Earlier this week the European Parliament voted 384 to 153 to review whether Daylight Saving Time is actually worth it. Although the resolution it voted on was non-binding, the majority reflected a growing dissatisfaction with a system that has been used by the US, Canada, most of Europe, and regions in Asia, Africa, and South America for decades.
The resolution asked the European Commission to review the costs and benefits of Daylight Saving Time. If the EU were to abolish Daylight Saving Time, it would need approval of the majority of EU member states and EU Parliament members.
Last week's vote to reconsider seasonal time change was proposed after 70,000 Finnish citizens signed a petition to end Daylight Saving Time, according to German-based international broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Ireland Member of European Parliament (MEP) Sean Kelly has been working to stop time changes as well.
"We think that there's no need to change the clocks," Kelly said to Deutsche Welle. "It came in during World War One, it was supposed to be for energy savings—the indications are that there are very few energy savings, if any—and there are an awful lot of disadvantages to both human beings and animals that make it outdated at this point."
The claim that setting clocks an hour ahead in spring doesn't save energy or make societies safer is often used by Daylight Saving opponents. In the past, when lighting a home was the primary driver of electricity consumption, adjusting clocks to take advantage of late-evening sunlight might have made a dent in that consumption. But in today's world, air conditioning and electronics are also significant portions of electricity demand, and optimizing business hours to coincide with daylight hours doesn't significantly impact that draw of electricity.
On the other hand, an extra hour of daylight in the evening is often good for tourism-dependent industries. Deutsche Welle wrote that EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said regardless of how the EU proceeds, it's important that the whole European Economic Area stay on the same page.
Still, it seems that choosing whether to stick with winter time or summer time is key in a transition away from Daylight Saving Time. Years ago, Russia tried to go on permanent summer time, but changed to permanent winter time in 2014 after the summer-time-in-winter change gave people stress and health problems when it stayed darker for longer during winter mornings, according to the BBC.
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Transcript of cartoon
At the top of the strip, there’s a drawing of various unidentifiable shapes floating in a licked in a pot. Lettering on top of the drawing, in cheerfully cartoony letters, says “Toxic Masculinity Stew.”
A man in a chef’s shirt talks directly to the viewer. He has a mustache, is bald, and looks to be middle-aged but vigorous. He’s holding a long spoon in one hand and making a “thumb’s up” sign at the viewers with his other hand; there are various bowls arrayed in front of him, with neon green stuff in the bowls, and a big stew pot to his right. (Throughout this strip, all colors are a bit desaturated and dull, other than the neon green.)
CHEF: Welcome! Today we’ll be making “toxic masculinity stew.” Yum!
The chef is stirring some neon green stuff in a pan.
CHEF: We’ll start by sautéing some feelings. We’ll bury these at the bottom of the pot, so no one will ever see them!
The chef hold out a neon-green egg towards the viewer. The egg is visibly cracked.
CHEF: Add a delicate sense of manhood. The slightest thing can make boys feel that this has been shattered! What fun!
The Chef mixes something in a bowl.
CHEF: In a separate bowl, put ht eidea that “the sex” is something held by women. Mix it with the belief that if a man can’t get “the sex” from a woman, one way or the other… Then he’s not a real man at all!
From above the pot, we see the chef’s hand holding a shaker (like a salt shaker) and sprinkling neon green specs into the stew.
CHEF: Now sprinkle in lots of gear of being soft or gentle or vulnerable. Nothing spoils this dish quicker than boys accepting these parts of themselves!
The Chef holds out a spoon towards the viewer. The spoon is dripping with a thick, neon-green liquid.
CHEF: Simmer for 10-40 years and there you have it… a lovely toxic masculinity stew! It tastes repulsive and bitter, but don’t worry. They’ll eat it up.
A tiny panel below the bottom of the strip shows a woman yelling at the cartoonist.
WOMAN: Criticizing how society harms men means you’re anti-male!