There would have been widespread dismay when National gave its support to the Zero Carbon bill.

By doing so National is trying to appeal to urban voters even though it threatens farming and the whole New Zealand economy.

National’s proviso is: if it is elected next year it will change the legislation within 100 days. But will voters swallow this? Is it better to keep the public focused on the truth? That emissions from fossil fuels, not farm methane are the villain. Spell out to voters the economic realities and the costs of the Government’s global virtue signalling.

Urban people are feeling the pressure of rising food prices, tax and job insecurity. Fear of an economic recession will override climate change especially when they realise sacrificing our economy will make no difference. Few city people I talk to realise NZ’s share of global emissions is 0.17% – not even a quarter of a percent.

It is not all doom and gloom. The methane targets of the bill remain unchanged, but at least farming is not in the ETS. That may change in 2022, but even if the coalition is still in power, political sources say the Government by then and the economy are likely to be weaker. They expect that date to be pushed out further.

Will National’s support of the bill drive supporters to ACT, the only party to vote against it? Surely NZ First is no longer a voting option as it created this Government.

ACT says reduce emissions by buying overseas units as well as domestic ones without destroying the economy. It shouldn’t matter where the trees are planted.

Bill supporters say per capita, NZ methane emissions at 0.6 tonnes per person is six times the global average. That is based on a population of 4.8 million but most of our primary produce is exported to feed about 40m people. When counted, NZ methane per capita is diddly squat.

Then there is the Government’s Freshwater package. I managed to get a submission in but kept thinking while writing it, will it make a difference?

Since the last issue we had great news with Country-Wide winning the Rongo, the supreme award at the agricultural journalism awards in Wellington. The entry was a series looking at the impact of carbon forestry on farming communities.

It was a fantastic result and a great team effort.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only a month away. Have a Merry Christmas and thank you for subscribing to Country-Wide.