Two years ago this blog suggested that Cuba offered a great case study for Cities Under Peak Oil conditions.
Subsequent to that blog Jim Garrison interviewed me for Integral Life about my book Integral City. We talked about The New Cuban Revolution: how the fairly surprising case study of Havana, Cuba offered insights to the sustainability discussion. After the fall of the iron curtain, Cuba was forced by a variety of geo-political realities to change their approach to energy policy, transportation, food production, education, and much else about their whole island eco-region.
This Cuban-focused part of the interview did not stand me in much good stead with opportunities to speak to American city associations about my views of the relationship of cities and their eco-regions. Of course, given the history of the USA and Cuba this was a hard lesson, but not too surprising in retrospect.
So it is with genuine delight that I read in Slate today that they are now revisiting the lessons from Cuba and its experience with agro-ecology. Not only that but the author recognizes the importance that mindset plays in making decisions that change governance, relationship to the land and the wellbeing of people. The Slate article finishes with this caution:
Climate change has already reduced global wheat harvests by 5 percent, and food prices are predicted to double by 2030. Cuba’s example is both instructive and frustrating. Technical innovations in Cuban agriculture point to the kinds of thinking needed to address the future: moving away from monoculture and understanding the value of complex, integrated systems. The trouble is that this also means a change in the mindset of governments and scientists schooled in last century’s agriculture. If that’s a lesson the rest of the world is ready for, Cuban peasant organizing could well light the way to the future, even if their automobiles are stuck in the past.
You can read the whole article with a click here.