Look at this photograph

This beautiful finch is the canary in the coal mine

It comes from the Australian Conservation Foundation.  February 20th 2019.

Ornithologist Stanley Tang collects data on the endangered Black-throated Finch. Photo: Ali Sanderson

I look at this photograph from our Australian Conservation Foundation and think of everything we know about global warming, [See the film ‘Vice’. Learn about Dick Cheney.  Discover how that accurate phrase was changed to the less frightening ‘climate change’ in the USA! Read about Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) – a very powerful politically reactionary group, interested only in protecting and expanding their wealth. It sounds too much like the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) in Australia.]

Christian Slattery writes: “With people, livestock and wildlife suffering now from floods and fires, heating our planet by burning more coal is untenable.” This finch lives in the Galilee Valley in Queensland. It reminds me of John Keats’ poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, with its concluding line “And no birds sing” . That is what we face. But it is not a beautiful, merciless lady. It’s politicians nearly two hundred years after Keats’ death in 1821. And Keats did not live in a democracy! We live in democracies where politicians wilfully ignorant, but elected by us, do not care.

Why? Such politicians are deliberately  moving us towards a situation that must make life so much harder for the young. Why? Young people will have to deal with the world we create. Is it because we have politicians refusing to deal with pollution because their political party does not care about it? Are the organisations that donate so much money to them profiting now from fossil fuel? And do we have politicians who know the truth but are fearful of not getting enough votes to get into or stay in power?

Christian Slattery presents more information about what is happening.

Adani appears to have polluted the Caley Valley wetlands near the Great Barrier Reef

Shocking aerial images raise fresh questions about Adani’s polluted floodwater spill into sensitive wetlands.

“Yep, you heard it right. As the big wet hit Queensland a few weeks ago, Adani appears to have spilled water polluted with coal sediment into the Caley Valley Wetlands from their Abbot Point Terminal. Have mining companies properly ‘rehabilitated’ the land they destroyed?” Too many corporations mouth platitudes. about care for the environment. They will be gone, having made their profits. Where did they leave all that blue asbestos behind them in Western Australia? Companies so often have to be chased to clean up the mess, the dangerous mess they leave that harms the health of those who live there. And that can take decades!! If they can be made to do it. Meantime, too often people’s lives can be cut short.

The science has been clear for so long but those of us who choose to stay ignorant about science, allow ourselves to be led by the nose by those with the wealth and power to delude.  I thank all of the people with the courage to bring their knowledge and humanity to the fight for the quality of the future in the face of those terrible commercial media campaigns by corporations only concerned with profit now.

Thinking of this, I come to Judith Wright, our great Australian poet. Nearly fifty years ago, in ‘Australia 1970’, she called us ‘self poisoners’. Have we learnt nothing? Why vote to support the Mineral Council and the coal lobby? In May 2019, we’ll discover how much we care about the quality of the future we are handing to young people. It took Judith Wright to help us see the special value of the Great Barrier Reef. Will we take notice of the ‘canary in the coal mine’? Will we heed the warning?

Commentary Erica Jolly MACE

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