mass media before it was over. I think this only shows how much changing clocks annoys people; they hear about a poll, they go vote.

AIUI in most other countries this initial pick-up and publicity just didn't happen.


> mass media

In which languages?


Implied by context: German media.

The number of seats in the EP is proportional to the population, and Germany is slightly more populous than any other nation. I wouldn’t call it “dominating”, but as a nation it is more influential.

Separately, the seats are divided into parties, and not all MEPs represent the interests of their national governments — UKIP prior to the referendum, for example.


> The number of seats in the EP is proportional to the population

Not quite, larger countries have fewer MEPs per capita[0][1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_in_the_European_... [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degressive_proportionality


> "On what basis are Germany dominating the vote?"

I suspect it comes down to the issue getting more publicity, interest and attention from media in Germany compared to other EU nations.


Doesn't seem you were paying attention. Germany carrot and stick smaller states while engaging in favor exchanges with France, de facto dominating the European Parliament. Go check where art. 11 and the austerity protocols come from.

You are confusing the Parliament and the Council.

Frankly, I like daylight savings. It contributes to reduce the difference between the sun time and my time.

I wake up more or less when the sun raises and then go to work. Now if I keep doing that I'm going to show up either too late in the winter or too early in the summer.


So you do you- just don't force the complexity of your life on the rest of us.

We can contribute a measurable number of deaths every year to DST. It's a disaster.


I say it's natural to wake up when the sun raises, you say it's natural to stick to the same hour all year long.

I'm not forcing anything anymore than you do.


No one is forcing you to wake up at any particular time. If you want to wake up when the sun rises, you can do that. You don't need to control everyone's clock to do that.

Employers do force their employees to show up at a particular time.

No, they don't force that at all. You're free to find another job with hours you prefer, or try to get your boss to let you work different hours. If all your coworkers don't like the hours, you have a better chance of getting the management to change the working hours. If you're the one weirdo who wants different hours, then maybe you shouldn't be trying to get everyone else to do things to your liking.

Let me invite you to the arctic circle, where the sun don't set or rise in large parts of the year.

> I say it's natural to wake up when the sun raises, you say it's natural to stick to the same hour all year long.

Either of those is fine. What's not fine is making everyone change their clocks twice a year so that those options are more similar to each other.


The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Getting rid of DST sounds like a good thing. Not messing time is patently good. But a bunch of countries on the western side of the EU ought to be on GMT instead of GMT+1. And appparently a majority of people want to make that worse, by making a permanent switch to GMT+2.

This will make for fun winters, with the sun rising long after rush hour. This is stupid.


This will make for fun winters, with the sun rising long after rush hour. This is stupid.

This doesn't matter at all. Really. Folks in northern locations deal with it all the time. The sun rises and sets during rush hour in lots of locations in the world and it doesn't cause things to end.


Either you drive to work in dark or drive home in dark. It really doesn't matter.

For a bunch of countries in northern Europe you don't even get to make the choice during winter. All trips to/from work or school are done in the dark, because there's just not enough daylight to go around.

There is no natural law stipulating when rush hour happens or when buissness hours should be though.

Shops will just start to open at 10 instead of 9 and workdays will start at 9 instead of 8 in those areas where this is a problem.


You're forgetting some "laws". Let me list them in order of priority:

1. Business hours must be kept in sync with the important countries next to them. This is important for communications between companies. When business hours are off by 1 hour, there is 1 hour less to communicate with your neighbour countries at business hours. That is 12.5% of the business day you cannot reliably contact another company in another country.

2. The clock must be equal to these important countries to not make mistakes when setting appointments.

3. Business people with kids have to bring their kids to school before business hours start. Schools start before business hours, about 30 minutes up to an hour earlier.

4. Shops open relative to business hours.

The reality is that north-west EU will do whatever Germany does. Germany wants GMT+2. That means that all countries west of Germany that follow Germany will have post 10 o'clock sunrises in winter, 2 hours after people get out to bring their kids to school & go to work.


Just spitballing, but I take it you don't participate in many multi-TZ meetings.

1. That's a non problem. If you're in meetings 8h/day the last of your worries would be TZ. Plus, such a time zone difference already exists today between e.g. France and the UK, Portugal and Spain, or for that matter within the US and other countries, and even within US states themselves (see AZ).

