Labour MP wants to start school later, because, climate change!

Umm, it’s really hot, cause umm, ooh I know, Climate Change!
Photo: YouTube.

When I was a wee fella, our family used to have a bach on the edge of the water at Coopers Beach way up north. As my Dad was a school principal, we got to spend all summer up there, and the memories I have of that time are much like you probably have of your own summers.

I’m 53 this week, but I still remember what it was like when I was a kid, the long hot summers at the beach, spending all day out in the sun playing, wandering off to other friends places, down to ‘the surf’ or over to the other bays, going missing all day and turning up at dinner time, skin red and burnt at the beginning of summer but by the end we were just as brown as the local indigenous population.

The author (on right) playing at being pirates, sunken chest and all! Circa 1978.

Of course as kids we all saw that time in our lives through rose tinted glasses, (Ha, sunglasses? Nobody had those!) We would always forget the storms that would lash through every Christmas, the sometimes weeks on end of rain, early summers when there was no soft sand on the beach as it rained so much. In our minds, all that was forgotten as soon as you got your towel out of the cupboard and got out in the sun.

The weird thing about Coopers Beach was just how many teachers had summer homes up there. It seemed that half our neighbours were teachers, and of course our parents were all mates so there seemed to be an endless series of bbq’s at someones place or other, usually celebrating one of the kids birthdays.

And I recall vividly the discussions that would be had every single year towards the end of summer. “Oh it’s so hot at this time of year, why don’t we start school later”, “We should move the holidays to start after New Years so we don’t have to be sweltering in a pre-fab all February”.

But this discussion is still going on half a century later. The Rodney Times has a regular item called ‘Conversations’, (sorry I can’t link to it as they require me to join Neighbourly to view it online and I refuse!) This week the heading was, ‘The case for starting school later’.

We get to hear from both sides of the political spectrum, with one Priyanca Radhakrishnan, a list MP from Labour presenting her view, and Stuart Smith, the National Party MP for Kaikoura giving his, (I know, I’ve never heard of them either!)

What followed was the usual for and against type arguments from both sides, parents work, maybe we should have aircon in each classroom blah blah blah. What I found interesting though was how Ms Radhakrishnan’s reasoned argument took a sudden change.

Perhaps we should also be talking about the reason that temperatures are getting hotter and address the root cause. There is a growing body of evidence showing how heat waves and temperature spikes, which are expected to become more frequent due to climate change, are impacting our lives in different ways – including making it more difficult to think in the heat. Combating climate change is crucial.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Rodney Times, Jan 15th, 2019.

Seriously? Ms Radhakrishnan was born in Chennai, Southern India. Her Wiki page says that she grew up in Singapore before ‘finally’ moving to New Zealand. I thought those places have always been hot in summer?

The weather in Chennai is mostly hot and humid. The maximum temperature during [summer] vary from 38-42 ?C thus making Chennai very hot.

Singapore usually witnesses a minimum of 23-26 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 31-34 degrees Celsius.

From Google.

So how do we compare in NZ?

The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 – 30?C 

So 20 to 30 degrees peak temps here compared to 31 to 42 degrees where she grew up. Hmmm, it seems that Ms Radhakrishnan’s forgotten to put her rose tinted glasses on!

Sorry Priyanca, but if you think that you can get kids to concentrate better in class by fixing climate change, you are one deluded individual. And I like my summers hot, so leave them alone!

But on polling day please remember folks, we are paying these list MP’s to trot out this rubbish?