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The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

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It Was Not Just The Agriculture That Changed...

This film explores how Cuba pulled through an extreme and sudden oil shortage when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990.

The film was made in 2006. Regardless of your views on Peak Oil, this is a fascinating and utterly inspiring look at how Cuba developed successful and lasting alternatives in a heavily fossil fuel dependent society.

People were desperate. Food imports were cut by 80%. Oil imports were cut by more than half. This film tells the amazing story of how the Cuban people responded with all the rules changing overnight.

Every aspect of human life was affected but no aspect as much as agriculture. Urban agriculture was not just a helpful emergency measure, it actually prevented famine. A drastic effort to convert every every bit of arable land to productive agriculture was begun. Oxen replaced tractors. Organic farming and permaculture replaced conventional fossil fuel based agriculture.

"Nothing can happen from the outside, so everything has to happen from the inside." says permaculturist Roberto Perez.

The film explores some fascinating aspects of this shift. How they made healthy soil from the prevailing dead overly fertilized dust, how people who had never grown a tomato became farmers, how they now use 21 times less pesticides than before and how more than 50% of Havana's produce is grown in the city!

But it wasn't just the new ways of growing food that created the epic underlying change: this is the story of how it unified the country and all the communities within it.

--Bibi Farber

To visit the home page of the producers of this film, please go to: