Sunday, 27 March 2011

au revoir, GMT

We're now into spring, and the days are getting longer. The vernal equinox (equal day and night, sunrise at 6am, sunset at 6pm, 12h of daylight), on 20 March this year, is past. (It's a bit more complicated than that, of course: according to The Weather Channel website in York UK on 20 March, sunrise was 6.08 GMT, sunset 18:17 GMT, with 12h 9min of daylight. And it's a bit light before sunrise and after sunset, during twilight.)

York UK sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times, graph,
Yesterday sunrise was 5:53 GMT, sunset 18:28 GMT, with 12h 35min of daylight. Today, sunrise was 6:51 BST, sunset 19:30 BST, with 12h 39min of daylight.

Every year we hear this argument: "let's keep BST all year round, so we can have have more daylight in the evening!" Very few focus on the fact this means less daylight in the morning (very few except those pesky northerners with their later winter sunrises, of course).

Well, I think getting up in the dark is about as uncivilised as you can get. When I Rule the World, the second thing I will do is make it illegal to require anyone to get up in the dark. (The first thing I will do is outlaw lettuce.)

Neil McNabb, Sunrise on Millennium Bridge, York,
At the winter solstice in York, sunrise is 8:21 GMT, and sunset is 15:44 GMT, with 7h 23 min of daylight. So it's dark when I get up, still dark when I get to work, and dark again when I leave work. Ugh. (But the long summer evenings do make up for it. As I keep reminding myself in the depths of winter. Constantly.)

Those BST-all-year-rounders want me to wait for sunrise for an extra hour,
that's until 9:21 in the worst case, just so I can enjoy that extra hour of afternoon sunshine until ... wait for it ... 16:44. Well, no thanks. Dark mornings are bad enough, without making them longer! (I remember waiting in the pitch dark for the bus to school, back in the early 1970s, when this was last tried. It was not pleasant.)

If you want more sunshine, arrange flexible working times, and get up an hour earlier, in the dark, by yourself. Just don't force me to do it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment