25 years ago I escaped from Chernobyl. Next week I will join my friends facing nuclear disaster in Japan.
Both decisions were about survival.

The first was running away from the unknown consequences of nuclear disasters; the second is understanding that there is nowhere to ‘escape’ to, the consequences of modern humans stupidity in playing with forces beyond their control affects everyone and every living thing on every corner of the globe.
Right now the radiation is flowing into the pacific making its way to our pristine beaches. There has to be a final end to this poisonous result of a culture gone mad. This must be the generation; this must be the time.

My greatest hope is that the people with their eyes open in Japan, those who have been leading the way towards a safe, happy, sustainable future for many years feel charged with a mission to step forth with clarity, compassion and courage, dismantling the old thinking and growing a new culture.

If my visit to Tokyo can help bring encouragement to dismantle these nuclear power plants, these symbols of death and destruction, then this may be the most effective action to safeguard the future of my children and all others.

It is a complex juggle between head and heart, between the collective and the intensely personal. My family is very worried about my decision and asked me to prepare a will. They fear that my children will be left without their Mother. I guess it is that time on the Earth, when people crave protection and safety, but must face the abyss, we simply cannot continue living the way we always have, we must step out of our comfort zone. Mother Earth is shaking us to wake up.
In the meantime, since 3/11, we have still been ‘busy’ here in our forest life, trying not to feel embarrassed about how small our actions seem to be.

Ken, Fumitaka and Yoshiki came to visit and stay with us and we shared our slohas lifestyle with them. They came with me to the school where we kept going with our environmental program, including a ‘Council of All Beings’ performance with the year 2/3 class. Here are some photos that tell the story.


1) waiting for the rainbow lorikeets

2) the rainbow lorikeets are there

I took Ken, Yoshiki and Fumitaka to the Currumbin wildlife sanctuary, (a place I have been visiting since I was 4 years old) where the rainbow lorikeets bring wonder and joy. Pacha’s face tells me she knows what is to come, while for most of us waiting can be boring…

3) coab iluka

Yani joined his year 2/3 class in the Council of All Beings performance that took place in front of the whole school at assembly. The feedback was fantastic from parents and teachers both. The objective of presenting a new way of learning and teaching about the environment was met…

4) crazy for vegies

I asked the kindy class (5 year olds) what their favourite vegetables were and 3 kids said ‘ice-cream’. So I brought in a range of real vegetables to show them what they were. The teacher couldn’t believe how enthusiastic they were about eating raw broccoli!

5) dusk swim

There is a rainbow in this picture at the Bluff beach where all the kids had a dusk swim.

6) Ken - sazae

Ken showed us Sazae we could find among the rocks. We took them home, said a prayer and cooked them on the fire. We have found another survival food!

7) ollie and kids

Yoshiki and Fumitaka chattered and laughed for 3 hours as we walked on Ollie through the forest meeting birds and kangaroos.

8) peace cranes

Ken, Yoshiki and Fumitaka came with me into the school several times, showing other kids origami. I tried to encourage them to make peace cranes for Japan, but the kids wanted to run around playing soccer!

9) visitors in forest
Yoshiki and Fumitaka on our forest walk.

10) yani dances

The school holidays have now started and the kids are having fun. Dancing is one of their favourite pastimes!



「 どうやって安全に扱うかだれにもわからない、しかも何千、何万年にもわたって、すべての生きものにとって測り知れない危険であり続ける、強毒性の物質を大量につくり、ため込む。どれほどの繁栄もそれを正当化することなどできはしない」 (E.F.シューマッハ―『スモール・イズ・ビューティフル』より)










・アンニャ英語ブログ「Slow, Small, Simple」 http://www.slowsmallsimple.com/


How to survive "post311"

"No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of highly toxic substances which nobody knows how to make safe and which remain an intangible danger to the whole of creation for thousands of years". --E.F. Schumacher

Among the very first words the people of Japan and the world heard after the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami were from Prime Minister Kan, ‘there are no reported nuclear leaks’.
That’s when I really started to worry.

