Wilderness Survival, Tracking, and Awareness

How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

See also: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (Video)

Cuba lost most of its oil supply almost overnight with the collapse of the Soviet union in the early 1990s. Cuba was able to cope extremely well with the extreme changes necessary in the face of a drastically reduced oil supply (as we in the Western world will ourselves undergo in the next 5-10 years). North Korea (see link to article below on this page) did not fare nearly so well. Personally I think it will be unlikely that Western countries will be able to respond so well as did Cuba—mainly because we have a culture that encourages and rewards individual and corporate competition (rather than co-operation), and requires ongoing growth to keep the financial system from collapsing.

Notwithstanding the above, the example of Cuba is extremely inspiring, and the more of us in the West that are able to learn from such an example, and act accordingly, the better off we shall all be in the years to come.

This is an excellent article (in PDF format) about the Cuban response to their oil crisis.

This is an good article comparing the situation in Cuba with that of North Korea, after losing much of their oil supply in the early 1990s due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Power of Community

A documentary has been made about the Cuban response to their own oil crisis, "The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil", which I highly recommend. It costs about USD$20 to order it in DVD format. This is a particularly excellent resource to show to groups of people—especially those people who may be put off or frightened by the usual kind of peak oil material that explains the problem well, but does not offer much in the way of possible solutions.

Everyone who is concerned about Peak Oil needs to see this film. Cuba survived an energy famine during the 1990s, and how it did so constitutes one of the most important and hopeful stories of the past few decades. It is a story not just of individual achievement, but of the collective mobilization of an entire society to meet an enormous challenge. Lest the point be missed, I will underscore it: this particular challenge – the problem of energy scarcity is one we will all be facing very soon.
Richard Heinberg, review taken from www.thecommunitysolution.org.

You can listen to an interview with Megan Quinn, one of the makers of this movie (for free) in MP3 audio format, and you can also watch it in streaming video (real media format), if your internet connection is fast enough. Episode 27 is the one about Cuba. I found this interview to be extremely inspiring, and if you are at all concerned about peak oil, I highly recommend either watching or listening to it. Many of the other episodes look like they might be interesting also.

See Also

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (Video)
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