In January I worn out two weeks in Cuba, and back I went I saw
the picture "The Power of Community - how Cuba survived Peak Oil"
Cuba suffered an economic suffering when the Soviet Union collapsed
in 1990. For the aforementioned 30 old age it had been receiving
substantial support, with exact support and cheap
oil in swap for refined sugar. All this stopped most long.
For the same 30 years the United States has operated a trade
embargo and traverse ban in opposition Cuba, and this continues to the
Cuba has whichever oil of its own, although not well-nigh satisfactory for
transport, physical phenomenon contemporaries and - essentially - fertilizer
and pesticide crop. At the juncture of the Soviet collapse
Cuba was victimisation more fertiliser per acre than the US;
agricultural yield brutal dramatically. Food apportionment was
introduced but the population began to experience from deficiency disease.
The moving-picture show shows how overlarge realm farms were faulty up into
individual co-operatives and how every lean splinter of land in
the cities was revolved completed to burgeoning vegetables. With no
fertiliser, factory farm had to be organic, and beside no gasoline for
tractors, kine and horses returned to the manor. Farming became
labour-intensive; much and more grouping became farmers.
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In the archaean 90s propulsion cuts were undisputed - durable up to 24
hours. If relations could get to trade (and moving was severely
disrupted) they commonly had zilch to do because nearby was no
power. It's lonesome in the final few age that physical phenomenon cuts
have for the most part disappeared. The cure has come through in three way.
First, the old national grid has been superseded to a large
extent by site a lot of locality generators to replace
the few large clout stations of the cross and the nuclear station that the
soviets ne'er ended. (Not CHP - in that conditions you just
don't need the heat!) Secondly the establishment has managed
demand, and you don't see fibril bulbs anyplace - they're all
CFL's. There is as well a system of rules to regenerate tame appliances
with more economical ones. (But Cuba is a impecunious country, and the
volume of domesticated appliances must be lilliputian.) Thirdly, Fidel -
or Raoul - is now big chums near Hugo Chavez in Venezuela which
has lots of oil. (This is fortunate, as all generating plants,
large and small, be to be oil -fueled.) Cuba has sent 20,000
doctors to Venezuela and receives oil in return. I've not been
able to ascertain whether this is as some as Russia utilized to
There is inert a shipping tribulation exacerbated both by oil
shortages and by the absence of spare environs for vehicles. Mass
transit is in recent times that: empire brimming with into products lorries.
Government vehicles of all kinds are hoped-for to take
hitch-hikers, and yellow-uniformed thumb coordinators are
stationed at the loin of the road to insure that they do. Cuba
was one of the early Latin-American countries to have railways.
They are lifeless there, but similar the roadstead they are long-life overdue
for repairs and fixture.
So has Cuba proudly survived Peak Oil? The country
certainly suffered an oil strain near wide consequences,
and while belongings are enhanced than they were in the untimely 90s
people say that belongings are immobile not what they were past the
Soviet Union collapsed. The on-going US embargo has continued to
make property difficult, still bitingly Cuba standing buys
millions of dollars of food from the US, and Cuban expands in the
States likewise displace something like $1billion rear territory all twelvemonth. With only
11m population in 111,000 km2, [UK 60m - 242,000km2] the state has
the promise to be independent in agriculture, but the
command system has been inept to bring about this. The 2006 Annual
Economic Review transcript that MP's at the Economic Committee
complain of labor subject hitches which metal to low
productivity, subornment and dissipation.
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Do we have a lesson for the residual of the world? The worldwide will
suffer twin snags from Peak Oil, but it is improbable that
they will grow quite as rapidly as they did in Cuba. The most
important gap is that Cuba has replaced its Russian oil,
at lowest to numerous extent, with Venezuelan oil. The planetary doesn't
have that opportunity.
On a planetary scale, when the oil's gone, it's gone!