A key role of a journalist is to provide information on an issue to readers and let them make their own decision about it.

So it was incredulous to read that Stuff would no longer consider “fiction” from climate change deniers.

When the climate change debate started to heat up, I like many people took only a passing interest. A lot of the information was in science speak about perceived consequences based on modelling far in the future. I tend to focus on the short term these days.

There was an apparent ground-swell supporting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which believes the world is doomed unless we change our ways.

So great was the onslaught of evidence supporting climate change dangers it became a sin to even dare suggest it might not be so dire. I’m not sure about the claim 97% of climate scientists support the IPCC as there still seem to be many questioning the IPCC’s findings.

We all took more of an interest when the New Zealand Government started pushing for a zero carbon economy by 2050 especially when an agricultural economist estimated the cost of doing so could be as high as a trillion dollars.

Well-known ag scientist Jock Allison is a member of NZ Climate Science Coalition and calls himself a climate realist. He doesn’t believe we need to destroy our economy in a symbolic act of self-flagellation when NZ produces 0.17% of world emissions (see p24).

There are even those in the climate alarmist camp who don’t agree with their own team’s measures. People like Victoria University’s Climate Change Research Institute director David Frame who has been reported in the media as saying the focus should be on carbon not methane.

Columnist Jane Smith points out that with every 1% drop in GDP, NZ loses $800 million in tax and as a third world country, the focus will be on survival not innovation (p14).

Somehow the second-half of 2018 went quicker than expected. A lot of stories still left on the ’To do’ list, but there is always 2019. The main thing is to be around for 2019. I had another clear scan in October so while it is an arbitrary measure, if does give peace of mind for another six months. So have a Merry Christmas, stay safe, and see you in 2019.