Lessons from Cuba
When Cuba lost over half of all its oil imports after the fall of the Soviet Union, experts predicted disaster, but the country soldiered on as farmers and urban gardeners, scientists and engineers banded together to find alternate solutions. The film “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,” showing as part of Edwards’ Film for Thought series Monday at 6 p.m., foreshadows our future and how we might also survive such a crisis.Starting in the summer of 2003, filmmakers Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy traversed the entirety of Cuba, interviewing townspeople about what they called “The Special Period,” in which Cuba transformed from a highly industrial society to a sustainable one. Cuba accomplished this largely through switching from large farms or plantations and reliance on fossil-fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers to small organic farms and urban gardens. The filmmakers traveled over 1700 miles throughout Cuba and came to realize that Cuban attitudes lent themselves to preservation in an oil crisis. Many Cubans believed that living on an island with its natural boundaries bred a heightened awareness of the limits of natural resources.