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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cuba's Lesson

Cuba’s premature peak what did we learn
Cuba had a thriving government in its relations to the Soviet Union and export of their goods. They like every major country in the world relied very heavily on oil. When their lose of exports and oil happened with the collapse of the Soviet Union it almost destroyed Cuba, and they had to radically change their way of life.
There are certain things that we can take out of looking at Cuba, but for the most part the things we learn I think are the obvious things, the real issue Cuba did not deal with. Cuba had a premature peak of oil. While the rest of the world still has large amounts of oil Cuba could no longer be completely dependant on oil like the rest of the world but I am going to focus on what is shows us in the U.S. Cuba lost 75% of its oil. So while that is a crippling blow what we saw from the video, Cuba still had the ability to run public transportation, and run their old cars, which made transportation somewhat of a privilege. They had to start growing food for individual use and overall increase the amount of agriculture in the entire country, since the food could no longer be driven in from the country, it was to costly. This is something we already knew for the U.S. There will have to be an increase in the amount of local food growth and everything will have to be more localized.
Something I think we do learn from Cuba is the level it will be for the first 5-10 years after peak. It possibly means that it will be more of just a great depression like state and then continue to work down. Although something that has to be taken into account is that Cuba may have been able to hold on since it had countries around it that were not being hurt like they were. So while they could still keep exporting so that it was not as drastic of a drop as it could be when the entire world falls into peak oil, the collapse may happen faster since there is no safety net at all.
I believe Cuba also teaches us that we should be less reliant on other countries with out economy. While I do believe that the only way to make peak oil less drastic is for countries to band together, Cuba’s economy collapse because they lost their partner; so if our economy was based off of states trading goods with each other rather than countries half way around the world, it would be less likely to completely lose that trade connection when peak oil happens than if we are relying on importing Honda’s from Japan. As well as importing good’s and technology, if each state starts trading food sources and natural food from their area’s to each other, rather than farms in Tennessee growing food from Florida, each state would have a larger amount of food to give out to its people once the collapse happens.


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