DR MICHAEL SLATTERY: TWEC Dinner and address by Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery is on a mission. He believes that human activity is drastically altering the earth's climate, and that before too long these changes will have a devastating effect on life on this planet. He wants to mobilise the social and political will to address this problem before it's too late.

Tim Flannery is the former Director of the South Australian Museum, and is currently a Professor at Sydney's Macquarie University. He spent a year as professor of Australian studies at Harvard, where he taught in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. In 2002, he became the first environmentalist to deliver The Australia Day address to the nation. In 2005 he was honoured as Australian Humanist of the Year and, in 2007, he was named Australian of the Year.

Tim Flannery spoke to us last week at the TWEC (Tennison Woods Education Centre) Annual speech regarding our planet and the reaction to 'Laudato Si' and our reaction and responsibility to world climate change. I asked him what advice he would give us as educators to pass onto young people. He answered that “we must give them a real sense of positive optimism and that we can use contemporary technology and science to turn climate change around, which will help ensure that the world is cared for into the future”. He reminded us that we must use the world wisely as human beings.

Our Faith is so important and the Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us that all is connected, that all is sacred and inter-connected. We are in a special position of responsibility and we are, in a sense, earths consciousness and need to respond accordingly.

Tim reminded us that we are lazy, selfish and greedy, and that we must ensure we don’t bankrupt the earth and must try to sustain our planet. We pondered on this large dose of responsibility and social conscience, which is challenging but not impossible for us all. He told us to "Get in there and make a difference”. As this was his mantra let us do it with vigorous energy and look after this world.

Dr Michael Slattery Image
Dr Michael Slattery

Dr Michael Slattery is the Director of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.