Lighter Evenings, Energy And Health

‘Incremental’ is the mode of choice when we talk about the massive changes required for the sustainability of ourselves and our planet. People find it hard to make large or sudden changes, so we try to do them bit by bit. Seen like this, the benefits of daylight ‘saving’, keeping lighter evenings, become increasingly compelling.
The big health news of the past week or two has been obesity… how it’s becoming an epidemic and how difficult it will be to reverse the demands which people being overweight put on the health services and on the exchequer.
Then we are told that we must conserve energy in every way possible. Carbon expenditure must, urgently, be reduced, climate change is happening even more quickly than we had thought.
Looking for solutions
In these contexts it is surprising that the sensible advice about behaviour adaption – go gently, to take people with you – has not yet been applied to the benefits of ‘daylight saving’.
We know that lighter evenings offer more encouragement for people to take exercise; we know that the extra light also reduces fuel demands. (Jim Fiore estimated recently that in the US context ‘only’ 0.25% savings would be achieved – but that’s a massive amount of oil which could be conserved with no effort by anyone.)
Joined up thinking
The clocks go back on Sunday, tomorrow, 28 October, at 2 a.m. From then on until next March (British Summer Times begins on 30 March, with the new US Daylight Saving Time starting on 9 March) we shall have afternoon murk.
Scottish farmers may be happy with these murky afternoons, and they are of course welcome to any arrangement the Scottish Parliament wants to make. For the rest of us, a bit of (evening) light needs to be shed on the subject of incremental health and energy improvements.

The full debate about BST is in the section of this website entitled
BST: British Summer Time & ‘Daylight Saving’ (The Clocks Go Back & Forward)…..

See also:
Making The Most Of Daylight Saving: Research On British Summer Time
Save Our Daylight: Victor Keegan’s Pledge Petition
The Clocks Go Forward…And Back… And Forward…
British Summer Time Draws To A Close
Time Is Energy (And ‘Clocks Forward’ Daylight Uses Less)
The Clocks Go Forward … But Why, Back Again?
Join the discussion of this article which follows the book E-store…

Posted on October 27, 2007, in BST: British Summer Time And 'Daylight Saving', Education, Health And Welfare, Sustainability As If People Mattered and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Just a reminder that there are on this site quite a lot of other articles (and commentaries) on this topic, too…. please see top left hand side as above*.
    Thanks for all the comments so far.
    * or go direct to the “British Summer Time and Daylight Saving” topic category on this site (see LH column of Home page) for the whole debate so far, by clicking on ‘Hilary & BST’ below:

  2. hi.
    ive set up a group on facebook to raise support of and debate the possibilities and benefits regarding changes/trials of different time zone options for Britain.
    Do you want more sunlight in Britain?
    Type Common Interest – Current Events
    Description Putting forward some reasons to abandon (or trial an alternative to) the current system of BST/GMT. This could reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reduce road deaths, facilitate business with Europe, potentially boost tourism, increase outdoor activity, promote healthier lifestyles and enhance the well being of UK citizens.

  3. You won’t get evening light in the middle of winter anyway. Instead of putting on the light at four p.m , you’d put it on at five p.m., and that’s hardly “evening” is it?
    And if you save electicity in the evening, you still have to use it in the morning, so where’s the saving? Or have I missed something somewhere?

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