Sure enough, the information was false - false reassurance typical of the systemic deceit that has allowed the nuclear myth to flourish.
I listened and watched from this ‘safe’ distance in Australia as the drama continued to unfold: The Prime Minister yells at TEPCO; ‘what the hell is going on’, TEPCO tells the people of Japan: ‘there is no threat of immediate harm caused by radiation’, the Mayor of Minami Soma pleads for help: ‘The government doesn’t tell us anything. We’re isolated. They’re leaving us to die.’

And everyday people of Japan say: ‘I’d rather live with less electricity if it comes with the kind of risk we are seeing now.’

I hope this grows from whispers, to discussions at the dinner table, to ear deafening chants at anti-nuclear rallies to reach the ears of the decision makers who for too long have separated their humanity from the perceived efficiency of the economic machine.
Now everyone knows: The promise that nuclear power was safe was a lie.
Now everyone knows: Profits are more important to companies (who in turn now run governments) than life.
The truth can set us free.
In a way we have been preparing for this time for many years - the moment people clearly see that we must choose survival. We started the Sloth Club to actively envision a way of life that doesn’t destroy the Earth.
So what do we do now?
-Trust your instincts.
-Find your voice.
-Connect with your community.
-Mourn the loss, but celebrate Life.

Now everyone knows: The promise that nuclear power was safe was a lie.
Now everyone knows: Profits are more important to companies (who in turn now run governments) than life.
The truth can set us free.

May our tears flow in a tsunami of compassion, May our fury shake the foundations of the old structures of exploitation, May our love penetrate the hearts of those who feel too isolated and alone to have hope for the future. May we find the courage to shift to a slower, smaller, simpler life.

















Everyday life goes on for me, looking after visitors and my kids and projects - but Japan is always in my mind. I would like to be as useful as possible, please don't hesitate to ask/request things of me.

I'm not sure if this is the right kind of tone to take, but I have been thinking about the role that the Sloth Club may be able to play. As I mentioned, I had a good meeting with Helena recently and I like her movie and look forward to promoting it. The tricky part is putting these ideas into political action (which is mostly what Helena seems to be encouraging). I am willing to try to my capacity.

My thoughts are with you and all members of the Sloth Club.

Love, For Life,

*What the Sloth Club Can Do*

The Sloth Club has for over ten years studied, networked and promoted a sustainable culture; now is the time where the Sloth Club and all its members can step forward and offer its ideas, wisdom, encouragement and practical support in response to the ongoing disaster, relief effort and re-building challenge that Japan now faces. Here are a few ideas about the ways I think the Sloth Club may be able to help in the months and years ahead:

1) Provide leadership in empowering democracy. Decision making on behalf of the people of Japan has been full of danger and risk (un-needed nuclear power) with little foresight of long-term consequences. This disaster has shown just how poor communication channels are between corporations, the government and everyday people in Japan. It is time to unplug the nuclear cycle.

2) Encourage a rebuilding effort that models a truly sustainable future; housing that follows ecological design principles, non electric technologies, utilizes domestic plantation timber sources and supports dynamic, resilient and inter-related communities able to set up and manage their own decentralized systems of food, energy and water, promoting a way of life that values connections, not things.

3) Foster and disseminate information about networks that have been studying sustainable lifestyle information for decades; exchanging ideas and practical solutions whether it be Japanese traditional small farming systems permaculture, seedsavers networks, local economy exchange systems, etc.

4) Nurture a meaningful mourning of loss while also encouraging a renewed celebration and commitment to life. Candlenight.

5) This disaster has raised the question of ‘survival’. How much hope, faith and enthusiasm do we have to continue on in the face of suffering and continuing challenges ahead. For those who have survived and who were able to respond immediately to the threat and danger (even by moving away from the burning nuclear reactor while the information given was limited), what is the next step? Let’s provide the supporting network to be able to ask the difficult questions of ourselves and others.