Central European Summer Time: Why?

Central European Summer Time: Why?


Once a year in the spring, countries all over
the world put their clocks forward one hour in order to “save daylight”. Countless millions of people lose an hour’s sleep,
and it’s all the fault of one man: Kaiser Wilhelm II, he of
the extraordinary facial hair. Well, it’s true that the Germans were
the first to introduce daylight savings time, on 30th April 1916 as part of the war effort. And not just Germany:
Austria-Hungary did the same. And then Britain and France
thought that it was such a great idea, that they immediately followed suit. Why did they do this? It was to save fuel. The logic was that because people
would go to bed an hour earlier, they wouldn’t need so much
artificial light in the evenings, thus saving oil. But although the Germans and Austro-Hungarians
were the first to actually implement the idea, they didn’t come up with it. It was first suggested in 1895 by a Brit living in New Zealand
called George Vernon Hudson. And even he was inspired by Benjamin Franklin, who, over a century previously, had noted that a lot of people were wasting a lot
of precious fuel on artificial light. It would help, he said, if people
got up earlier in the morning and went to bed earlier in the evening. So to help save fuel in the First World War,
several European countries actually did it. And then, after the war,
most of them dropped it again, because it had been very unpopular. Most. Well, half. Great Britain kept daylight savings time. France did eventually drop it, after numerous
protests from farmers, in 1922. And re-introduced it in 1923. Various places experimented with the idea. In the US and Canada, this was done on a local
level, which could be really confusing: there were even some cases of cities where
some neighbourhoods had daylight savings time, and some didn’t. Not until the second half of the 20th century did daylight savings become a regular thing
in a large number of countries. Mostly, it was a response to
the oil crisis of the 1970s — remember, the original idea was to save fuel. But even now that the oil crisis is over — and in any case we are using
more renewable energy — we still have daylight savings time. And increasing numbers of people
are asking the question: “Why?” Well, it may be because these days we are
increasingly concerned about conserving energy. The problem is that there doesn’t seem
to be very much evidence to show that daylight savings time
actually saves energy. As far back as 1916, the first year this was tried, experts were saying if there was an effect, it was negligible. In fact, when daylight savings time
was introduced to Indiana in 2006, energy consumption rose by 1% — possibly because people were
running their air-conditioners for longer. And a year previously,
the German government had confirmed that daylight savings time had
almost no effect on energy consumption. Pretty much nobody these days thinks that
changing the clocks is a good idea. According to one quote doing
the rounds of the internet at the moment, an unnamed Native American
is supposed to have said: “Only a white man would cut the top
off his blanket, sew it to the bottom, and think that he has a longer blanket.” But until governments can be persuaded to
stop messing with our clocks twice a year, we’re stuck with it. The German government, while conceding that
daylight savings time is basically pointless, isn’t prepared to change the status quo
without the rest of the EU. And so, for now at least, if you live in the EU, you need to know that the clocks go forward
one hour on the last Sunday in March, and back again on the last Sunday in October. For absolutely no reason. Thanks for watching. If you’d like to
send me a postcard, here’s the address. And don’t forget to visit my website
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to special bonus content and help with the costs of running this channel, please consider making a small
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60 comments on “Central European Summer Time: Why?

  1. Why are you saying "Daylight savings time"? I thought it was "Daylight saving time" without the s.
    What I find most confusing is that different parts of the world change at different times of the year (and Australia is the worst mess of all).

  2. It's funny people will complain about 'Daylight saving time" take it away and different people will complain that they took it away . Seems you can't win either way..LOL

  3. It makes more sense in Norway during the winter, it gets really dark when we only have a few hours of natural light, but really we should just keep it on "winter-time" since during the summer the sun barley go below the horizon.
    I just realised this is a problem that central Europeans came up with… *facepalm

  4. Ich mag die Sommerzeit. Es ist schön, wenn es im Sommer richtig lange hell ist. Persönlich ist es für mich uninteressant wenn es morgens um 4.00 hell wird aber es ist schön abends um 22.00 noch im Hellen draußen sitzen zu können.

