Keepers of the Planet

Your Weather Sistah here in NY on Climate Change:
I am at a loss, as many of us may well be, about those suffering from the impact of Hurricane
Matthew, particularly on the island of Haiti. How much more can the people of Haiti endure?
Eight hundred people and counting have died in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Matthew while the
island continues struggling to fully recover from the devastating Earthquake in 2010.

Snags at sea

I feel blessed to have personally escaped Hurricane Matthew’s wrath here in New York. After
Hurricane Sandy, we know firsthand what a hurricane can do. Florida, and South Carolina were
hit by Hurricane Matthew to different degrees but parts of North Carolina have been
declared a national disaster. It’s an illusion to believe climate change cannot make it to the
theater of life where we are participants. Because even if a natural disaster does not physically
hit home, you have got to know that what happens to one, happens to all of us on the planet.
We all suffer the consequences of climate change in subtle and in not so subtle ways. It is a
truth that when the earth is ill, its people become ill.

This planet provides all that we need from the earth: delicious and nutritious fruits, vegetables,
and a plethora of herbs to nourish and heal us. From the sea, we cannot count the multitude of
magnificent beauty and bounty. And from the floral world, we have the gift of experiencing the
most dazzling array of colors and amazing designs and fragrances. All of this has been given
to us by the Creator. It is ours to have, to hold, and to protect.

In my humble opinion, however, we are experiencing a correction. When there are wild swings
on the stock exchange, there is a correction. So too with the weather. We are witnessing
extreme climate swings as the planet makes a correction, to deal with the devastation and
pollution created by man. This devastation is the result of a voracious greed documented in the
rape, plunder and pillage of this planet. Quite simply, the extreme shifts are a backlash to the
cutting down of rain forests, fracking of mountains, extreme drilling of oils, and the spillage of oil
on the oceans. We cannot escape what has and is being done to this planet by the bad
behavior of its inhabitants.

I once saw a video of a fire that burns eternal, day and night in a river in Nigeria because of the
level of oil and population created by a US oil company. Water and fire don’t hang together
unless something is really wrong. That is an abomination. The people in the area have no clean
water to drink, bathe, or cook with and the land is unable to provide sustenance for its
inhabitants. This describes the circumstances of people in Haiti where crops have been
washed away this year and the island is suffering to support its people. These are poor people.
What are they do? In Nigeria, they have no power to bring this oil company to justice or to even
relocate. In Haiti, there is nowhere to go either.

Natural medicine
Climate change impacts the earth, the availability and cost of food, even herbs, oils and
botanical elements worldwide. It affects how I run my sustainable business as a perfumer.
Often I have felt powerless to do anything because I mistakenly believed there is nothing I could
do that would make a difference.

Do not let this feeling of powerlessness rule you. There are things we can do, big and small.
Something as simple as offering prayers and meditation for those who have been impacted by
these tragedies can make a difference.

In addition, we can all make sure we’re doing our part with conservation of energy, of water, of
fuel oil etc. We can refrain from buying fish on the endangered list, or meat that isn’t humanely
raised, seeded produce that is grown without seeds. We can seriously consider growing our
own food and herbs. If you have no land, consider joining a community garden.
If you feel moved to help Haiti and would like a list of organizations you can trust, check
Support Haiti. If you are already doing something, big or small, that helps sustain our
planet, please share it with us here.


  1. Ramona Candy October 12, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Anu, this is a wonderful post. And, thank you for listing the Support Haiti organizations. I’ve listed some on facebook as well. My cousin works with ProdevHaiti. If humans could only learn to respect this beautiful, life-giving planet, like so many indigenous peoples do. As you state, every little bit helps … thank you for your reflection.

    • anu October 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      My pleasure Ramona. This is our gift from the Creator and destroying the planet destroys us all.

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