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Drawing Lessons from Experience-2, Cuba

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  • Dale pfeiffer
    Drawing Lessons from Experience; The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2 Cuba-A Hope by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor © Copyright
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 2, 2003
       

      Drawing Lessons from Experience;

      The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2

      Cuba-A Hope

      by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor

      © Copyright 2003, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact admin@.... May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.

      December 1, 2003, 1600 PDT, (FTW) --The story of Cuba begins in much the same vein as the story of North Korea. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought the loss of oil imports as well as the loss of their major trading partner. And U.S. sanctions kept the country isolated from the rest of the world.

      However, there are some very important differences between Cuba and DPRK. For one thing, Cuba has a much warmer climate, with a longer growing season. Cuba also has a better ratio of population to arable land, though most of the arable land is not of the best quality.1 Cuba has a large percentage of scientists, engineers and doctors in its population. With only 2% of the population of Latin America, Cuba holds 11% of the scientists in all of Latin America.2 Even before the crisis provoked by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuban scientists had begun exploring alternatives to fossil fuel-based agriculture. Research into ecological agriculture began back in the 1980s. By the time of the crisis, a system of regional research institutes, training centers and extension services was in place to quickly disseminate information to farmers.3 And finally, the Cuban government had social programs in place to support farmers and the population through the crisis and the transition into ecological agriculture.

      Before looking at the crisis and the Cuban response, it is necessary to look briefly at Cuban society before the crisis, particularly rural society and the agrarian reforms of past decades. It is here that the groundwork was laid for a successful transition.

      A Short History

      Prior to the 1959 revolution, there was one word to describe Cuba: inequity. Only 8% of the farmers controlled 70% of the land. U.S. interests controlled most of the Cuban economy, including most of the large plantations, a controlling interest in the sugar production, the mining industry, oil refineries, electrical utilities, the communications system, and many of the banks.4

      The majority of the rural labor force consisted of landless, seasonal workers without schooling, healthcare, electricity or running water. They earned their living during only three months of the year, at planting time and at harvest. Rural workers were lucky to earn one-quarter of the national income.5

      At the time of the revolution, most of the wealthy landowners fled to the United States. Their former holdings were expropriated and given over to the laborers. Minor Sinclair and Martha Thompson provide a vivid illustration of this transformation in their portrait of Ciego de Avila.6

      The province of Ciego de Avila encompasses what was formerly the Las Navajas  estate. The estate had been owned by Alfredo and Horacia Arbutio, two brothers who ran their holdings with an iron fist. The brothers ruled over the local peasantry, and meted out a very harsh justice that included beatings and punishment for those who collected firewood on the estate. The peasantry had no schools, no healthcare, and no electricity. There weren't even roads to bring them these amenities. They were starved and sick.

      The Arbutio brothers fled to the U.S. at the time of the revolution. Alfredo became a founding member of the Cuban-American National Foundation. The former sharecroppers, 62 families, expropriated the land. They formed the Jose Marti Cooperative, and the new government provided them with technical training, supplies, guaranteed markets, and crop insurance.7

      Members of the cooperative--sons and daughters of former sharecroppers--have university degrees in agriculture, computers, teaching, engineering and other subjects. The cooperative now supports a school, a clinic and a pharmacy. In the next generation, many children have plans to become doctors and nurses. And, considering that Cuba's medical training program is among the best in the world, it is highly likely that these plans will come to fruition.

      The Cuban revolution has been followed by three periods of agrarian reform, first in 1959, secondly in 1963, and finally the current land reform of the 1990s. The first reform limited private land owning to 1,000 acres. This resulted in a tripling of the number of small farmers and in the establishment of state farms to replace the large plantations. The second agrarian reform further limited private land ownership to 165 acres per person.8 The land reform of the 1990s would be more properly called a controlled privatization. We will discuss that later.

