The Power of Community
How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
DVD 53 minutes
This movie is not about politics. The producers don’t care what you think about the Cuban government. They do care that world wide oil production has peaked and is now in decline. They care about people and community. They demonstrate how we’ll need to adapt as fossil fuels become scarce and eventually non-existent.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba faced the worst economic and social crisis of its history. The United State’s embargo pushed the country’s economy even further into decline. Because of the fuel shortage many of the large commercial farms collapsed without commercial fertilizers and farm equipment. Food became rationed and scarce. The average Cuban lost 20 pounds, children were malnourished, and births were underweight. Cubans refer to these years as “The Special Period” and they were, in more ways than one.
The magic in this film is the story it tells about the triumph of the Cuban people as they’re faced with what seems like a hopeless situation. Small rural and urban gardens spring up everywhere. Crops are grown in anything that will hold soil and water. Even rooftops turn green with produce. Organic is the only possible way to fertilize and with these sustainable methods the soil comes alive. Then as an added bonus diets change to include organically grown, healthy fare, and the country sees a decline in such diseases as diabetes and heart disease. Bicycles are the main means of transportation and people become fit. Communities become close knit. Everyone knows everyone out of the need to exchange goods.
The film doesn’t suggest that Cuba is a utopia. It does point out, however, that any place could and probably will face these same challenges. What would you do? How would you and your family cope? It is definitely; forgive the pun, food for thought.
Produced by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions. Visit http://www.communitysolution.org/ for more information.