The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil review

I never get round to reviewing Hollywood movies I see, not that I watch many of them any way. There just doesn’t seem to be much point. Basically all you need to know is the basic plot, who is in it and whether it is worth watching or not. But I love reviewing documentaries, they always provide new information and get one thinking.

Last night I watched The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil and it was very interesting. Peak Oil refers to the time when oil will become scarce and expensive and we will have to change the way we live because of that. When you realise how much of our lifestyle (food, transport, agriculture, etc) relies on oil, you understand the massive changes that will have to take place.

It’s hard for us to predict how this will happen, but Cuba has already experienced it because of the embargo against it. In previous years they relied on the USSR, but when that fell, they had nothing except some Latin American countries to trade with. They had to deal with having almost no oil. It was very interesting to see what happened.

A reversal of this whole commercial farming system back to people growing their own food and bartering or selling it. Decentralisation of universities and health care (all free, by the way) as well as redistribution of land. Farming moved to organic and sustainable methods and alternative sources of electricity were promoted.

The benefits of this system to the health of the people and social fabric of the community was almost unquantifiable. The benefit to the environment was also immense. Some very strong lessons for us in developed countries and particularly in South Africa. We have 20 million people living below the bread line, we could learn much from a country like Cuba which provides free food staples, free health care and free education to all.

This documentary is showing again tonight, get the details from my previous post.

If you are interested but won’t be able to catch the last screening, you can get a lot of information from the website of the documentary.