      By 1965, state farms controlled 63% of the arable land, and over 160,000 small farmers owned and worked an additional 20% of the arable land.9 The small farmers joined farmer associations, Credit and Service Cooperatives (CCSs) and Agricultural Production Cooperatives (CPAs), which together controlled 22% of the arable land. The CCSs and CPAs are, in turn, confederated in the National Association of Small Producers (ANAP), which provides training and a number of services to its members, and negotiates with the government for prices and credit. ANAP members produce 52% of the vegetables grown in Cuba, 67% of the corn, and 85% of the tobacco.10 Another 20,000 small farmers own their land independently of cooperatives. These unaffiliated private farmers own about 1% of the arable land.11

      The agrarian reforms succeeded because the government was truly intent on a redistribution of the wealth and a more equitable society. Farmers and cooperatives were supported with low-interest credit, stabilized prices, a guaranteed market, technological assistance, transport and insurance. The government also enacted laws that prevented the reconcentration of land, effectively preventing former plantation owners from slowly buying back their estates. The revolution took back control of Cuba from the U.S.; laws were enacted to ban foreign ownership of property. Cuba's isolation did, in fact, have some positive benefits in that it allowed them to affect their social transformation without outside intervention. And finally, the population was educated and provided with decent health care.

      By the 1980s, Cuba had surpassed most of Latin America in nutrition, life expectancy, education and per capita GNP. The literacy rate was an astonishing 96%, and 95% of the population had access to safe water.12 Cubans achieved a large degree of equity and industrialization through a trade regime that was highly import-dependent.

      From the time of the revolution to the 1980s, Cuban agriculture became more mechanized than any other Latin American country. Despite the fact that Cuba was a highly industrialized country which manufactured everything from pharmaceuticals to computers, sugar was their major export. By the end of the 1980s, state-owned sugar plantations covered three times more farmland than did food crops. Sugar and its derivatives constituted 75% of Cuba's exports, sold almost exclusively to the Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe and China.13

      However, because Cuban agriculture was overwhelming dedicated to sugar, tobacco and citrus, the country had to import 60% of its food, all from the Soviet bloc. Cuba also imported most of its oil, 48% of its fertilizer, 82% of its pesticides, 36% of its animal feed for livestock, and most of the fuel used to produce sugar.14 Although this system of imports and exports had allowed Cuba to modernize and raise the standard of living and the quality of life for all residents, its dependence upon the Soviet Union and the agricultural focus on sugar production left the country extremely vulnerable should anything happen to its major trading partner.

      Crisis

      The first few years after the Soviet Union collapsed had a severe impact upon Cuba. The crisis was compounded by the U.S., which tightened its already stringent economic blockade. The U.S. economic sanctions increased the suffering of the Cuban people. Throughout the worst years of the crisis, 7,500 excess deaths per year can be directly attributed to the U.S. sanctions.15

      Almost overnight, Cuba lost 85% of its trade. Fertilizer, pesticide and animal feed imports were reduced by 80%.16 Imports of fertilizer dropped from 1.3 million tons per year to 160,000 tons in 2001. Herbicide and pesticide imports dropped from a combined 27,000 tons to 1,900 tons in 2001.17 And petroleum supplies for agriculture were halved.18

      from World Resources 2000-2001--People and Ecosystems: The fraying web of life.

      http://www.wri.org/wr2000/pdf_final/wr2000.zip

      Food imports (which had once accounted for 60% of the food consumed in Cuba) were also halved.19 And by 1994, agricultural production had dropped to 55% of the 1990 level.20 Per capita daily caloric intake dropped from 2,908 calories in 1989 to 1,863 calories in 1995, a decrease of 36%. Protein intake decreased by 40%,21 and dietary fats dropped 65%.22 There are estimates that the average Cuban lost 20 pounds by 1994.23 Undernourishment jumped from less than 5% to over 20%, the largest increase in undernourished people in all of Latin America during the 1990s.24

      Two government policies are credited with preventing the crisis from reaching emergency levels: food programs targeting particularly vulnerable populations (the elderly, children, and pregnant and lactating mothers), and the food distribution ration card which guaranteed a minimum food provision for every citizen (albeit greatly reduced from former levels). This government-maintained safety net kept the crisis from reaching depths comparable to North Korea, while giving the country breathing space to redesign its agricultural sector to meet the challenge.

      The agrarian reforms of the mid-1990s were the key to recovering from the food crisis, but they could not have worked without the earlier agrarian reforms and without an educated and modernized peasantry unique in Latin America. The Cuban miracle is the product of a people with vision and solidarity.

      The Cuban Miracle

      The Cuban economy had to recover from the loss of its closest trading partner, the Soviet Union.