  5. I like DST, not for the energy but because it's longer daylight in the evening. Yes I know that's not actually happening, but the quip about cutting off from the blanket to attach it to the other end misses the point. The thing is that most human activities take place asymmetrically in respect to the course of the sun. We get up when the sun is already up (in summer anyway), and we go to bed when it's dark. So we miss some dailight hours in the morning. The idea of DST is to correct for this asymmetry so you have more chances that whatever you're doing during the day happens in daylight. While this might not conserve a noticeable amount of fuel, it makes life a little more pleasant.

  6. Ups. There seams to be different sources. In Berlin it was changed at 1. May 1916.
    Maybe one date is when it was fixed by law and the other when it was done by citizen?

  7. I have to disagree with you for the first time after watching hundreds of your terrific videos. It is wonderful to be able to walk around on a summer's night when it's still light. It encourages us to get out and socialise far more than if it was dark an hour earlier. Summer time is good for us physically and socially. Here in Melbourne, we're about to change back to winter time and I'm not looking forward to gloomy nights.

  8. How about a world-time with one single time zone? No more confusing hour-switching just by crossing some arbitrary line. Noon would occur at a different times in different places, which also reflects reality.
    We could also change the calendar to 13 months a year with exactly 4 weeks each + 1 new year's day = 365 days. A lot less confusing. Why the hell not?

  9. If anything we should keep DST and ditch everything else. What the fuck would we need light for before we get up in the morning?

    Allow me to rant about the people wanting to change the entire system so it's the same across all of Europe. I just talked to one the other day and I'm still angry at his fucking ignorance honestly..

    The whole debacle surrounding people wanting to ditch DST entirely really seems to be an issue made up by egocentric and ignorant southern Europeans at the expense of everyone else. People even slightly north is used to getting up in pitch black conditions half the year as it is, so the whole "It's easier to get up when it's light out." is just a garbage argument made up by people who've never been anywhere near the north.
    Getting up while it's light out is more of a novelty for half of Europe ffs, and now they just get even less daylight after they get off work up there, because someone idiotic decided that it was suddenly a problem to have DST…

    Sometimes I really wish we could just return to pre-EU times where people didn't make up issues like this one. It seems like in these EU-days people are suddenly noticing differences across the continent and we certainly can't have that, can we? Sure, we pretend that we like diversity but not when it comes to European issues, cultures etc. Then everything MUST be the same now. Because as we all clearly know, Spain and Iceland and Latvia are basically the same culture anyway, right? GRRR!
    What's next? Is some moron going to notice that we have time zones "for absolutely no reason" as well and force a change so people in Sweden, Norway, Finland etc. end up living in perpetual darkness just so southerners don't have to change their time when traveling?

    It's such utter nonsense to even worry about these things, why would they have to be remotely similar all over Europe in the first place? Now, there is something without any good explanation.
    News Flash for the seemingly ignorant people further south, different countries are located at different latitudes which results in a country getting more or less light during the day. So what the southerners are saying "Fuck the northerners who barely get any light at all. IT HAS TO BE THE SAME EVERYWHERE!" for absolutely no reason what so ever. The southerners don't have the same light issues that the north have, so why would the regulations be the same in the first fucking place? And if you absolutely want them to be the same for whatever nonsensical reason, why the hell would it be the light-starved part of Europe having to lose an hour of light for the others? How about the sunny part loses an hour instead?

    This is yet another of those "issues" that will just breed anti-EU/anti-European cooperation sentiment if it ever actually gets to that level, as the idiot I talked to was hoping for. With a change absolutely nothing of value is gained but the darkest part of Europe just gets darker. Great way to win support with the least pro-EU part of Europe… Really…

    Okay, rant over.. YAY SUMMER TIME!

  10. Nein, man spart keine Energie, aber man gewinnt diese herrlich langen wundervollen Nachmittage für die Freizeit. Das allein rechtfertig das. Es gibt jedoch eine noch bessere Idee, die auch zu diesem Ziel führt, ohne das Umstellungschaos: Statt den Mittag mit der amtlichen Zeit zu verknüpfen, nimmt man den astronomischen Sonnenaufgang und definiert das z.B. als 06:00 morgens. Beim Zeitzeichensender DCF77 wird dann täglich gemacht, was bisher nur 2 x im Jahr passiert, alle Funkuhren (das sind heutzutage fast alle) würden dadurch automatisch nachgestellt. Man hätte dann wie "in der guten alten Zeit" gewissermaßen eine biologische Zeit, ohne den Vorteil der modernen Sychronistation zu verlieren.