2. No it doesn't. What's most problematic when setting appointments actually is when daylight savings changes times. During the switch your regularly scheduled meetings may get messed up, times that worked for an entire remote team might no longer work for a week or two, and mishaps on new meeting schedules are all over the place. See e.g. https://youtu.be/84aWtseb2-4?t=230 to get a sense of how nutty it can get.

3. 4. I'm failing to see how using daylight savings or not makes any difference.


> The reality is that north-west EU will do whatever Germany does. Germany wants GMT+2. That means that all countries west of Germany that follow Germany will have post 10 o'clock sunrises in winter, 2 hours after people get out to bring their kids to school & go to work.

As a french I don't see the problem with that, I'd much rather have more sunlight in the evening when I can actually go out and do stuff


Maybe you don't, but it really messes with your biological rhythm to get up before dark. If you get up, go to work and start your job all while it's dark outside, it is really hard to get going and not getting depressed in the long term.

Maybe not for you, but for many it will be.

The only daylight people will experience is when they leave their job. That's rough.


When business hours are off by one hour, there is one hour less to communicate with your neighboring countries during business hours.

If you had an eight-hour work day, a one-hour time offset from a neighboring country would mean you overlap with them for seven hours, and they overlap with you for seven hours. One of you loses an hour off the beginning of your day, and the other loses an hour off the end, but that does not add up to a loss of two hours.

This is especially obvious when you have an eight hour workday with an eight hour time zone offset. That does not mean you have sixteen hours less communication time.


Oh right. I've modified my comment :)

re: 1 and 2. Yet lots of businesses in US states communicate with other businesses (and company locations) in different time zones including those in adjacent states in some cases. To say nothing of other countries. Dealing with timezone differences is routine for many people (and fortunately something that computers mostly handle pretty well except when you forget to provide them with timezone info).

There's a good argument for not proliferating timezones beyond a certain point. But, given they exist for good reason, you're always going to have lines that people need to communicate (and even commute) over.


>1. Business hours must be kept in sync with the important countries next to them. This is important for communications between companies.

I'm going to echo another responder here: this is total BS. Here in America, it's completely routine for companies on opposite coasts to do business with each other, and there's a 3-hour time difference year-round. If we can handle that, surely Europeans can handle a 1-hour difference.


There are also union laws that mandate overtime pay off hours. These hours are often defined to be out side of 8:00-17:00, incentivizing businesses to keep open during these hours.

By that argument, the whole world might as well use UTC everywhere. The whole idea of timezones is that local time still has some resemblance to natural time. If we're going to let go of that, I'd rather we just abandon timezones altogether and use UTC everywhere.

I actually like this idea. Mostly because it means that my Elite Dangerous time will be the same as my "local time".

You've got a solid grasp on your priorities.

But it would definitely make it easier to coordinate online events, including gaming. As the world gets more globalised thanks to the internet, maybe it's not such a crazy idea after all.

Or at least, maybe people should be more aware of how their local time relates to UTC, so they can think it both local time and UTC.



Exactly. We talked about this in the Netherlands and permanent +2 for us is too far off. That's St Petersburg natural time, it would mean sunrise at 10am in wintertime.

If the Germans will really push for permanent +2 time, then there will be a time zone border between us.


Opinion here in the Netherlands is divided between a preference for permanent winter time, permanent summer time, or keep changing the clocks twice a year¹.

Sunrise at 10:00 in the winter? Fine! That at least gives us some light in the afternoon.

1: https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/12/19/meeste-nederlanders-wil...


You are neglecting public health concerns. People’s sleep tends to be disrupted when they have to wake up long before sunrise. Sleep is important for the population, more important then afternoon sunshine, I would say.

Could be! Permanent summer time has my preference but I honestly don't mind at all if I have light when I get up, but a lot of people seem to want that.

Also: permanent darkness rush hours. Nice.


So now you're ok with UTC+2? That's permanent summertime.

> it would mean sunrise at 10am in wintertime.

Not sure why this is a problem

- Norway


In Spain, and I prefer having the light in the evening and I kind of appreciate the fact we are in the "wrong" timezone.

