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AH Member Writings : Ron Last Updated: Mar 15, 2021 - 10:28:00 PM

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil II
By Ron Chapman (& Faith Morgan, Eugene “Pat” Murphy & Megan Quinn)
Aug 30, 2011 - 8:31:30 PM

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The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.

Ron: This 38 minute film is about the hardships, tribulations and struggles faced and overcome by Cubans in the 20 years since the economic crisis which Cubans call "The Special Period.", precipitated by the collapse of the Soviet Union to which Cuba’s economy had become an economically unbalanced appendage. See:

To survive Cuba had to almost instantaneously transition from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens.

In my view the title of this film doesn’t give sufficient credit to the achievements Cubans have made in adapting to nature and natural living in a global community increasingly dominated by economic rationalism, globalisation, fiat money, fractional reserve banking and usury; and the social dysfunctions they create.


The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach an all-time peak and begin to decline forever. What the film doesn’t posit, is that the decline in global ability to extract oil (Gaia’s blood) from the Earth may well be both sudden and global in reach. But that is a likely possibility given the radical Earth changes now upon us. Cuba is the only country that has faced a crisis of this magnitude due to a massive reduction in the availability of fossil fuels and the fertilizers and other products derived from them.


The answer that has emerged from the Cuban experience is that societal survival is not dependant on high technology but on the quality of human relationships. In effect what occurred in Cuba and what is needed everywhere, is a radical shift in consciousness away from dependence on the “technological fix” for food production, transport and everything else, to a realisation that humans must live in harmony with each other and nature; and adapt their living and productive activities accordingly.

The Cuban experience since the onset of "The Special Period" demonstrates the power and flexibility of human community. Faced with a huge shortage of fuel, fertilizers, farm machinery and transport vehicles etc the Cuban people designed and developed low-energy solutions to current unsustainable, carbon fuel based, industrialized, and centralized, farming and globalised living techniques.


The solutions developed amount to little more than common sense – lost to Khazar mind control techniques foisted on humanity in the last couple of centuries as Khazars increasingly controlled and manipulated global political, financial, economic, social, educational and cultural trends. The solutions are based on returning dignity and status to the people who grow food and to ensure that most food is grown locally and organically so that energy inputs related to cultivation, harvesting, transport and distribution of food is minimised, and food is fresh. Incidentally this enables Cubans to provide food free on a local bais to those who deserve and need it such as old people and invalids.


The key to success lies in human ingenuity because the problems involved in living naturally are many and varied and the brutal subjugation of nature’s diversity through technological fixes in which “one size fits all” harms all living things. Thus a multitude of small solutions, thought up by many people, best suits the environment. In effect, society functions best with each person seeking to fix problems faced rather than relying on centralised, industrial solutions. Thus individual thinking is encouraged such that society progresses through the accretion of an infinite number of small solutions.


This growth in consciousness and thinking ability is essential to individual and societal development. As a narrator says in the film: ‘To be politically independent you have to be economically independent and to be economically independent you must be energy independent.’ And so, each community must strive to minimise energy usage and to maximise local energy production, including the production of food. Cubans also strive to create mass transit modes for people and in Havana and generally communities strive to ensure that local facilities are within walking and/or bicycling range.


Cuba’s solution to these requirements also includes massive development of urban gardens and provision of free land to all who wish to farm provided that if society’s need to use land so provided for another purpose, the land will revert to the community. Presumably those inconvenienced by resumption of their land will receive land elsewhere if they want to continue farming.


Part of the decentralisation solution has been for Cuba to create smaller universities spread around the country with only three out of 50 universities being situated in Havana, the Capital. Thus scientists working in universities can be near local communities and farmers who need their help in solving local problems. Similarly, Cuban doctors and health professionals are spread throughout the land, rather than congregating in large urban areas. Cuba has more than twice as many doctors per head of population than the US has.

The film concludes that the world is changing and we have many problems and accordingly humanity must change its consciousness – how we think, as individuals and collectively. The solution to human problems is to be happy with less, and to seek to share, co-operate and achieve solidarity with others since we inhabit ONE world which is here for all of us. I agree.


The Cuba diet: What will you be eating when the revolution comes? See:

Cuba's urban gardens. See:

The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. See:

Farming and Gardening after Stasis:The Global Garden of Eden. See:

Permaculture Today: Greening the Desert. See:


Behind Greening the Desert – Ron: Watch especially the first 1.5 minutes and the last 1.5 minutes – Ozzie permaculture ideas might save the planet.See:

Geoff Lawton - We Are The Weeds See:

Permaculture Water Harvesting. See:

Geoff Lawton's Permaculture Food Forest. See:

How to Make a Compost Heated Shower. See:

How to make a WORM TOWER. See:

Murrnong - a permaculture subdivision - David Arnold – permaculture designer

The Permaculture Master Plan – Permaculture Centres Worldwide. See:

Geoff Lawton: 'You can fix all the world's problems in a garden.'. See:

Permaculture & Sustainable & Resilient Communities. See:

Permaculture: An Australian contribution to saving Urantia. See

Live the Way of Permaculture. See:

World One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos. See:

4 Best Methods for Off-the-Grid Food Production. See:

May the Farm be with You. See:


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