Daylight Saving Time ended yesterday and how lovely it was to have daylight just after 6:30.
Not everyone is happy with the change and someone has started a petition to make DST permanent.
If people petitioning against changing clocks were doing so to stop them going forward in spring I’d sign.
If someone petitioned to start daylight saving later and finish it earlier I’d support them.
But keep DST all year? Absolutely not.
Proponents of permanent DST appear not to understand how little daylight there is in the middle of winter and the impact the sun rising would have.
Weather watch explains what happens at the winter solstice:
In the Deep South (Southland) the total amount of available sunlight at the moment (that means, if it’s not a cloudy day and you have a clear sunrise and sunset) is around 8 and a half hours each day. While in northern New Zealand it’s slightly longer at 9 and three quarter hours. Around 9 hours in the middle etc.
In practice that means sunrise and sunset times in the middle of winter are 7:33am and 5:11pm in Auckland; 7:47am and 4:58pm in Wellington; 8:03am and 4:59 in Christchurch and 8:20am and 4:59pm in Dunedin.
If clocks stayed forward the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:33 in Auckland, 8:47 in Wellington, 9:03 in Christchurch and 9:20 in Dunedin. Further north the sun would rise a little earlier and set a little later, further south and it would rise even later and set earlier.
Children would be going to school in the dark. Farmers, tradies and all other outside workers wouldn’t have enough light to work until an hour later than now; and roads would be icier later in the day.
For what gain?
What use would people in Auckland make of daylight to 6:11 instead of an hour earlier when it’s cold and, often wet? What would people in Dunedin do if the sun was up until 5:59?
Some proponents of permanent DST suggest adopting different time zones. Large countries do that with times changing as you move from east to west.
But how practical would it be to have different time zones from north to south?
It would complicate life for anyone operating nationwide and for people with family and friends in different areas.
It simply wouldn’t be worth the bother for a little more light for a little longer on cold evenings.
One argument for permanent DST is the disruption to body clocks when the time changes. It is said to negatively affect circadian alignment, sleep health, viral immunity, and longevity
It always feels a bit like jet lag without having had a holiday.
If that is a strong enough argument for not altering clocks, keep them where they are in spring. Don’t inflict on us the many problems of darker mornings for so little gain of light on cold winter evenings.