It is good to start the new decade on a positive note.

Prices remain strong and the weather generally favourable. The negative was the prospect of sitting down to write yet another submission.

The Government lobbed yet another policy statement hand grenade just before Christmas – the Indigenous Biodiversity policy statement.

It is another attack on private property rights by restricting land use.

The best way to improve biodiversity on farms is educate and give incentives not regulation. Farmers, not bureaucrats know how to work bioversity into their farming systems (see p68).

It is election year and perhaps a time for change. Recent polls have National and ACT with enough support to form a government, but a lot can happen in eight months.

The farming vote alone will not decide the election but its voice can have an impact.

Rather than be defensive go on the offensive armed with the facts. Tell urban people the truth, verbally, through social media and letters to the editor.

Carbon emissions from human activity, not ag methane are the problem.

Science has proved this but the Government and activists ignore the facts.

It is politically more expedient to blame farming.

Methane is part of a closed system, does not hang around in the atmosphere for 10-12 years and is not a big contributor to climate change. In New Zealand it only needs to be reduced by 0.3% a year (see p15).

Forget about methane emissions per capita. NZ is an exporting nation of five million which feeds more than 40 million people with its meat and milk.

It was good to see comedian Ricky Gervais calling out Hollywood actors and directors for their hypocrisy at the Golden Globes. Vegan meals were served to help fight climate change yet Hollywood is a huge polluter. If you didn’t see it google Ricky Gervais Golden Globes Radio Times.

My 16-year-old daughter did ag proud last year when she did an essay and speech on ‘Why farming gets a bad rap’. Based on research and interviews (I may have helped a little) she showed its financial importance to the country, that it is a higher-wage sector than many others especially tourism, that farming feeds people, creates prosperity and doesn’t destroy the environment. She earned an excellence.

So don’t be afraid of activists as some sector groups are. Speak up.