Friday, 25 October 2013

What is so mean about Greenwich Mean Time?

What is so mean about Greenwich Mean Time?

Winter GMT photo fc58ad77-f3da-4645-8a14-29331b02869a.jpg

For many years in the UK we have been obliged by law to put our clocks forward one hour to British Summer Time (BST) in Spring, and to put them back an hour to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in Autumn. This makes me very grumpy in October. In fact, Greenwich is a very mean time for the majority of people in the UK because it means that it suddenly gets dark in the afternoon, just when we are out enjoying the Autumn sun.

It gets even meaner as we approach December when it becomes dark at 15.30 in the afternoon. This means the winter is very dreary and depressing due to lack of light. Not to mention the increased use of electric lighting - which worsens the climate change and emissions problem, and the size of our energy bills!

Perhaps the meanest thing about GMT is that the early dark causes hundreds of deaths and serious injuries on our roads that could be avoided if the UK stopped putting the clocks back. Many of these casualties are children who would get home safely if it were still daylight when they left school.

So why do we do it? We are told it is because some farmers in the far north of Scotland complain that it does not get light there until 10.00 am. But does that justify the whole of the UK changing to GMT and sacrificing precious children and daylight for a tiny minority in the North? I think not. What is there to prevent Scotland from setting it's own time zones? Nothing at all. Then we would all be happy. There is no reason either to have to fit in with other European Summer Time zones.

So I support the campaign to stop putting the clock backwards and forwards every six months, and to remain on BST. My manual clocks and watches will remain on BST, except my computers, phone and video player, which are happy little robots that do what the government says without complaint.

© Martha Magenta

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