Lighter later, darker later

I wrote a longer version of this originally, but managed to bore myself. I don’t think Lighter Later will ever be as successful as the (slightly contradictory) predictions imply. It will also be overall bad news for my own personal low-carbon commute. And it’s a shame that we’ve decided it’s easier to change the clocks than to change human behaviour. And I’m sad that we’ve accepted that the argument about changing clocks has always been basically between city lifestyles and country livelihoods, and that the city has won by strength of population and statistics.

But if people in Shetland can deal with it then I can bloody deal with it. I’m not going to fight the likes of Mayer Hillman on gut instinct and a hatred of the CBI alone. It’s certainly not worth it for the deaths of 60-odd cyclists a year.

So good luck, Lighter Later. Besides: anything to annoy the Daily Mail.

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6 Responses to Lighter later, darker later

  1. looby says:

    Hasn’t worked on the Daily Mail readers. As at 3pm today 55% of the respondents to the poll had voted yes to the proposal to adopt what the Mail calls “Berlin time”. Although that may include lots of people like myself who voted against the proposal in the article in sympathy with your closing sentiments.

  2. sbalb says:

    Yeah, who knows. I mean, I don’t know what good it will ultimately achieve. But reactionariness and solipsism are two qualities I despise, so there’s no justification for my aiming of either of them at an organization I support.

  3. I wondered if you’d seen more of Mayer Hillman – a rather remarkable man

    http://www.mayerhillman.com/Cycling-walking.aspx

    Not only to be associated with LD/DL, but still cycling and walking in his 90s and an advocate for children’s independence ‘… marked reduction in children’s overall activity outside the home free of overt adult supervision. This freedom has tended to be withdrawn largely on account of parental fears of road crashes and ‘stranger danger’..children’s independent travel has been dramatically curtailed.’ Many who’ve grown up in this long peace (for UK since 1945) can be surprisingly fearful of the world, especially when it comes to risks affecting our children. A while ago I wrote about this to Mayer, who I’ve met a couple of times:
    http://democracystreet.blogspot.com/2007/06/cowardice-and-hollowing-out-of-city.html
    He’s never anything but kind, but since I started teaching in Australia and NZ I’ve not found it easy to talk to him as I know he turns down lecture invites that entail air-miles. Thanks for your blog, which is linked on mine.

  4. sbalb says:

    Thanks for the comment: I’ve returned the link now! Would comment further but am in a mad rush to try to get everything finished.

  5. Colin says:

    Er, um. Isn’t changing the clocks just a way of changing human behaviour? It’s not as if we had timezones before the Railway Clearing House, after all.

    • smallbeds says:

      I didn’t really want to get into this, as my opinion on the matter is rather pessimistic; but I see Lighter Later as less a behavioural change than a behavioural accountancy trick. You’re basically drastically (if not radically) changing circumstances, instead of motivating people to behave differently within existing circumstances; so their unaltered behaviour patterns no longer fit circumstances in exactly the same way; hence by subtracting the new context from the old context you achieve a saving in carbon emissions.

      This makes it closer to what the Gladwellians would call a nudge, and as such it has little or no permanence: “behavioural change interventions appear to work best when they’re part of a package of regulation and fiscal measures,” All it takes is a bigger nudge from the CBI and its members to spend, spend, spend – and bang goes your carbon savings.

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