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CARL: Campaign for Real Longitude

What is the aim of CARL?

CARL is a campaign to restore mapping to the logical state it was in before Greenwich hijacked geography, and to restore Ferro to its rightful place on the Prime Meridian.

Q. What's all this "Ferro" business? What's wrong with Greenwich?

A. Don't ask. The only things London gives the rest of the UK are tax-gatherers, bankers, lawyers, and other banditti.

Ferro, now. What was good enough for Hipparchus and Ptolemy should be good enough for us. They set their Prime Meridian through the most westerly land they knew, the "Fortunate Isles". It has the advantage of not needing this "degrees East" or "degrees West" business for European maps. For 1700 years all maps used the Ferro meridian (Ferro, now the island of Hierro in the Canaries) until London strong-armed the rest of the world in the 19th Century.

Things should be simple, and if it cocks a snook at London so much the better. So all longitude co-ordinates should be based on the Ferro meridian, just like in the good old days. It goes through the lighthouse at Orchilla on the island of Hierro. If you absolutely must use Greenwich, then all you need to know is that Orchilla is 17 degrees, 39 minutes, and 59.7354 seconds West of Greenwich. So to convert a decimal Ferro longitude to Greenwich subtract 17.6666 - and don't change that to 17.6667 thinking you're clever - the actual figure is 17.6665931667.

Q. Does that mean we have to change the clocks, too?

A. Good Question. Obviously, we have to then base time on the Ferro meridian as well, but don't worry. It makes no practical difference, you can keep your existing time zones with the same values. All that would change is the definition of UTC (what used to be "GMT"). UTC would now be based on the Ferro meridian, so the time base would obviously be different. However, all we have to do is make the corresponding change to the delta between UTC and your time zone of choice. Hey presto, the world still has the same practical times, but now they're not based on old-fashioned colonial English standards.

CARL: Campaign for Real Longitude; a service brought to you by Geographica Kernow: Cornish Free Geography.