      Cuban GNP has grown every year since 1995. There have been solid gains in employment, productivity and exports. Fruit production has returned to its 1989 level (and even surpassed it in the case of plantains). Vegetables and tubers for domestic consumption have seen a prodigious increase in production. Food intake has climbed to 2,473 calories and 51.6 grams per person, a 33% increase over caloric intake in 1994.25 Observers the world over have pronounced the Cuban efforts a success. Single handedly, without help from either the World Bank or the IMF (and in total contrast to the normal World Bank and IMF reform policy), Cuba has disproved the myth that organic agriculture cannot support a modern nation. Agrarian reform in the 1990s centered on a new system of sustainable agriculture, the development of healthy markets, and the privatization and cooperatization of the unwieldy state farms.

      For decades, scientists had been aware of the negative effects of industrialized agriculture. Soil erosion and mineral depletion had been a marked problem in Cuba. Before the crisis of the 1990s took place, scientists had already developed organic and ecological methods of farming. Following the crisis, the Cuban government embraced these new methods and promoted them with new agrarian policies.

      The task was to convert the nation's agriculture from high input, fossil fuel-dependent farming, to low input, self-reliant farming. Farmers did this by first remembering the techniques that their ancestors had used before the advent of industrial agriculture--techniques like intercropping and manuring. Secondly, farmers used new environmental technologies offered as the result of scientific development--technologies such as biopesticides and biofertilizers. Biopesticides developed the use of microbes and natural enemies to combat pests, along with resistant plant varieties, crop rotation, and cover cropping to suppress weeds. Biofertilizers were developed using earthworms, compost, natural rock phosphate, animal manure and green manures, and the integration of grazing animals. To replace tractors, there was a return to animal traction.26

      Basic Units of Cooperative Production (UBPCs)

      The large state farms were incompatible with this new paradigm. Agroecological farming simply does not work on a large farm. In industrial farming, a single technician can manage thousands of acres without intimate knowledge of the land he is overseeing. A few random observations will provide him with all the input he needs to write out instructions for the application of a particular fertilizer formula or pesticide to be applied with machinery over the entire area. However, in agroecological farming, the farmer must be intimately familiar with every patch of soil. The farmer must know where to add fertilizer, and where pests are harboring or entering the field. Smaller farms were easier to manage, and more compatible with sustainable agriculture.

      In September 1993, the government instituted a new program to restructure state farms as private cooperatives owned and managed by the workers. These new cooperatives were called Basic Units of Cooperative Production (UBPCs). The new program transferred 41.2% of the arable land--most of the state farms in the country--into 2,007 new cooperatives with a membership totaling 122,000 people.27 To link the workers to the land, the cooperative owned the production and a member's earnings were based on his or her share of the cooperative's income. Members are compensated based on their productivity, not their timesheet. This provides a greater incentive within the cooperative, yet allows the larger economies of scale, mechanization and collectivist spirit which the cooperatives offer.28

      Landholding in Rural Cuba in 1992 and 1997

      from Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 3, Reforming Cuban Agriculture. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/reformingag.pdf

      Although the government retains ownership of the land, the UBPCs are granted a free lease to the land. The government then contracts with the UBPCs on which crops to grow and the amounts. On the basis of these contracts, the government sells the necessary agricultural inputs to the UBPCs.

      The new system has not been enacted without problems. Most notably, there is friction between the UBPCs and the local officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, who still behave as though they are in control of the cooperatives. However, the trend is clearly heading toward greater autonomy for the cooperatives.

      Private Farming

      The holdings of private farmers have also grown in the last decade. Since 1989, the government has turned over nearly 170,000 hectares of land to private farmers.29 Although the government retains title to the land, private farmers and CPAs can farm the land rent-free for an indefinite period of time. Many Cubans now view farming as an opportunity. Many families have left the cities to become farmers. The ANAP claims that its membership expanded by 35,000 from 1997 to 2000.30 The new farmers tend to be young families (many of them college educated), early retirees, or workers with a farming background.

