Category Archives: Campaign


Slow Food Blitz Bee Action



Save the bees

British bees are in danger. Three species of bees are already extinct and others are in rapid decline. Strong evidence points to particular pesticides being to blame for killing them. [1] This week we have a chance to persuade the government to protect our bees and ban these harmful pesticides.

A government consultation on pesticide use ends next Monday. [2] Normally the only people they would hear from would be the strong pesticide industry. But by handing in a large petition, we can make sure that the bees have someone to stand up for them.

Can you sign a petition now to demand the government phase out the pesticides that are killing our bees?

France and several other European countries have already started banning these pesticides, but the UK government is yet to be convinced. [3] Together, by responding in our thousands, we can send a strong message to the government and counter the lobbying from the pesticide industry.

Last week thousands of 38 Degrees members responded to a poll on what we should be concentrating on together. Over 70% of responses highlighted that protecting bees was an important issue. [4] This week is our chance to do something about it.

Sign the petition now and help save our bees:

Thanks for being involved,

Robin, Belinda, David and the 38 Degrees Team

[1] Friends Of the Earth – Bee Cause:
[2] The government DEFRA consultation:
[3] The Independent: European and American reports say nerve agents may be a danger, but the UK goes on using them:
[4] Link to blog post with poll results:

One woman steals the hope of millions

Dear friends,

One powerful woman is threatening the future of millions of others —using her power as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to destroy the one bank has helped more women out of poverty than any other.But if we stand together now we can save it and end this attack on the poor:

Sign the petition

One powerful woman is threatening the future of millions of others. But if we all weigh in right now we can rescue the people-powered bank that’s an inspiration to the world.

The Grameen Bank has enabled millions of women to lift themselves out of poverty by giving them tiny loans to buy animals or equipment to start earning money. But Bangladesh’s jealous Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has fired its Nobel Prize winning founder Muhammad Yunus and now wants to seize control of the bank, all to silence a political rival. This takeover could break the bank and destroy millions of people’s hope.

Hasina has been mired in a series of scandals at home — if we can add a giant global backlash to her list of worries, we can force her to back down.When 1 million of us come together, Avaaz will kickoff a media firestorm in Bangladesh and around the world, shaming her into ending this vengeful attack.Sign the urgent petition now:

The Grameen Bank is very different from the big giants of Wall Street. They loan money to 8.4 million people, mostly women from the poorest villages in Bangladesh, so they can buy assets like cows or sewing machines and start earning money. These women borrowers also run the bank — they are not only the majority shareholders, 9 out of 12 seats on the board are held by village women in saris.

But PM Hasina wants to end Grameen Bank as we know it. She first stripped Dr. Yunus’ position as the bank’s managing director, and now just passed a law that would allow the government to bypass the people-elected board and handpick his successor. And they fear that the government may use its newfound power to manipulate millions of members for votes in next year’s election.

Grameen’s downfall would be a disaster for Bangladesh and the larger microcredit movement that is working to improve lives across the globe. Sign the urgent petition to PM Hasina, and together, let’s save the bank that’s revolutionizing the war on poverty:

Avaaz members have come together time and time again to fight grave injustice and corruption. Over 2 million people rallied to pass the strongest anti-corruption law in Brazilian history, and half a million members successfully helped freeze Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak’s stolen assets when he tried to flee Egypt. It’s time for people power to shine in Bangladesh…. and win back the world’s best bank.

With hope and determination,

Jamie, Kya, Caroline, Meredith, Emma, Ricken, Maria-Paz, and the rest of the Avaaz team


Women Hurting Women (New York Times)

George Shultz, Madeleine Albright Join Growing Groundswell of Concern over Possible Government Takeover of Grameen Bank (MoneyLife)

Bangladeshi Politics and the Grameen Bank’s Uncertain Future (Council on Foreign Relations)

Microfinance Pioneer Grameen Bank Weakened by Bangladeshi Government Meddling (Huffington Post)

US reiterates concern for GB (The Financial Express)

An Attack on Grameen Bank, and the Cause of Women (Opinionator — NY Times)

Masters Quarry Wind Turbine approved! (Friday Sept 7th)

Dear all

Great news again! This afternoon, Dorset County Councillors approved the proposal for a single 500kW wind turbine at Masters Quarry, East Stoke. The Councillors voted in favour, with 1 abstention. As always, thank you for your ongoing support for wind power in Dorset. The fact that a wind turbine of this scale obtained planning consent at Council level is very encouraging and an important step forward! Approval for both Alaska Wind Farm and Masters Quarry Wind Turbine is a fantastic result as there is a situation now where there are options. Alaska Wind Farm, being the project with the larger output, is the preferred option but consent for Masters Quarry means there is a fall back plan just in case. In any case we are hopeful that wind energy will be generated at Masters Quarry within the next couple of years! Thank you again and have a lovely weekend

Kind regards


Playing field petition


Have a look at this:

I’ve just signed the 38 Degrees petition to protect our school playing fields.  Many people are worried this could mean children end up losing the space they need to play.

