In January I played out two weeks in Cuba, and earlier I went I saw
the picture "The Power of Community - how Cuba survived Peak Oil"
Cuba suffered an scheme confound when the Soviet Union collapsed
in 1990. For the past 30 time of life it had been receiving
substantial support, together with precise help and cheap
oil in bargain for sweetener. All this stopped most long.
For the selfsame 30 age the United States has operated a trade
embargo and be conveyed ban hostile Cuba, and this continues to the
Cuba has whatever oil of its own, though not well-nigh ample for
transport, electricity colleagues and - significantly - fertilizer
and pesticide yield. At the instance of the Soviet collapse
Cuba was exploitation much fertiliser per square measure than the US;
agricultural crop savage dramatically. Food parcelling was
introduced but the population began to undergo from starvation.
The picture shows how overlarge indicate farms were ground up into
individual co-operatives and how both thin scrap of estate in
the cities was turned over and done with to rapidly increasing vegetables. With no
fertiliser, business enterprise had to be organic, and next to no oil for
tractors, bovine and horses returned to the arrive. Farming became
labour-intensive; more and more population became farmers.
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In the archean 90s energy cuts were undisputed - stable up to 24
hours. If folks could get to trade (and moving was severely
disrupted) they repeatedly had nil to do because location was no
power. It's merely in the finishing few geezerhood that electricity cuts
have mostly disappeared. The therapy has travel in iii ways.
First, the senescent political unit power system has been superseded to a large
extent by grounds a lot of neighbourhood generators to replace
the few oversized vigour devotion and the atomic facility that the
soviets ne'er done with. (Not CHP - in that clime you just
don't inevitability the heat!) Secondly the organization has managed
demand, and you don't see strand bulbs everywhere - they're all
CFL's. There is as well a program to replace national appliances
with more efficient ones. (But Cuba is a impecunious country, and the
volume of municipal appliances must be bittie.) Thirdly, Fidel -
or Raoul - is now big chums near Hugo Chavez in Venezuela which
has scads of oil. (This is fortunate, as all generating plants,
large and small, come across to be oil -fueled.) Cuba has dispatched 20,000
doctors to Venezuela and receives oil in arrival. I've not been
able to discover whether this is as by a long way as Russia used to
There is increasingly a instrumentality hassle exacerbated some by oil
shortages and by the need of lean environment for vehicles. Mass
transit is in recent times that: those jammed into produce lorries.
Government vehicles of all kinds are supposed to take
hitch-hikers, and yellow-uniformed thumb coordinators are
stationed at the sidelong of the thoroughfare to ensure that they do. Cuba
was one of the prototypical Latin-American countries to have railways.
They are fixed there, but like the anchorage ground they are longish overdue
for repairs and continuation.
So has Cuba exultantly survived Peak Oil? The country
certainly suffered an oil disturbance beside extensive consequences,
and while material possession are recovered than they were in the proterozoic 90s
people say that material possession are motionless not what they were beforehand the
Soviet Union collapsed. The on-going US embargo has continued to
make holding difficult, though illogically Cuba motionless buys
millions of dollars of silage from the US, and Cuban expands in the
States besides convey roughly $1billion posterior environment all year. With only
11m citizens in 111,000 km2, [UK 60m - 242,000km2] the state has
the latent to be self-sufficing in agriculture, but the
command discount has been inept to bring about this. The 2006 Annual
Economic Review report that MP's at the Economic Committee
complain of work knowledge domain difficulties which organize to low
productivity, corruptness and dissipation.
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Do we have a instruction for the what's left of the world? The worldwide will
suffer identical teething troubles from Peak Oil, but it is questionable that
they will spring up rather as of a sudden as they did in Cuba. The most
important gap is that Cuba has replaced its Russian oil,
at least to both extent, next to Venezuelan oil. The global doesn't
have that substitute.
On a worldwide scale, when the oil's gone, it's gone!