> This will make for fun winters, with the sun rising long after rush hour. This is stupid.

For a lot of people in the EU the day starts with preparing the family for work/school. However the day ends with various activities social or others. Shops and other things tends to close later rather than open earlier (eg: have you ever tried finding some judo class for the kids between 5AM and 6AM ?) More light in the evening extends the possibilities.

As other mentioned, I spent all my youth going to school before the sun rises and coming back after it has set. That's the way it is in the North.


Please, in the future use "UTC" and not "GMT". GMT is defined by UTC, but not the other way around ;-)

Maybe some businesses will change opening hours and so rush hour might be more spread with less traffic jams?

GMT+2 for Spain would be absolutely retarded.

I hope they take this opportunity to consider a permanent switch to GMT.


Currently it is ridiculous that in Spain 10 o'clock in the evening is actually the same that 8 o'clock in Germany.

That is because Germany and Spain share time while being almost two timezones apart.

This was done by Franco to coordinate with Hitler long time ago.

Your definition of "making it worse" is actually making the clock go as it should. That is, the sun is at its zenith at 12 o'clock in the morning. This could be considered a lot of thing , but stupid is not.

Rush hour depends on people, people can change behavior. The sun can not.


In before "Let's all switch to UTC to solve this problem once and for all!"

Anyway, it's so weird to me that daylight savings is such a new concept, it didn't exist where I was born when I was born, but it feels like a thing that ought to have existed for a hundred years at least.

And yet, despite it being so new, people are actually defending it? Mindboggling.


Whenever someone advocates for UTC being the wall clock time all over the world, I think of Jason Mendoza from The Good Place:

> Anytime I had a problem and I threw a Molotov cocktail, boom! Right away, I had a different problem!


Another of Jason's (somewhat) related quotes: I want you thinking about dance 24/7. That means every day, you think 20 thoughts about dance for seven minutes.

By why is UTC a Molotov cocktail?

This site does a good job of explaining:

https://qntm.org/abolish

For me the biggest headache would be the date changing in th middle of the day.


"Excuse me, does your workweek start on Sunday/Monday or on Monday/Tuesday?"

Yay, everyone is now on the same time, too bad the concept of weekdays got completely broken in the process...


what a great quote :D

We changed our educational grading scale a few years back to make it comparable to the international scale. One of the huge problems was that we had a top-grade for people who went “beyond” expectations for the course. Because “beyond” is up for interpretation, some examiners were more likely to give it than others, but in general it was just extremely hard to earn a top mark and no one really knew what was needed to get it.

So we changed it to make it similar to pretty much every other country. Now roughly 10 years later, it looks like we might change it again because people are missing the old “exceptional” grade.

Only it isn’t students, educators or examinators who miss it. It’s the public and politicians. They’ll probably succeed in changing it back, despite no one affected by it wanting it.

It’s universally stupid, but it makes me wonder when we’ll bring saving-day-light time back.


> despite no one affected by it wanting it

Falsified. I'm affected by it, and I want it, and I certainly know students who do too (Assuming I have correctly identified a Danish compatriot here).


Fair enough, but the majority of students, examinators and teachers aren’t asking for it.

I’m an examinator myself, and we have zero members on STEM educations who think their return are a good idea. We discussied it at our summit earlier this year.

I’d like to hear why you want it back. We originally removed it because it gave Danish students a major disadvantage when applying for anything internationally because people who would be straight A students, ranked a whole grade lover than their international counterparts, despite actually fulfilling the exact same course requirements.

I’ve had students where I would have liked to given them more than the top mark, because they were better than what was required. But I’d much rather give those people a top grade than give people who “only” meet the full requirements of a course a non-top grade. Because the difference might mean that a student who actually deserves an international top mark, loses out on a job or a PhD outside of Denmark. Where as the excellent student walks away with a top mark in both situations.


There is an international grading scale?

??

Most international scales include laude


That's News to Me in the UK

> Anyway, it's so weird to me that daylight savings is such a new concept, it didn't exist where I was born when I was born, but it feels like a thing that ought to have existed for a hundred years at least.

It is a more than 100 years old concept: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time#History


It’s mindboggling depressing to lose an hour of daylight each day for almost half a year because you’re stuck in an office at work.