Without their playing fields it’s hard to imagine the children of today – the Team GB of tomorrow – will ever match this year’s record Olympic medal haul. If playing fields are sold off and built on, there’ll be no way to get them back.

Please sign the petition now:


Tsunami relief funds used to kill whales?!

Dear friends,

Right now, the Japanese whaling fleet is barrelling south to hunt thousands of majestic whales, escorted by a $30 million private security force paid for out of the tsunami disaster relief funds! The Japanese PM is already under enormous pressure for failing to help victims of the tsunami – a global outcry can shame him into using relief money to save people, not kill whales — sign the petition, and forward to everyone:

Sign the petition!

Right now, the Japanese whaling fleet is barrelling south to hunt thousands of majestic whales, escorted by a 30 million dollar security force paid for out of the tsunami disaster relief fund!

Anti-whaling champions were successfully blocking the Japanese whale hunt — which is exactly why the Japanese government decided to swipe money from relief efforts to stop the activists from bothering the boats while they engage in their brutal slaughter.

If we can stop the whaling security and get the relief money back for desperate Japanese citizens still languishing in radioactive hotspots, we could help end the whale hunt for good. Japanese PM Noda is already under enormous pressure after scandalous failures to compensate victims of the nuclear disaster. A massive global outcry can spark outrage inside and outside Japan and force Noda to use precious relief funds to save people, not kill whales – sign the petition and forward to everyone:

Whale hunting is astronomically expensive, and it’s made possible by ludicrous government subsidies amounting to $35,000 per whale! If these subsidies are cut back, the whaling industry could collapse. Now the Prime Minister will squander $30 million to provide private security for whale slaughterers to make sure they’re not bothered by environmental activists in the ocean. With the added muscle, Japan plans to kill 1,000 Minke whales for commercial meat sales this year.

Officials claim that whaling subsidies will support coastal communities hit by the tsunami — even though Japan has had to stockpile whale meat because so few people wish to consume it. All the while, the government has turned a blind eye to victims trapped in radiation hot-spots, with the few who are entitled to compensation pocketing a pitiful $1,000.

Let’s urge Prime Minister Noda to stop caving to the whaling lobby and spend relief money on the people who need it most: the victims — sign the urgent petition now, and forward widely:

Last year, our community came together in record numbers, and we won the fight to keep a global ban on whaling. And last month, 130,000 Japanese Avaaz members joined together, pressing the government to use tsunami relief funds to protect radiation-exposed children by funding their evacuation from unsafe areas. Time and again we see how powerful lobby groups like the Japanese whaling lobby put profits before people and planet. And time and again, we stop them. Let’s do it again.

With hope and determination,

Stephanie, Jamie, Emma, Ricken, Morgan, Laura, Wissam, Wen-Hua and the rest of the Avaaz team

More Information:

BBC: “Japanese tsunami fund used for whaling programme”

Guardian: “Japan whaling fleet accused of using tsunami disaster funds”

Letter: “Greenpeace Japan and 15 other NGOs letter to Japanese government”

WSJ: “Use of Government Recovery Funds Stokes Japan Whaling Row”

How people around Sturminster are saving money and energy

ENERGIZE STUR VALLEY is a ground level community group which wants to help you reduce your energy use, save money and reduce your carbon footprint for all the residents of Sturminster Newton and the surrounding villages from Child Okeford to Marhull, Hazelbury and Glanvilles Wooton who want to keep a lid on our rising energy use and the bills it generates.

FREE Insulation grants

We spoke to Tim Evans of the group who said “In these tight financial times I could not believe people had not made the simple call it takes to get a grant for their home to be insulated. One FREE call to the independent Dorset Energy Advice Centre (0800 975 0166) was all it took to understand which grants are available and what you can do to insulate your home and start saving money on heating bills.

With costs of energy forecast to more than double in the next 2 years you would have to be mad not to pick up the phone and claim the money.”

Appeal for Energy Champions

If like us you want to help your street, village, school or church community do something practical to reduce your dependence on energy then Energize Stur Valley wants to hear from you.  We hold a monthly meeting where we make sure we get things done rather than just talk about it.  Sturquest and Sturminster TTN websites magazine and  we hope local parish magazines are interested in carrying our suggestions.

Generating income after FITS from renewable energy

Sara and Andrew Cross at Goldhill Organic Farm have just installed solar PV panels on their new cafe at the Organic Farm in Child Okeford.  “We could not believe it started working even with the recent mid winter sun heavily clouded over and we expect it to generate close to £1500 per year.”  Local providers tell us that even though the government has reviewed the subsidy payments, people investing in the new year will see the costs drop by aroud a quarter so contrary to the news the returns on your money are still liklely to be better than sticking it in the bank.

For an electronic copy of the Free Advice flyers, to join us and make a difference we would love to hear from you or for some real world advice on the steps you can take please email