      The CCSs, made up of small, independent farmers, have outperformed the CPAs, the UBPC cooperatives and the state farms. And this achievement has come despite limited credit. As a result, the ANAP began a program in 1998 to strengthen the business side of the CCSs. CCS cooperatives are now allowed to open bank accounts, hire market representatives, and plan collectively. Once qualified as strengthened, a CCS gains the ownership of machinery and the ability to collectively market the goods of its members.31

      Urban Agriculture

      Another bright spot in the reforms is urban agriculture, though this originated as a spontaneous development that was later backed by official policy. Today, half of the produce consumed in Havana is grown in urban gardens. And urban gardens produce 60% of the vegetables consumed in all of Cuba. Urban gardens provide 215 grams of vegetables per day per person for the entire population.32

      Neighborhood gardens and community horticultural groups not only produce food for their members, they donate produce to schools, clinics and senior centers, and still have enough excess produce to sell in the neighborhood. Neighborhood markets sell produce at well below the cost of the larger community markets, providing fresh vegetables for those who cannot afford the higher prices. By the beginning of the year 2000, there were 505 vegetable stands functioning, with prices from 30% to 50% of the prices at farmers' markets.

      Recognizing the potential of urban agriculture, in 1994 the government created an urban department in the ministry of Agriculture. The Urban Agriculture department formalized growers' claims upon vacant lots and legalized the growers' rights to sell their produce. The department has acted to support and promote urban agriculture without attempting to impose its authority upon the movement. Laws require that urban produce be completely organic, and ban the raising of livestock in urban areas. Resolution 527/97 provides all residents with up to one-third of an acre of vacant land on the edge of the major cities. By the beginning of the year 2000, more than 190,000 people had applied for and received these personal lots.33 The government has also opened a number of neighborhood agricultural stores to supply organic inputs and extension services.

      Gardeners are empowered by their efforts while working to provide food for themselves and their neighbors. As one urban gardener said, "We don't have to wait for a paternalistic state to do things for us. We can do it for ourselves."34

      There are many diverse forms of gardening, referred to collectively as urban gardening. The most common are organóponicos, which farm raised beds of organic material, utilizing biological pest control and organic fertilizer. Some organóponicos even have micro-jet irrigation and mesh shading. Organóponicos are highly productive, yielding anywhere from 6 to 30 kilograms of produce per square meter.35

      Agricultural Markets

      In the month of October, 1994, the Cuban government opened 121 agricultural markets throughout the country.36 An immediate consequence was that the black market in basic food items virtually disappeared. Food prices in the open market were a good deal less than the black market. The free markets also quickly demonstrated that they led to increased production and spurred higher quality and greater diversity in produce.

      However, over time, supply and demand pricing did result in rising food prices. By the year 2000, food purchases could take up as much as 60% of the average Cuban salary. The poor and the elderly turned to urban vegetable stands offering produce from urban gardens.

      Studies have shown that the major culprits in rising market prices were the distributors. The lack of fuel in Cuba has resulted in severe transportation shortages. The few people who did own trucks colluded to pay little to the farmers, and then charge high prices to the vendors. Some distributors have gained profits of as much as 75%.37

      To combat this problem, the Ministry of Agriculture is giving used trucks to private cooperatives to allow them to bypass the distributors and ship their goods directly to market. The remaining state farms are also selling their produce at low prices in state agricultural markets, in an effort to drive down prices. The experiment in free agricultural markets has shown that there must be some government controls on price gouging and collusion.

      Results

      Though caloric intake has not yet reached the levels of the 1980s, few would dispute that domestic food production in Cuba has made a remarkable recovery. During the 1996-1997 growing season, Cuba attained its highest ever production level for ten of the thirteen basic items in the Cuban diet.38 And in 1999, agriculture production increased by 21% over the previous year.39

      ·      Production of tubers and plantains more than tripled from 1994 to 1999.

      ·      Vegetable production doubled from 1994 to 1998, and then doubled again in 1999.

      ·      Potato production increased 175% from 1994 to 1998.

      ·      Cereal production rose 183% from 1994 to 1998.

      ·      Bean yields increased 60% from 1994 to 1999.

