Bad year for doom, gloom
The end of year is perhaps a time to reflect on what was, and offer a word of advice for next year.
Global warming has been the number one issue for many environmentalists. At the beginning of the year some even predicted that because of global warming it might never rain again. But this year the drought finally broke across most of Australia.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 2005 has been the hottest on record; but not everywhere.
Tasmanian-grown Christmas turkeys were larger than usual this year because cooler growing season saw the birds gobbling down more food and faster.
On the biotechnology front, Queensland and NSW cotton farmers now grow mostly genetically modified (GM), but this hasn't stopped Greenpeace campaigning on the platform that it wants to keep Australia GM-free.
And while some flood-plain graziers may have a case against Cubbie Station, an all out water-war between graziers and irrigators, as proposed at Dubbo earlier this year, is unlikely to benefit either side in the long run.
Australian agriculture has a general "image problem" in metropolitan Australia and this was not helped by the mid-year visit from Californian professor Jared Diamond, who was promoting his new book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive.
He claimed that Australia's agricultural sector is so weak we import most of our food.
But about the same time the Australian Agriculture and Food Sector Stocktake was published showing that, contrary to Professor Diamond's claims, Australian agricultural exports were worth $26 billion in 2003-4 while food imports were valued at $5.6 billion for the same period.
The situation is rarely as bad as the doomsayers predict, so my advice for 2006 is don't be intimidated by the fear industry and ask for the evidence.