Changing the clocks doesn’t give more daylight

It must be time to change the clocks again, the news is full of the biannual demand to mess around with the timekeeping system still further. 123

One of the proposals to it move to what is being termed “Single/Double Summer Time” (SDST) — why not just call it what it is — Central European Time. Although I suppose that this wouldn’t go down too well with some parts of the electorate — after all, it has the word “European” in it, so it must be bad.

There are plenty claims and counter-claims about whether this would save lives & energy, or increase accidents in the summer/winter (delete as applicable). Fordyce Maxwell agrees somewhat

There are still enthusiasts for double summer time, plucking figures freely from the air. This month it is “introduce double summer time to provide more than 8,000 jobs and boost tourism income by £3.5 billion”.

I still stand by what I wrote 3½ years ago (although I can’t say I actually follow this, I like lying in bed in the mornings too much).

The obvious answer, with no associated cost, is for people to just get up earlier! We have changed our habits over the past few hundred years, with the advent of the electric light, to stay up well past sunset. If we want to enjoy more of the natural sunlight, why don’t we just match our activities to the daylight, rather than messing about with our clock system!

Plus, the laws planetary motion dictate when the sun rises and sets. Adding one to our arbitrary counting system isn’t going to change that. Unless Newton et. al. missed something rather critical!