[permaculture] Permaculture recommendation for Deep Green Resistance

Bob Waldrop bob at bobwaldrop.net
Fri Jul 5 00:55:41 EDT 2013

Cuba is often touted as a permaculture success story, the DGR book has 
some interesting contrarian figures that perhaps those with more 
knowledge of what actually happened in Cuba during the "special period" 
could maybe comment on.

+  The per capita diet for most people dropped to about 1,850 calories/day.
+ For children and the elderly, 1,450 calories/day.
+ Protein dropped by 40%, to 15-20 grams/day (less than an ounce).
+ Dietary fat dropped by 64%.
+ Vitamin A by 67%.
+ 50,000 Cubans were afflicted with a mysterious malady, a team of 
physicians from the Pan American Health Organization diagnosed it as 
"neuropathy due to spare diet with great physical exertion".
+ The basic ration was rice, sugar, potatoes, beans, 12 eggs a month, 
every 15 days 1/2 pound of beef mixed with soy or 1 pound of chicken, 
children got some milk.
+ The direct maternal mortality increased by 60%.
+ The mortality rate of the elderly increased by 20%.

The book has footnotes for these statistics, I am not qualified to 
comment on them.

Actually, I am not surprised that the more frail members of the 
population died, and that pregnant women were particularly impacted.  
Cuba went through an almost complete decline in fossil fuel 
availability, the miracle is that more people did not die, and more 
people were not crippled by malnutrition.

I am sure more "normal" relationships with the United States would have 
reduced the impact of this or in fact ameliorated it entirely.  Yet, I 
am not sure what normal relationships with the United States really 
offers the Cuban people.  Will they be better off with US corporations 
setting up shop, dismantling the Cuban health care system in favor of a 
US style system, flooding their markets with cheap schlock and driving 
the locals out of business in favor of franchises imported from the 
United States.  Will opening their markets to Twinkies, Rice Chex, and 
frozen meat-like substances really be the answer to malnutrition?  Part 
of me wishes I could go to the international meeting there, to see the 
situation on the ground, but that is waaay too far for me to travel even 
if I could afford it which I can't, lol.

Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
http://www.ipermie.net -- How to permaculture your urban lifestyle

On 7/4/2013 9:43 PM, Lawrence London wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM, Bob Waldrop <bob at bobwaldrop.net> wrote:
>> I think one reason the permaculture movement has escaped this fate is
>> that thus far, we have resisted the urge to recognize a permaculture
>> "pope" and set up centralized systems of control and authority over our
>> activities.  Yeah, lots of people criticize us for this, but when I look
>> at the fate of other movements, I remain grateful for our rhizome and
>> stolon approach.
> Rather than DGR, a facet of the permaculture movement involving
> support and outreach,
> peaceful education and enlightenment, best carried out by PDC's of all
> sorts, might be a better thing.
> I have recently become interested in Cuba and its future built on a
> permaculture foundation.
> Jesse Helms was a US Senator from NC, my home state. He was
> instrumental in blocking any
> effort to normalize relations between the US and Cuba. He is history
> now but is replaced by the radical right
> and tea part element in right wing politics. Could be they constitute
> a greater threat than Helms,
> if one takes all the news and information sources seriously,
> especially the alternative ones.
> I would like to see massive support for Cuba within the global
> permaculture community. It will have to be long and sustained.
> That is the kind of deep green resistance I would like to see and
> contribute energy to. This is a timely thing for all of us to do.
> Look at the times we are in. Keep Cuba green, clean and properly fed,
> housed and healthy. Cuba provided medical nurses
> to work in their foreign service in places like the desert regions,
> near wastelands, less than ideally suited for agricultural production,
> harsh spartan environments
> in rural Morocco, to help tribal nomads exiled by the wealthy elite to
> those regions, out of sight out of mind kind of thing but dumped there
> with no government support. There is a video documentary on this.
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