[permaculture] conservatism/food/references requested

Scott Vlaun scott at moosepondarts.com
Tue Feb 19 00:46:36 EST 2008


Toby,

To be fair, Cuba's transition wasn't exactly painless. Many suffered  
greatly during their transition.
They also happen to have a political system that was able to turn  
agricultural practices around on a dime.

Currently, Venezuelan Oil is their #1 import and much of it is used  
in agriculture. they also import a lot of food, nearly half a billion  
annually from the U.S alone.

I was there in '97 and saw some amazing things, but it's not as rosy  
as we'd like to think.


Scott Vlaun
Moose Pond Arts+Ecology
Design Solutions for a Sustainable Future

450 Main Street, Studio 2
Norway, Maine 04268
http://www.moosepondarts.com
207-739-2409 Studio




On Feb 19, 2008, at 12:27 AM, Toby Hemenway wrote:

John & Maia O'Brien wrote:
> I would like to see the references.
> Do any come from Cuba's "special period" experience?
All the data come from the US, but thanks for mentioning Cuba. Cuba's
ability to feed itself with little oil is the shining indicator that
food is not the problem some think it is. Cuba also had a very abrupt
transition, and the transition for much of the world will most likely be
more gradual, so perhaps less stressful than Cuba's. To my knowledge,
Cuba is the only nation to face a near-complete loss of oil, and they
did it successfully. So one could say, with only a little statistical
chicanery, that 100% of the nations that have faced a major oil
shortfall have made it through successfully. Take that, doomers!

references:
10% of US oil used for food system:
  http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/FoodReview/DEC2002/frvol25i3a.pdf

Cornell foodshed research:
  http://crops.confex.com/crops/viewHandout.cgi?uploadid=226

H.T. Odum emergy data for food vs. electricity, banking, etc:
Odum, Howard T. "A Prosperous Way Down"

Toby
http://patternliteracy.com

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