      ·      Citrus production increased 110% from 1994 to 1999.40

      Comparing food production to 1989 levels is not quite so favorable, but still impressive.

      from Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation

      http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/newmodel.pdf

      Animal protein production still remains close to depressed 1994 levels. This is partially because the market reforms do not apply to meat, eggs and milk, which are not easily sold in farmers' markets. Likewise, the agroecological model is not so easily applied to animal production. But the biggest factor keeping animal protein production down is the fact that the transition from industrial animal breeding to sustainable, ecologically feasible animal breeding must proceed at a much slower pace than the similar transition in agriculture.

      Exports are still considerably lower than 1989 levels. Only citrus exports have reached the 1989 level. Coffee and tobacco exports still lag behind, and sugar exports are only a fraction of 1989 levels.41 In the case of sugar production, U.S. embargoes and the low price of sugar on the world market are acting to keep sugar production depressed. But the Cuban government is formulating plans to increase sugar exports in the effort of bringing in much needed foreign revenue and investment.

      Aside from restoring export levels and animal protein production, the future of the new Cuban agricultural model faces three challenges: reconciling price distortions between the U.S. dollar and the Cuban peso, reconciling state control and private initiatives, and overcoming limits to the ecological model. Concerning this latter challenge, agroecological farming requires more land and more labor than industrial farming. While Cuba does have the land base to continue agricultural expansion, rural areas have experienced a labor shortage. Only 15% of the Cuban population lives in the countryside.42 The agricultural sector has been able to reverse the rural-to-urban migration and attract the necessary workforce, but nobody is certain how long this reversal will continue. And then there is the uncertain balance between farm labor requirements, the higher caloric intake necessary for busy farmhands, and agricultural production.

      The new Cuban model of agriculture faces many challenges, both internally and externally, but that does not diminish its current success. And there are many analysts who feel that the Cuban experiment may hold many of the keys to the future survival of civilization.

      Conclusion

      The World Bank has reported that Cuba is leading nearly every other developing nation in human development performance. Because Cuba's agricultural model goes against the grain of orthodox economic thought, the World Bank has called Cuba the "anti-model." Senior World Bank officials have even suggested that other developing countries should take a closer look at Cuba.43 This despite that fact that the Cuban model flies in the face of the neoliberal reforms prescribed by both the World Bank and the IMF.

      Indeed, currently the fastest growing Cuban export is that of ideas. Cuba now hosts a number of visiting farmers and agricultural technicians from throughout the Americas (excluding the U.S.), and elsewhere. Cuban agriculture experts are currently teaching agroecological farming methods to Haitian farmers. Ecologists as well as agricultural specialists are finding great promise in the idea that biodiversity is not just a conservation strategy, but production strategy.

      As declining fossil fuel production impacts civilization, Cuba may find itself in a position to help lead the world into sustainable agriculture. Currently, few countries are willing to invest in human capital and infrastructure the way that Cuba has, but hopefully this will change in the years ahead.

      Resistance to Cuban-style agricultural reform would be particularly stiff in the United States. Agribusiness will not allow all of its holdings and power to be expropriated. Nor is the U.S. government interested in small farms and organic agriculture. The direction of U.S. agriculture is currently towards more advanced technology, greater fossil fuel dependency, and less sustainability. The ability of small farmers and urban gardens to turn a profit is effectively drowned out by the overproduction of agribusiness.

      However, now is the time for people to study agroecology (and permaculture as well), with an eye towards implementing this technology, once declining fossil fuel production sparks a crisis in industrial agriculture. Our survival will depend upon our ability to implement these ideas once the current technology has failed. The North Korean example shows that the alternative is unthinkable.

      --------

      1 Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 3, Reforming Cuban Agriculture, Sinclair, M., and Thompson, M. Oxfam America Report, June 2001. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/reformingag.pdf

      2 Cuba: a Successful Case Study of Sustainable Agriculture, Rosset, P. M. Chapter 12, pp 203-213, in Hungry for Profit: The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food, and the Environment. Editors: Magdoff, F., et. al. Monthly Press Review, 2000. http://www.foodfirst.org/cuba/success.html

      3 Op. Cit. See note 1.

      4 Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 2, Cuba's Distinction: Land Reform and a Modernized Peasantry, Sinclair, M., and Thompson, M. Oxfam America Report, June 2001. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/distinction.pdf

      5 Household Incomes in Cuban Agriculture: A Comparison of the State, Co-operative and Peasant Sectors, Deer, C. D., et al. In Development and Change, Vol. 26. Blackwell Publishers, 1995.