How much daylight you lose depend highly on what latitude you are living.

In California, daylight savings actually makes sense, it's a noticeable boost of daylight for your office commute in the winter.

In northern Europe, it makes absolutely no sense, because the darkness consumes everything anyway. It takes about a week or two for sunrise to be at the same time it was before the clock adjustment each fall. It's pretty useless.


I agree. I see why countries in northern Europe have little use for daylight savings: they have darkness in the morning in winter and sun well before everybody's awake in summer whenever they use daylight savings or not. In southern Europe it's different (I live there), especially because those countries tend to center their day not around noon but to later hours: lunch starting between 13:00/15:00 and dinner between 21:00/23:00. Spain basically lives with a double summer time. Italy has a gradient between North (earlier, 1 PM) and South (later). I don't live particularly in the south but if I have to choose I'll pick summer time for all the year, and maybe double of it. Sun at 6 AM is wasted, darkness at 7 PM is depressing.

We could end up with two horizontal time zones. UTC+1 in the north and UTC+2 in the south.

By the way, the few people from my country that voted in that poll were keen about keeping daylight savings.


> Spain basically lives with a double summer time.

Spain uses the wrong timezone. It should use UTC instead of UTC+1. The map in the article shows that pretty clearly. That's at least partially the reason people have dinner so late in Spain. It's not them that are wrong it's the clock!


Yes - it used to be GMT. Franco changed it in 1940s to be in line with the German occupied Europe and it was never changed it back.

No, it's them, not the clock. The people of Spain are in control of their own clock; they're not a dictatorship any more. If they want a better timezone, it's in their power to make that change. If they're stupidly using the wrong timezone and eating meals at a late hour because of that, it's their own fault.

Same for me, if they drop the dst I hope they keep the summer time in Italy, because extended light at evenings is awesome and more useful than extended light when I'm sitting in the office early in the morning

But darkness at 8.30AM is also depressing. For some countries, certainly not all of them, daylight savings time is a blessing and well worth the hassle.

Those countries would probably benefit from using standard time and moving everything thirty minutes earlier (effectively a 30 minute off time zone), but it's hard to implement such a sweeping change.


but here's the thing, in winter I still have to go to work in the dark

What time do you leave home in the winter? Both me and my wife leave at 8:15 AM, and it's already light in Milan.

7:40, Abruzzo.

Seems like they needed a latitude based timezones on top of longtitude timezones... A grid based timezone system.

Sounds like it would pay for a lot of developers careers... And a nightmare.

I grew up at 59 degrees north latitude. Daylight savings was pointless. Wintertime I'd go school in the dark (8am) and go home in the twilight (2pm). Lunch time was bright though...

My parents grew up at 70 degrees north, where daylight saving is totally useless as there is no daylight in the middle of winter.

I now live at 51 degrees latitude and my kids go to school in daylight as school start an hour later here. For a few weeks in the winter daylight saving does make a tiny difference for their morning but not afternoon.

But as an adult daylight saving always went the wrong way as it means evenings get darker sooner. I don't care if I commute in the dark in the morning, but I do prefer to do things after school/work in some daylight/twilight.


>In California, daylight savings actually makes sense, it's a noticeable boost of daylight for your office commute in the winter.

So the plan is that instead of people working hours which suit and know about it we agree on a weird collective lie and get everyone to perform the clock-adjusting ritual


> So the plan is that instead of people working hours which suit and know about it we agree on a weird collective lie and get everyone to perform the clock-adjusting ritual

Well yeah. Much simpler to make the adjustment once, at an agreed upon time of year, than to have a hodgepodge of different companies, schools, retailers, bagel shops, etc. all move their hours independently. In that case you have a first-mover problem and nobody adjusts.

It's not a lie anymore than time zones themselves are lies. (i.e. Time zones don't follow strict longitudinal lines, they follow political boundaries instead, and are often wider or narrower than the 15° they "should" be)


>Well yeah. Much simpler to make the adjustment once, at an agreed upon time of year, than to have a hodgepodge of different companies, schools, retailers, bagel shops, etc. all move their hours independently

I'm not sure it is simpler to be honest. It's normal for companies to have different starting hours. I'm just about to move to a job where my official start is half an hour later. That increases to an hour with the actual time time I currently get into work.

