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Change The World Movie Night: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Come join the Cottonwood Institute for a screening of the documentary, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, this Thursday, July 14th, 2008 at 6:30pm at the Fluid Coffee Bar in Denver. The movie is free and will be followed by a discussion of the film and how we can take action to help change the world!

Peak Oil is defined as the time when oil production reaches an all time peak, which can only be followed by a continual decline in production. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, Cuba’s economy hit rock bottom and the country experienced its own artificial peak oil crisis. Imports of food and oil were cut by more than half resulting in the loss of transportation, electricity, and fossil fuel based agriculture. In the film, The Power of Community, we hear from a number of individual Cubans who tell how they changed their lifestyle in order to survive the hardship. In order to transition from a fossil fuel based society cubans embraced practices such as local, organic and urban farming, alternative transportation, and community based living.

Guiding Question: If your community goes through a similar peak oil crisis, what would you do? How would you act? What skills would you need to develop in order to contribute to your local community to survive such a crisis?

Local Resources:

  • The Great Reskilling
  • Denver Urban Gardens
  • Denver Botanic Gardens

Categories: Cottonwood Institute News

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One Response to “Change The World Movie Night: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”

  1. Eric

    For me, the prospect of peak oil goes hand in hand with every other omen of impending doom: GHG concentrations, food prices, infectious disease rates, global conflict. So if what goes down resembles a general crumbling of society, I’ll make like many “survivalists” out there and head for the hills.

    A general crubling of society is only one scenario, and it is definitely not rooted in a cycle of hope paradigm. (I wont call it the worst case… ask me about what James Hansen considers the worst case scenario.) Some towns for example are already drafting and implementing plans for oil descent! I highly suggest reading the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan (available online; google it) for the idea that sparked the movement of “transition towns”– towns that have decided that their small slice of society, at least, will flourish in a world where oil has become scarce and expensive. This is largely in parallel with the movements that Cuba has made in their own Peak Oil crisis. (More like an oil cliff face, right?) In fact, there are optimistic visionaries everywhere that have seen opportunity for human innovation to shine through in the comming hardships. The Better World Handbook and Worldchanging are good evidence of this.

    Here’s my strategy: plan for the worst and work for the best. In my life I will be a bold activist for the salvation of our world and species in the face of environmental/energy/social crisis. I’ll also be ready to save myself if it does all go to shit.

    I really love to envision a strongly localized community where people contribute in real ways: no room for business men and globalized economy. We could live like people used to, as craftspeople and farmers and the like. I wonder if my community will need a chemist?


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