      6 Op. Cit. See note 4.

      7 Ibid.

      8 Ibid.

      9 Ibid.

      10 Ibid.

      11 Ibid.

      12 World Resources 2000-2001--People and Ecosystems: The fraying web of life. Prepared by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The World Bank, and The World Resources Institute. UNDP, September 2000. http://www.wri.org/wr2000/pdf_final/wr2000.zip

      13 Ibid.

      14 Ibid.

      15 Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 1, The Food Crisis in Cuba, Sinclair, M., and Thompson, M. Oxfam America Report, June 2001. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/foodcrisis.pdf

      16 Op. Cit. See note 12.

      17 Op. Cit. See note 15.

      18 Op. Cit. See note 12.

      19 Ibid.

      20 Op. Cit. See note 15.

      21 Ibid.

      22 Op. Cit. See note 12.

      23 Op. Cit. See note 15.

      24 Op. Cit. See note 12.

      25 Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 3, Reforming Cuban Agriculture, Sinclair, M., and Thompson, M. Oxfam America Report, June 2001. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/reformingag.pdf

      26 Op Cit. See note 12.

      27 Op. Cit. See note 25.

      28 Ibid.

      29 Ibid.

      30 Ibid.

      31 Ibid.

      32 ibid.

      33 Ibid.

      34 Ibid.

      35 Ibid.

      36 Ibid.

      37 Ibid.

      38 Op. Cit. See note 12.

      39 Cuba, Going Against the Grain: Agricultural Crisis and Transformation; Chapter 4, a New Model of Cuban Agriculture, Sinclair, M., and Thompson, M. Oxfam America Report, June 2001. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/pdfs/cuba/newmodel.pdf

      40 Ibid.

      41 Ibid.

      42 Ibid.

      43 "Learn from Cuba," Says the World Bank. Interpress Service, 5/1/2001.

    • Mike Harrington
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 2, 2003
        <And there are many analysts who feel that the Cuban experiment may hold
        many of the keys to the future survival of civilization.
        The World Bank has reported that Cuba is leading nearly every other
        developing nation in human development performance. Because Cuba's
        agricultural model goes against the grain of orthodox economic thought, the
        World Bank has called Cuba the "anti-model." Senior World Bank officials
        have even suggested that other developing countries should take a closer
        look at Cuba. This despite that fact that the Cuban model flies in the face
        of the neoliberal reforms prescribed by both the World Bank and the IMF.
        >

        Hence, don't follow the IMF, World Bank, WTO and the US of A if you want to
        avoid a starving population and economic implosion. Drop all elements of a
        regulated political economy and the population is subjected to price gouging
        by unscrupulous operators, ensuring the Cuban Socialists' overthrow. What
        other choice did Castro have than to go it alone against the free market
        ideologues?

        Cuban per capita BTU's are very low, and the nutrition level is acceptable
        in spite of poor tropical soil. Cubans are much more insulated from high
        energy prices than Cuban ex-pats are in Miami. Being boycotted by the US
        may in the long term be the best way to survive, another example of the law
        of unintended consequences.
      • Robert G
        Dale I really enjoyed reading your feature on cuba. Have you looked into their oil situation? From what I ve just found in 2 mins of research, the CIA factbook
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 2, 2003
          Dale I really enjoyed reading your feature on cuba.
          Have you looked into their oil situation? From what
          I've just found in 2 mins of research, the CIA
          factbook puts their consumption at about 163,000
          barrels/day. Production in cuba based on the figures
          here:
          http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntl32013.htm
          put it at around 47,300 barrels of oil by my
          calculations (please double check). I know
          venezuela's exporting to Cuba, anybody else involved?
          Europeans? Canadians? mexicans? What's their demand
          outlook.. increasing I would assume? Any alternative
          energy campaigns going on down there?

          Robert Glenn

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        • Francisco González
          ... ================================= Dale, I ve finally got around to reading your two excellent articles (Drawing Lessons from Experience, 1 and 2) on N
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 22, 2004
            --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Dale pfeiffer <daleliz@j...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Drawing Lessons from Experience;
            > The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2
            > Cuba-A Hope
            > by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor
            =================================

            Dale,
            I've finally got around to reading your two excellent articles
            (Drawing Lessons from Experience, 1 and 2) on N Korea and Cuba as
            very relevant case scenarios of the consquences of shrinkage and how
            to deal with it. This is really first rate work and I want to thank
            you for it.

