October 2, 2022 Editor

Season of Creation wails with destructive storms worldwide

Your weekly newsletter about faith and climate change

Sept. 29, 2022

image above: An aerial view shows homes surrounded by floodwaters in Lee County, Fla., Sept. 29, 2022, after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction across the Sunshine State. (CNS photo/WPLG TV via ABC via Reuters)

WN: This faith-based climate-action website is an outstanding resource.


When Hurricane Ian crashed ashore in Cuba and Florida this week as a Category 4 storm, bringing 150 mph winds and in some spots up to 12 feet of storm surge, it was the latest extreme weather event to wreak havoc around the globe during a month that Christians observe as the Season of Creation.

The theme for the 2022 season, which runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4, was “Listen to the Voice of Creation.” Throughout September, that voice has been a siren of rains and pains, disaster and destruction, accented by a crush of major storms as this Season of Creation comes to a close.

The season aligns with the typical periods for hurricane activity in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific, so some extreme weather is not unexpected. But the intensity and destruction this year have been particularly striking.

What role might climate change have played with Ian, the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the U.S., has been a recurring question in recent days.

“We know that hurricanes are a natural phenomenon, but climate change is exacerbating them, making them worse. Like putting them on steroids,” climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe told MSNBC earlier this week. While the number of hurricanes isn’t increasing, she said that warmer ocean waters — where 90% of heat from greenhouse gas emissions is stored — are leading to storms intensifying faster, becoming stronger, dropping more rain and moving slower.

A tweet from Hayhoe, who has connected her climate research with her evangelical faith, sent in the aftermath of 2019’s Hurricane Harvey made the point that the question around storms shouldn’t be “Was it caused by climate change?” but “How much worse did climate change make it?”

Taken together, the 2022 Season of Creation has witnessed vast destruction and unspeakable suffering for many people around the world.

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.