Even without that, daylight savings is hodgepodge with different countries starting at different times. Ironically anti-daylight-savings people would be welcoming the current news as good when it will likely just mean more countries having daylight savings but not being consistent.

>It's not a lie anymore than time zones themselves are lies

I can't really disagree.


Why is I simpler???

You need to go to the post office, when does it open, 9, or 10? Did the lunch break change as well?

Was it the bank that changes hours on the first Monday of October or the school?

BrandX have announced they're changing their switch over date to the 3rd Wednesday of September, better add that to the diary.

Oh no I'm supposed to be starting work an hour earlier, but schools don't change till next week, what do I do with the kids.

Or

I get the first bus of the morning into work, but the bus timetable changes after the work timetable so I can't get into work on time for a week.

I can deal with different opening times, I can't easily deal with the inconsistency of all the opening times changing at different points for a month, twice a year.


It's not so weird, because the question "what time is it?" has a single authoritative source, and it can only be answered by a single authoritative source. (NIST in the US, right?)

But the question "when should we go to work?" doesn't have a single authoritative source, it all depends, it's all culture, it's all customs, everyone is free to do their own thing, but protestant work ethic bla bla bla, and here we are with most people starting work at 9, and if you don't, you're a weird slacker.

Yes, agreeing to start work at 10 in the winter is completely functionally equivalent with moving the clock forward an hour during winter, but it's just mentally impossible to implement because humans are weird like that.


Daylight saving time doesn't apply to the winter though.

Winter time is standard time, and DST is in effect during the summer months to better make use of the extra light available during summer by winding clocks an hour forward. The idea being that you get an extra hour of sun in the afternoon.


Yes, sorry, moving back to standard time provides a boost in winter.

Both clock adjustments provide different benefits, which is why we do both, to get both benefits. Abolishing DST means you pick one of the two.


The idea was actually to save power by extending the part of the day that had sunlight.

If “daylight savings” time is so great, why not keep it all year round? Why change at all?

The rationale for daylight savings in a southern latitude like California is this:

People generally wake up, and go to work the first thing in the morning. They would like to travel to work after sunrise. They would also like to maximize the amount of daylight they get to enjoy outside of work.

This means that in the summer, all the daylight before waking up is "wasted" so you want to move solar noon forward. But if you move it too far, it'll be pitch black when people get to work in the winter, which is why you then have daylight savings to move solar noon back a bit.

If you live further south, like Hawaii, the difference in length of day between winter and summer is very small, so you can't shift solar noon around. Therefore, Hawaii doesn't do daylight savings.

If you live further north, like Sweden, the difference in length of day between winter and summer is enormous, and in the summer the sun rises at like 3 in the morning with daylight savings, and in the winter the sun rises at 10 with standard time, and the rate of daylight change around the equinoxes is huge, so the effect only lasts a week or two. It makes absolutely no sense to have daylight savings there, and the EU parliament making it not mandatory for countries is a step in the right direction, i.e. abolish the useless thing in Sweden.

Spain and the other Mediterranean countries could maybe keep it for all I care, but Spain has a weirdly skewed solar noon anyway...


Living in Italy I get the feeling that people are overwhelmingly in favor of DST; I know I am.

I think the big screw up from EU was that after the poll (to which pretty much only Germans answered) they just said they would remove DST altogether instead of recognizing that different geographical regions have different needs.

They just wanted a no-cost change to say "see? we listen to people"; but pretty much everyone in southern Europe heard "see? Germans decide for everyone!", and nationalists party marched on it.

From the article it looks like they backtracked on it and they'll allow countries to choose to keep changing time twice a year; I sure hope so.


> Spain has a weirdly skewed solar noon anyway...

That's because they're mostly in the wrong timezone, they should be on Western European time like the UK and Portugal. Interestingly enough the reason for that is Hitler :)


> "see? Germans decide for everyone!"

Not exactly. The reason is themselves. They chose to have a dictator, and that dictator changed the timezone to match Hitler-time way back in the 1940s. Then they just never changed it back, even though their dictator finally died over 40 years ago. So they've made conscious choices to stay in the wrong timezone for almost 80 years now.