            I see that the one on Cuba had been posted here by you in its
            entirety, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/45731
            and am surprised by the lack of interest it elicited (unless this
            thread has branched off into something I've missed).

            But actually I exaggerate when I say am surprised, since I've also
            come to realize that the theoreticians and patter-song composers of
            the commons' "tragedy" and "lifeboat" moral imagery hold a
            hypnotizing sway around these parts (oh, those genetically greedy
            herdsmen taking selfish advantage of unrestricted access to
            resources; how surprising, how groundbreaking the hardinian mind! and
            oh those lifeboat metaphors, how they resonate on the wet walls of
            cardboard souls--who never mention, by the way, the large pipes and
            buccaneer-style boardings through which the supposedly self-
            sufficient, well rigged fat boats pump resources from the surrounding
            sinking fleet).

            Once again, Dale, many thanks for your great work and for sharing it
            here.

            Francisco
          • Dale pfeiffer
            Thanks for the compliments. On this I m just playing the role of a good science journalist. Dale Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 00:13:40 -0000 From: Francisco
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 23, 2004
              Thanks for the compliments. On this I'm just
              playing the role of a good science journalist.

              Dale

              Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 00:13:40 -0000
              From: Francisco González <fgonzalez@...>
              Subject: Re: Drawing Lessons from Experience-2, Cuba

              --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Dale pfeiffer <daleliz@j...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Drawing Lessons from Experience;
              > The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2
              > Cuba-A Hope
              > by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor
              =================================

              Dale,
              I've finally got around to reading your two excellent articles
              (Drawing Lessons from Experience, 1 and 2) on N Korea and Cuba as
              very relevant case scenarios of the consquences of shrinkage and how
              to deal with it. This is really first rate work and I want to thank
              you for it.

              I see that the one on Cuba had been posted here by you in its
              entirety, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/45731
              and am surprised by the lack of interest it elicited (unless this
              thread has branched off into something I've missed).

              But actually I exaggerate when I say am surprised, since I've also
              come to realize that the theoreticians and patter-song composers of
              the commons' "tragedy" and "lifeboat" moral imagery hold a
              hypnotizing sway around these parts (oh, those genetically greedy
              herdsmen taking selfish advantage of unrestricted access to
              resources; how surprising, how groundbreaking the hardinian mind! and
              oh those lifeboat metaphors, how they resonate on the wet walls of
              cardboard souls--who never mention, by the way, the large pipes and
              buccaneer-style boardings through which the supposedly self-
              sufficient, well rigged fat boats pump resources from the surrounding
              sinking fleet).

              Once again, Dale, many thanks for your great work and for sharing it
              here.

              Francisco

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            • fla_ming_mo
              To Francisco I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on how
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 23, 2004
                To Francisco

                I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one
                also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on
                how societies adjust to falling fossil fuel availability (the oil
                shocks of the 70s were only a blip in comparison to what former
                soviet allies have gone through).

                The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which import
                virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.

                Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?

                Shane in Brisbane, AU
              • Francisco González
                ... import ... =========================== Shane, I ll send the article to you. I won t post it here since it originally comes from a paid newsletter. Dale
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 23, 2004
                  --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "fla_ming_mo"
                  <void_genesis@h...> wrote:
                  > To Francisco
                  >
                  > I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one
                  > also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on
                  > how societies adjust to falling fossil fuel availability (the oil
                  > shocks of the 70s were only a blip in comparison to what former
                  > soviet allies have gone through).
                  >
                  > The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                  > populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                  > countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                  > countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                  > interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                  > seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                  > soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which
                  import
                  > virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                  >
                  > Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?
                  >
                  > Shane in Brisbane, AU

