All hail the black-throated finch! The bird just won Guardian Australia's "Bird of the Year" contest in which tens of thousands of Australians voted online for their favorite feathered friend. This year, 11,153 voted for the finch crowning it king for a year.
But it seems like all that love may not be enough to stop the government from signing its death warrant.
Over the years, the bird has lost 88% of its historical range to endeavors all in the name of progress. Agriculture, housing and Transportation projects, have steadily been pushing the birds out of their traditional range. In fact, the Guardian notes that since it was listed as endangered, 775 proposed development projects have been submitted - only one has been rejected by the government.
And now the finch's faces its biggest threat yet: the Carmichael Mine, a project proposed by serial polluter and billionaire Gautam Adani of the Adani group. At peak capacity, the mine would produce 60 million tons of coal per year and span 173 square miles making it one of the largest coal mines in the world. Thirty-seven of those square miles is the last remaining stronghold of Australia's favorite bird. That means, if the mine is allowed to go ahead, the only thing standing in the way of the birds' extinction will be time.
The mine threatens to push the black-throated finch to extinction, increase carbon emissions and contribute to the warming of oceans to the point at which natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef could not survive. Yet, the Australian government has not only given it the green light but is willing to fund it with 4.4 billion dollars in public funds!
According to a recent report, the Adani mine would receive subsidies in the form of public handouts, tax loopholes, free water, and other favorable deals over the course of the mine's proposed 30-year lifespan.
Considering the host of negative effects the mine will have for Australia's future, the government shouldn't expect Australian's to foot the bill. Public money should go towards making Australia a better place to live for all its citizens and its wildlife. Investing in the construction of what will be the largest coal mine in the country would be irresponsible.
There's still time to stop this horrible project. According to the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the mine would be unviable without the proposed government subsidies. If we can stop the subsidies, we can throw a huge wrench in this disastrous project.
Stand up for Australians, for Australian wildlife and the environment and tell Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk that giving public monies to this awaiting environmental catastrophe is unacceptable.