  11. Okay, switching the time twice a year is uncomgy, but why not keep the "summertime" and dump the "wintertime"? No switching and ling light summernights. But no one seems to argue for that.

  12. I rarely start working before 9.30 am, so as far as I'm concerned, we should ditch the regular time and keep the summer time.

  13. Main Energy consumers in homes are Cooking & Heating. Both are not effected by the time when its going to be dark, you cook and heat anyway. Our Light (LEDs) are so efficient today that 1h less illumination doesn't change anything.

  14. Wintertime was the real time before summertime was invented. I dont know why everybody wants summertime. I want only the wintertime back und daylight till 23 o clock in the summer

  15. I’m getting up quite early in the morning. It’s has just begun to get light at this time. Now I’ll have another 4 weeks until it’s at this point again. This whole summer time thing is just stupid. In fact winter time is the normal time so why not keep everything normal and simple. And would suggest and the nice summer evenings some people are out even it’s gotten dark. So much for saving energy.

  16. Just read an interesting article about the subject on Spiegel Online: http://www.spiegel.de/einestages/sommerzeit-einfuehrung-1980-zeitumstellung-in-ddr-und-brd-a-1025254.html

  17. If we abolish having to change our clocks twice a year (which is done mostly automatically nowadays anyway), then I'd love to have that summer time all year round, because in winter it makes me really depressed that it gets dark once you've eaten lunch.

  18. Here in Australia, we currently have 5 time zones for 6 states and 2 territories. Our clocks go back an hour on April 1st for those of us in states that observe DST. There will be a week where countries in both hemispheres are on summer time, which is kind of silly. I would much prefer DST to be abolished. While the extra hour of daylight is nice, It will be a bit easier to sleep at night during the hot Australian summer. In Australia, I would argue that remaining on standard time would save energy. Lighting is much more energy efficient in this day and age, while more and more people have air conditioners and will run them an hour longer in the summer.

  19. Wir haben das letztens im Club besprochen und waren uns schnell einig:
    Die halbjährliche Umstellen der Uhr ist Quatsch. Wir wollen es abends IMMER länger hell!

  20. Nobody cares about saving energy. Daylight savings time is about being able to have a cappuccino at 10 PM outside while having natural light, being able to go swimming at 9:30 pm not in the dark.
    It's about leisure time, not about rational and logical arguments.
    Any politician trying to take it away will share the fate of those who think too loud about introducing a speed limit on the Autobahn.
    if you want to witness a bloody riot in Germany try to take away daylight savings time.

  21. "not prepared to change it without the eu" iam not 100% sure about this, but i thought it cant be changed without the eu because the eu contracts state something about harmonized timezone. so ifthat is true it would mean that germany would violate eu law if our clock says 15.00 and everyone elses clock in the eu says 14.00

  22. i also opt for staying on summer time. it would also be nice if in winter the sun would not set at 5 pm but at 6 pm. It would solve the 'go to work in the dark, get home in the dark' problem.

  23. I like to have summertime. In summer I can sit in the beergarden until 10pm or 22:00 hours; without it would get dark at 9pm or 21:00 hours.

  24. Oh, and what a joy it is for the programmers around the world, if only you knew.

  25. don't complain you folks in Germany! We, people in Spain, are in a much worse situation, we have the same time Poland has! I think this shows that everything, including time, can be used for political purposes (EU, or Franco-German empire as some call it here), why don't we vote this on a referendum???

  26. Ham wir immer schon so gemacht. Nur weil es keinen Sinn ergibt, hören wir doch jetzt nicht damit auf!
    Herzlichst – Deutschland.

  27. I like it, because I can stay out an hour longer in summer and when I wake up it's the sun has already risen anyway. If it would rise an hour early while I'm still sleeping it would be a wasted hour for me.
    People who have to get up at 5 or 6 a.m. may disagree, but for me it works.

