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Peak oil :cuba - Movie Review Example

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The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil The documentary discusses how the breakdown of the Soviet Union in the 1990s has made an adverse impact on the economy of Cuba by creating a Peak Oil scenario, and how it was able to overcome the crisis by relying on its people and natural resources…
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Download file to see previous pages In the initial minutes, the film dwells on what Peak Oil is and how it forced Cuba to transform overnight. Mick Winter explains what Peak Oil is: …oil resources on the planet are finite and that there will come a point in time when one day less oil is being extracted than previously…There will come a point when less and less oil is available for the industrialized society of the planet. (14) Since oil is a key driver of every nation’s economy, affecting agriculture, health and nutrition, power, transportation and other major sectors, having a shortage of it definitely spells big problems. And this is exactly what happened to Cuba. The country depended much on imported fuel, food and other important goods; and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba went through serious food shortages which affected public health and nutrition. The people also experienced power cuts lasting as long as 16 hours a day, making it difficult for them to perform their day-to-day activities under a tropical climate. Moreover, many factories and business establishments closed shops, and public transportation was almost put to a halt. During the “Special Period”, as the time of crisis is often referred to, it became necessary for the people to do a 360 degree turn from their usual way of living to one that is low-energy and highly efficient. Instead of complaining about the many hardships that came their way, the people embraced the fact that they must change some of their habits. They were also willing to learn new things, such as riding a bike instead of driving a car, just to cope with the crisis. All their strategies were drilled down at the local community level, and this promoted unity and cooperation among the members, this proved true the belief of the non-government organization, Community Solutions, that “small, local communities can be more energy efficient and are preferable to the megalopolies of the globalized free market” (Murphy 3). One major advantage with this experience was that everybody – be it professionals such as doctors and lawyers, or simple community members - was willing to adjust to the call for low-energy and compact living. They took it upon themselves to help in alleviating the nation’s oil-related problems. Below are some examples of the adjustments made by the locals in response to the crisis. To address their need for food, they stopped relying heavily on imported goods and started utilizing previously untapped natural resources and employed simple yet innovative solutions. The people searched for all idle or unused lands and transformed them for agricultural purposes. The community people did the same even at their own homes. They maximized even the smallest lot available to grow backyard plants and vegetables for their daily supply. Instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, they opted to use organic products. In addition, the people turned to rearing animals to supplement their food supply. As a result of this shift to agriculture-centered living, farmers became one of the highest income earners in Cuba. The Peak Oil likewise affected how the locals built their houses. They went from big, energy-intensive houses to compact and energy-efficient ones. They formed eco villages and started utilizing solar power to cut down on electricity usage. In the end, Cuba’s energy consumption per person became nearly 90 percent lower than that of the United ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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