Friday, March 03, 2006

A Better World is Possible

This unique Cuban transport vehicle, called a "camel", can carry 300 passengers. (Photo by John Morgan, from the Energy Bulletin website)

Check out how Cuba is way ahead on sustainability and building a society with minimal dependendence on oil.

A few highlights:
  • Today an estimated 50 percent of Havana's vegetables come from inside the city, while in other Cuban towns and cities urban gardens produce from 80 percent to more than 100 percent of what they need.
  • Cubans have moved to a primarily low-fat, vegetarian diet.
  • Government officials allow private entrepreneurial farmers and neighborhood organizations to use public land to grow and sell their produce. They encourage migration back to the farms and rural areas and have reorganized their provinces to be in-line with agricultural needs.
  • At the Organip√≥nico de Alamar, a neighborhood agriculture project, a workers' collective runs a large urban farm, a produce market and a restaurant. Hand tools and human labor replace oil-driven machinery. Worm cultivation and composting create productive soil. Drip irrigation conserves water.
  • Solar power is providing electricity for homes, schools, medical facilities, and community centers.
  • An innovative mass transit system was created out of necessity. Virtually every form of vehicle, large and small, was used. Commuters ride in buses, other motorized transport, hand-made wheelbarrows, and animal-powered vehicles. Government officials pull over nearly empty government vehicles and trucks on Havana's streets and fill them with people needing a ride.
  • The literacy rate in Cuba is 97 percent, the same as in the United States. Cuba's education system and medical system are free.
  • The Cuban government changed its 30-year motto from "Socialism or Death" to "A Better World is Possible."


At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we seem to be lagging behind other countries?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Essie said...

but don't forget that some choices were made out of poverty. I'm glad they are more eco-friendly but the fact that the food supply was not so great and people couldn't afford to buy meat are some of the reasons to switch to a veggie diet. I don't eat meat either, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it was a choice for moral etc. reasons.
Same with the old cars and lack of gasoline. But being forced to find an alternative, they came up with good solutions.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger TheSustainableBlogger said...

I saw this film at the Silverlake Film Festival a few months ago and was also completely in awe of the changes implemented. A forced experiment that led to incredible change and improvement. I sent the film to one of my college professors with hope he would incorporate it into his lesson plan.
I like your work and will continue to read your blog.


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