    The only problem in the winter is that when I get up it's dark and when I leave school it's dark again. If we would use the summer time for that I could enjoy some free time with daylight, but on my way to school would be no light.

    Conclusion: I like daylight savings time and HATE the winter.(it's cold and dark)

  28. To all the people saying things like "nothing prevents you from getting up earlier": you don't seem to get the point of people arguing pro DST so let me give an example:
    If your boss says you can not leave office before 17:00 and let's say sunset is at 21:00 then you have 4 hours of daylight left after work.
    There is nothing you can do about that besides get yourself a new job.
    DST basically shifts sunset from 21:00 to 22:00 so you now have 5 hours of daylight after work.
    Yes you could argue why not do whatever you do in that additional hour in the morning before work instead.
    But that simply is not the same … you would not sit outside with your friends having a barbecue at 8:00 in the morning …
    That is why I love DST and if things ever got to be changed then I would vote for keeping DST as the future standard time around the year.
    I do understand that this mostly is an advantage for people with standard 9 to 5 office jobs though.

  29. I like the concept. Honestly I've never thought of it to save energy but more so to actually use more of the daylight. I don't need the sun to rise at six o' clock in the morning, I'm still asleep then. I'd rather have a longer evening.

  30. Since I have to get up early everyday I loved winter time. These past weeks were so nice when the sun was rising when i had to wake up and shining once I left the house and this morning was just terrible 🙁

  31. DST *kills*. Every year, for about a week after the clocks change, there's a noticeable uptick in road accidents and deaths, on account of bleary-eyed drivers struggling to get to work an hour earlier.

  32. Wie wurde eigentlich festgestellt, dass die Sommerzeit keine Energie spart? Müsste man dafür nicht ein Jahr auf die Umstellung verzichten und messen, wieviel dann tatsächlich verbraucht wurde?

  33. The bad thing is that Germany is a country of earlybirds. When you have to get up between 5 and 6 in the morning to be at work between 7 and 8 it makes no sense to get up even earlier between March and May and over again in September and October. The light you save in the afternoon and evening you waste in the morning hours. We were happy that we got up at dawn from end of February to last week and then found ourselves plunged back into darkness last Monday. Only in the short time between late May till August will you get up at daylight during summertime and still enjoy a long evening outside or with little lights on at home.

  34. Mich nervt der Wechsel von Winter- auf Sommerzeit und wieder zurück. Etwa zwei Wochen benötigt mein Körper für die Umstellung. Während der Umstellung bin ich Müde, gereizt und habe Probleme mich zu konzentrieren. Ich wäre sehr froh, wenn dieser (in meinen Augen) Blödsinn endlich aufhören würde. Die längeren Sommerabende sind für mich belanglos.

  35. Personally at the moment DST doesn't hit me any more as I am starting to work late. But I think DST should be abolished, because it hits school children hardest. Studies have shown that most children's internal clock isn't ready yet for learning so early in the day as most schools in Germany start. As a child, me too, despite being an early bird, I found it hard having to leave for school at 7.15am in the complete dark again after it had just started to get feel a bit better (and getting up that early). Many children cycle, they can't sit in the comfort of their own warm car yet, just putting again the heating on when it is again still too cold one hour earlier. Many adults, especially those without children, can make up for the time change by working flexitime, if they don't enjoy the time change, but the children don't have the choice and they couldn't even vote in a referendum if it ever came that far. Peasants who have become a minority in our societies and their animals also have a hard time with that time change. A cow can't just change their milk rhythm from one day to the next and it is hard to get up one hour earlier when you are already getting up at 4am or 5am (I also had times in my life when I got up that early, so I know how a time change then feels). So I am rather for expanding flexitime to as many jobs as possible than to enforce a DST to all those who then don't have any possibility to avoid it. It can be nice when one gets home late, but it is a pain, when one has to get up very early in the morning.

  36. I hate Summer time (not summertime, that I love). I hate it because it messes my internal clock and I spend several weeks feeling fatigued and out of sorts.
    If they want Summer time, fine, but stick with it, don't make me change my biorhythms two times a year for no reason.

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