Opinions

The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas – whose testimony are you listening to?

Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas photo courtesy of Little House By the Ferry & Bruce Pinder

Hard facts we gleaned from the news are that Hurricane Dorian roared through the Bahamas leaving an epic trail of devastation behind it, with scores dead and more than 1,300 people are still unaccounted for. Much of the islands’ infrastructure has been destroyed. Many homes have been flooded, damaged or completely destroyed by lingering of the storm’s wind, storm surge and heavy rain. But what has moved us most at 3 Generations has been the witness of one pastor — Father Kevin Cartwright.

Fr. Cartwright is an Anglican Arch-Deacon from Nassau who has been on the ground in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas since the day after the storm. He says “Almost everyone has been evacuated. There is nothing left. There are many medical personnel and search and rescue teams on the ground. The dead are everywhere, the stench is unbearable. There are plenty of dead and unaccounted for people still under debris or swept out to sea.”

Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest and longest lasting Atlantic hurricanes on record. 

Recent scientific research suggests that hurricanes are becoming stronger because the world is warming. Warmer climate increases the likelihood that hurricanes will become extreme weather events like Hurricanes Dorian, Maria and Harvey. Islands in the Carribean, like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, with relatively small carbon footprints are left to carry the burden of being ground zero for these super storms caused by our climate crisis.

And yet these catastrophic climate events are not reported on with the gravity that they warrant. Media teams drop in and leave, once the storm has passed so does our collective sense of absolute climate chaos – for that is what it is. Even before Hurricane Dorian over 7 million people have been displaced by climate events and the UN estimates that number could rise to over 22 million by the end of the year. These numbers are terrifying and must be understood as a manifestation of a critical global climate crisis.