But can't we just leave the clocks unchanged and then let people wake up at sunrise and go to work and school as early as they like?

Since it’s getting dark earlier after work, how does this maximize daylight outside of work?

> They would like to travel to work after sunrise. They would also like to maximize the amount of daylight they get to enjoy outside of work.


Here's a pretty good graph that illustrates the concept:

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/san-francisco

DST ensure that sunrise is kept at around 6 in the morning, this removes the "waste" of daylight from before most people wake up, and moves it to after work hours in the summer.

Here's the same graph for Stockholm:

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/sweden/stockholm

There's not enough daylight in the winter to cover an entire working day and more, and there's too much daylight in the summer so everyone will "waste" it by sleeping, which makes DST pretty much useless.

Edit: Here's Honolulu for reference: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/honolulu

The band of daylight is almost the same width over the year, so moving it up and down doesn't do anything for people.


I live in the same latitude as Stockholm, and the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon is still nice in the summer, while having the sun rise one hour earlier would be more an annoyance than a benefit. We tried that, it was definitely not an improvement. I wouldn't actually mind keeping daylight savings time the whole year to reduce the time of the year when it's pitch black outside at all non-business hours.

Well the seasons don't give us much wiggle room here, so the thinking is to (1) make sure the sun has risen when you set off for work. If there's extra sunlight still, then (2) let's have that after work.

In the winter, you can't have both, so you pick #1. In the summer, you have "extra" sunlight that's being wasted on the sleeping, so you shift it to after work and get #1 and #2.


> "If “daylight savings” time is so great, why not keep it all year round?"

This is exactly what many countries are proposing. Rather than abolish summer time, just make it permanent.


Which is exactly the same as using standard time all year and then moving all your appointments 1 hour earlier for the rest of eternity.

Except that "noon" ceases to mean the time when the sun is highest in the sky equidistant between sunrise and sunset and "midnight" ceases to be the middle of the night.

In this respect, standard time makes more sense. In no respect does "daylight time" make more sense.

Still, anything that makes us stop changing the clocks twice a year is fine with me.


Solar noon coincides with noon for a pretty small amount of places, take a look at this map:

http://blog.poormansmath.net/images/SolarTimeVsStandardTimeV...

Only the thin stripes of white have it, for every other place solar noon is off by minutes, if not hours.


That's true. But almost everywhere in the continental US is within minutes.

The main reason is probably, especially at mid-northern latitudes (where a huge number of people live), absent DST conventional work/school hours would mean that biasing sunlight hours on the late side--which many/most people prefer in the summer--implies it would be dark when people leave their house on a winter morning. Among other things, this means kids wait for buses or go to school in the dark.

Personally, I'd be fine with shifting a time zone or two east and eliminating DST but I understand why a lot of people wouldn't.


Because getting into an office when it's still dark in winter is even more depressing than having less hours of light in the evening in summer

Please don’t do that. Sleep is really important, and waking up before sunrise is potentially detrimental to overall sleep in the population.

Yeah, uh, that doesn't work in northern Europe, or you'd have everyone asleep until 10.

On a meta note: It is always super interesting to me how fundamental people think that day length is, if they've never experienced living at different latitudes. The variations are absolutely enormous, and create very different mindsets. That said, seasonal mood disorders are very common in northern Europe for a reason.

Going to school or going to work hours before sunrise in the winter is just the way of things in northern Europe. You don't have a choice in the matter. The flipside is that having full daylight at 10 in the evening during summer is also just the way of things, and the almost non-existant night is a complete mindfuck for people used to less variations in day length.


you’re not wrong, however this is a gross oversimplification. If you are on a permanent daylight savings time at high latitudes, you will have more people staying up late and waking up early for a longer period of the year. The difference is not negligible. In fact Iceland (currently on permanent daylight savings time; where I have lived most of my life) is considering moving the clock closer to solar time. They are citing public health reasons for the move.

Also do check the daylight graphs I posted in other comments, but here's an example from northern Norway:

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/narvik

For a month of winter, there is no daylight at all. It is literally impossible to wake up after sunrise, because sunrise doesn't happen for an entire month.


In all fairness, that's northern Norway which is not where most people live. But the general point is valid. It's mostly the northern mid-latitudes where people want to optimize the clock relative to the sun for different times of year. Further north and further south, it doesn't matter as much (for different reasons).

