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Chris Clark
Joined: 1 Nov 2008

I have come across a website about how Cuba survived its own "Peak oil crisis" in the 1990s known to Cubans as the "Special Period".


Cuba lost half its entire oil supply when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s.  As a result industrial agriculture and transport collapsed and electricity became more erratic as a result of loss of oil to thermal power plants.

However the Cuban people are very ingenous. Here is a list of the successful measures they took to counter the Special Period.

Converted truck and trailer units into 300 seater buses known as "Camels"

Carpooled with cars having as many as eight occupants at a time

Use of horses and carts as taxis.

Walking, cycling and riding buses

Extensive Permaculture including rooftop gardens and raised beds on vacant lots.

Use of oxen rather than tractors and combine harvester.

Development of bio-fertilisers and pesticides rather than chemical stuff.

Localised electricity generation through the use of solar power.

Other positives include an increase in the number of tertiary institutions in Cuban rural areas in order to prevent people from moving about the country and using precious energy in the process and Cuba's ability to maintain its first class health system even during the darkest part of the Special Period and an improvement in Cuban people's diet with a more vegetarian bent to it.


I think New Zealand should adopt the Cuban model if push comes to shove.





Steve Netwriter
Steve Netwriter's picture
Joined: 27 Jan 2009
A must watch Video on Cuba


I watched this video on Cuba, and found it most inspiring:

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, 53 min - Jul 6, 2008

A couple of other links:



Surviving Peak Oil & Economic Collapse: Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century


Chris Clark
Joined: 1 Nov 2008

I reckon a transition to a Cuba style transport model should not be too difficult

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