adding page while watching – the power of community – how cuba survived peak oil, via thought maybe site (2006, 53:05):


12 min – 1994 – imported bikes from china

1992 – u.s. tightened embargo

14 min – money as not useful.. so we became an experiment… nothing from outside so we had to do all from inside.. ration cards shrank 1/5

there was no change as far reaching as agriculture.. had gotten into industrialization, ie: fertilization, etc… even in the good times the system (import/export) never fulfilled basic needs..

people ended up squatting places to farm – organic agriculture.. every vacant lot in the city tuned into an orchard.. dr’s, everyone, they just did it .. by trial and error

1993 – australians came to help with urban gardening . train the trainers – permaculture

huge was – the people cooperating with and caring about each other… so self organizing…

farmers now among the highest paid workers… make a good living.. dignified..

there are more than 1000 kiosks with fresh food.. providing from local – 80-100% of fruits/vegetables needed.

23 min – cuba eliminated need for fertilizers and pesticides and fossil fuels

smaller farms needed and more farmers needed

top 3 inches of soil are key – you add chemicals and you destroy all of that.. it took 3-5 years to make land fertile/productive again.. you need time and money to rebuild.

you hire nature to work for you… to work against nature wastes huge amounts of energy..

1st ethic – take care of earth/land

27 min – crop rotation, composting, green manuer

today 80% of cuba’s agriculture production is organic.. bio pesticides/fertilizers… mesh covers to protect from weather/pests

in the 80s – we used 21,000 tons of pesticides, today using 1000 tons

forest farms – lazy people agriculture – because you are working with nature..

use oxen – save fuel – but also don’t compact soil.. (like tractors), then too – process of raising oxen

privately owned coops – with fewer state regulations..  had 2 requirements: 1\ you grow things there 2\ use land w/o paying taxes – but might have to give it back (f needed for something else)

12-50% of land was private – and was highest in production.. 2nd was coves/coops.. and 3rd was govt states

33 min –  de centralized and centralized at same time

local economy – lots provided for free (not compulsory but offered free by choice) – because – they know their neighbors..

34 min – ed system – uni de centralized because no transportation/housing.. which both depended on oil… cuba had 3 unis.. today has about 50

continued with free health care and ed.. (which most places that’s the first thing cut) – dr’s, etc, lived within neighborhoods they worked in

average cuban consumes less than 1/8 energy as average american – and yet healthier

necessity taught them to eat vegetables.. (avg cuban lost 20 lbs during this time)

they train more dr’s than they need so send to developing countries..

37 min – transportation.. energy to produce car and then energy to move it..

mass transit evolved.. old trucks became busses with canopy, carpooling/hitchhikers – govt cars were required to pick up anyone

39 min – bikes a necessity – but it wasn’t easy. bikes aren’t contaminators.. they make you more healthy… but after 5 yrs.. you hate it..

car is something we’ll remember in the future.. because they will be gone

40 min – housing..  cement production requires lots of fuel .. so that all changed.. yet – everyone in cuba has a place to live and 85% of people own their own home

in havana – many live in a dilapidated bldgs or w/relatives.. but many like to live there (city).. so many have wanted to come and help recover city.. the commute causes problems.. between city and neighborhood..

everybody must use same space – design for common community

42 min – energy.. at start 95% was connected to national grid.. recently.. more than 2000 rural schools were provided with solar panels.. less expensive than adding to grid.

before – they depended on imported oil.. but once they had no choice to use other means – ie: sugar mills – became additional power plants.. 30% of energy  – – biomass – during season

45 min – cuban perspectives…. problem is – what people said about cuba in the states wasn’t true

46 min – we must change how we think – island people have that innate sense of limited resources

if you want to be economically independent .. you have to be politically independent

we don’t need to sell oil to live

49 min – there are infinitely small solutions.. think global act local. reflect more on how to be happy with less..




self organizing graphic



There is a potential glitch — and it’s an ironic one. Obama’s historic and courageous decision to restore relationships with Cuba is a double-edged sword. It was clear from our discussions with government officials, farmers, and activists that the embargo has severely hurt the Cuban economy and its people. And while there was near unanimous support for lifting the embargo, it was also acknowledged that doing so could undermine the country’s culture — and agriculture.

by Greg Watson



from commonbound conf livestream  (2:24 at the time) – on cuba

non agricultural coops.. goal to 50/50 econ..  govt hold slowing approving of coops… 80% were former govt converted into coops…

in cuba.. 1\increased size of private sector w coops 2\ increased de centralization.. cuba still believe in central planning.. not a move toward capitalism.. rather a prosperous and sustainable socialism..  3\ desire to encourage foreign investment.. cuban econ not in good shape.. need 2.5 bill a year in foreign investment.. to meet desired growth rate… really a problem about lack of capital access to projects of all sorts.. has been capital starved for 30 yrs.. need lots of new resources esp in field of energy..


cuba is extraordinarily strong in the development of human capital.. much more egalitarian than any other in world.. so how to use human capital to insert into econ

why insert…? sounds like we should follow them


how can cuba maintain econ while maintaining.. and how can it been done in a way to leapfrog into a sustainable period of growth.. to look at self as a leader.. like it has been for decades (social justice, solidarity, leadership of world..)

how to leapfrog – Eric Leenson

now you’re talking #CommonBound

a nother wayleapfrog.. for (blank)’s sake