The adverse effects of sleep deprivation accumulate. It does make sense to minimize the time you have to wake up before daylight.

> In California, daylight savings actually makes sense, it's a noticeable boost of daylight for your office commute in the winter.

Winter is in standard time, so DST has no effect on it. (Also, the standard time evening commute in CA is in darkness, and wouldn't be if it was in DST, so even if you are comparing the status quo against permanent DST rather than permanent standard time, that's still wrong.)

DST—“Summer Time”—maximizes post-9-5-working-hours daylight time (to promote shopping and other commercial and recreational activity) in summer, not commute-convenient daylight time in winter.


We have these other seasons in northern Europe, called autumn and spring.

Collectively bargain with your coworkers to work 8-4 instead of 9-5 then.

Nothing at all prevents workplaces from independently adopting their own biannual shift scheduling savings time if they want to. That argument against sane time that doesn't constantly change is "we don't have any power in our workplaces to see the change we want in our working conditions" and all I hear is "wouldn't it be nice if we had a union".


That only works with some types of work. Anything customer-facing is difficult to change. E.g. you may decide to open/close your restaurant or bakery at different times. It will probably be a very bad idea.

The point of “changing the clock” is that the clock synchronizes all alarm clocks, all contracts, all billboards, al timetables and schedules - so the change updates everything transactionally.


If schools also do not switch biannually (which of course they won't) that simply does not work for families with children.

Are schools also 09:00-17:00 where you live? Where I grew up they were 09:00-15:30.

Not exactly good for commmunters anyway. Why would shifting things by an hour make much difference, when alternate arrangements are needed regardless?


Here elementary schools are 8:30-16:30 while middle schools are 8:00-13:00 (but they can stay at home alone in the afternoon). On the other hand working hours are usually more like 9:30-18:00 (8 hours plus lunch break). Dinner starts around 19 or even 19:30.

It's common to have parents take the kids to school and grandparents or neighbors pick them up, and also the schools open earlier than the time classes start. However, if the parents were to start working at 8:30 with a 45 minutes commute, they still wouldn't have time to take the kids to school and then reach their workplace in time.


> "Let's all switch to UTC to solve this problem once and for all!"

"Who is this?"

"Hello Uncle Steve!"

"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Uncle Steve asks, sounding as if he is still asleep.

"Of course I do, and so do you! It's 04:25 on Saturday... everywhere." I add a dramatic emphasis to the last word.

"But do you know what 04:25 on Saturday signifies in Melbourne?"

"Breakfast time?"

I can actually hear him rubbing his eyes.

"We don't centre our waking/sleeping cycle on solar noon, fool nephew," Uncle Steve explains. "We centre the school day on solar noon. In countries above and below certain latitudes, where seasonal variation in the amount of daylight is significant, it's important for there to be the maximum amount of light when children are going to school in the morning, and coming home from school in the afternoon. Here in Melbourne, solar noon is about 10:30 Standard Time, so the average school day is timetabled from 07:00 to 14:00, and a typical working day runs from about 07:00 to 15:00. That means that on a working day, I get up at 05:00, at the earliest."

"Ooogh. Sorry. That's about two hours later than I reckoned," I tell him.

"I know," he replies.

"I didn't know you did that in Australia," I say. "That deliberate misalignment of the diurnal routine. Does every country do it?"

"No. Equatorial countries don't, because they get plenty of light all year round. Temperate countries do, though. The technical term for it is 'daylight saving'."

I blink.

"And 05:00 is when I get up on a working day," Uncle Steve continues. "On Saturdays, I like to lie in. Until solar noon, if possible. That's more than five hours from now."

I'm beaten. "I guess I have no idea what 04:25 on Saturday signifies. It used to be pretty universal, but now where I live it signifies a time to go out and get drunk..."

"And where I live," Uncle Steve says, "it signifies a hangover."

"The same time of day on the same day of the week means many different things to different people all over the world," I say. "Too many to remember them all."

"Yeah," Uncle Steve grumbles. "It would be neat if there was a lookup table for that kind of thing."

https://qntm.org/abolish


At least UTC would be better than Swatch .beat time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time

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