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Turning Back Time

time_ft122209.jpgThe Financial Times has cool article about the challenges of changing time zones, including some info on Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal, which seeks to improve business and logistics of the far East.

The economic advantages of convenient temporal location have long been recognised. For more than a century London has exploited its position as a time bridge; the City’s working day overlaps with other financial centres in the Americas and Asia.

But change in Russia, as proposed by Mr Medevdev, will not be easy. “This is a huge country, and it would inevitably lead to a large displacement in the life rhythms of people compared to the rhythms of nature,” says Andrei Panin of the geographical faculty of Moscow State University. “For example, people would have to go to work, wake up, when it is still night. That leads to costs on lighting, on electricity. We need to have a large number of time zones in Russia.” (…)

The implication for Russia is that one or two time zones could beeliminated without serious consequences, according to Sergei Smirnov,director of Moscow’s Institute for Social Policy and Social andEconomic Programs, but: “If we were to have fewer than eight it wouldgo against all the laws of geography and nature. It could lead to asocial catastrophe.”