Parliamentary Proposal To Change Time Submitted - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Parliamentary Proposal To Change Time Submitted

Published November 2, 2014

Photos by
Paul Fontaine

A new parliamentary proposal from multiple parties would, if passed, set the Icelandic clock back by one hour in the winter.

The proposal has the support of MPs from every parliamentary party except the Left-Greens, and is led by Bright Future. It points out that the Icelandic clock has been set to a kind of “permanent summertime” since 1968, and is never set forward nor back over the years. This, the proposal contends, causes all kinds of problems.

“Due to this anachronism, most Icelanders are familiar with the chilling feeling of having to wake up for work or school in total darkness for a large part of the year,” the proposal contends. “In reality, it is still night in Iceland, compared to the path of the Sun, when Icelanders go to work at 8:00 or 8:30 by the current clock. If the clock was set back by one hour, the mornings would be brighter well into November, and would begin to be bright again in late January.”

The proposal argues that our unchanging clocks affect our health, which in turn puts pressure on the health care system, as “Icelanders take more medication for depression and sleep than neighbouring countries”. In addition, changing the clocks would put Icelandic time more in harmony with how time is adjusted in numerous other countries around the world.

As reported, general practitioner Vilhjálmur Ari Arason has pointed out the possible health effects an unchanging clock can have on the human body. As it is, Iceland, Russia and Belarus are the only European countries which do not observe European Summer Time, which sets the clocks forward or back by one hour with the changing of the seasons.

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