                  ===========================

                  Shane,
                  I'll send the article to you. I won't post it here since it
                  originally comes from a paid newsletter. Dale himself posted the one
                  on Cuba but don't think the Korea one has been posted in its entirety
                  anywhere. Let me know if you should not receive it.
                  Francisco
                • iambrando
                  fromthewilderness.com is the original posting Brandon MN ... import
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 23, 2004
                    fromthewilderness.com is the original posting
                    Brandon MN
                    --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "fla_ming_mo"
                    <void_genesis@h...> wrote:
                    > To Francisco
                    >
                    > I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one
                    > also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on
                    > how societies adjust to falling fossil fuel availability (the oil
                    > shocks of the 70s were only a blip in comparison to what former
                    > soviet allies have gone through).
                    >
                    > The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                    > populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                    > countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                    > countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                    > interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                    > seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                    > soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which
                    import
                    > virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                    >
                    > Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?
                    >
                    > Shane in Brisbane, AU
                  • iambrando
                    fromthewilderness.com is the original posting Brandon MN ... import
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 23, 2004
                      fromthewilderness.com is the original posting
                      Brandon MN
                      --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "fla_ming_mo"
                      <void_genesis@h...> wrote:
                      > To Francisco
                      >
                      > I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one
                      > also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on
                      > how societies adjust to falling fossil fuel availability (the oil
                      > shocks of the 70s were only a blip in comparison to what former
                      > soviet allies have gone through).
                      >
                      > The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                      > populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                      > countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                      > countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                      > interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                      > seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                      > soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which
                      import
                      > virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                      >
                      > Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?
                      >
                      > Shane in Brisbane, AU
                    • Lawrence B. Crowell
                      ... For this to happen in a manner that has the least impact on human rights there has to be a measure of planning for this. That involves that S word that
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 24, 2004
                        At 07:52 AM 1/24/04 -0000, you wrote:
                        >> To Francisco
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                        >> populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                        >> countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                        >> countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                        >> interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                        >> seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                        >> soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which
                        >import
                        >> virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                        >>

                        For this to happen in a manner that has the least impact on human rights
                        there has to be a measure of planning for this. That involves that "S"
                        word that has been so roundly condemned. Of course this means socialism.

                        I am not a pangyrist of Castro's Cuba or other totalist socialist systems.
                        Yet it has to be admitted that Castro is a sort of benevolent dictator, and
                        if one has a choice of various dictators benevolent ones are preferable to
                        malevolent ones. The state planning in Cuba is directed reasonably well to
                        make efficient use of limited resources and to equally distribute them
                        broadly. On that front Castro has provided a better social system than any
                        Latin American nation, and in some areas such as basic medical care better
                        than in the United States. So for the average Cuban things are alright so
                        long as they know when to shut up.

                        For a humanitarian redistribution of urban populations, or other programs
                        in light of an energy fall off, a considerable measure of social planning
                        must be in order. Generally this is a form of socialism, and in one way or
                        another socialism will probably be a part of the middle to later 21st
                        century throughout the world.

                        >> Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?

                        As I see it North Korea is a complete disaster. Cuba is a far better
                        example than N. Korea.

                        Lawrence B. Crowell

                        >>
                        >> Shane in Brisbane, AU
                        >

                        For every apparent change in place occurs on account of the movement either
                        of the thing seen or of the spectator, or on account of the necessarily
                        unequal movement of both. For no movement is perceptible relatively to
                        things moved equally in the same direction; I mean relatively to the thing
                        seen and the spectator.

                        "Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres" sec 5 Nicolous Copernicus
                      • mduffin3
                        ... ... how ... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/45731 ... Francisco, thanks for drawing our attention to this article.
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 24, 2004
                          --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Francisco González
                          <fgonzalez@s...> wrote:
                          > --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Dale pfeiffer
                          <daleliz@j...>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Drawing Lessons from Experience;
                          > > The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2
                          > > Cuba-A Hope
                          > > by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor
                          > =================================================================>
                          > Dale,
                          > I've finally got around to reading your two excellent articles
                          > (Drawing Lessons from Experience, 1 and 2) on N Korea and Cuba as
                          > very relevant case scenarios of the consquences of shrinkage and
                          how
                          > to deal with it. This is really first rate work and I want to thank
                          > you for it.
                          >
                          > I see that the one on Cuba had been posted here by you in its
                          > entirety,
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/45731
                          > and am surprised by the lack of interest it elicited (unless this
                          > thread has branched off into something I've missed).
                          >
                          Francisco, thanks for drawing our attention to this article. Also
                          thanks to Dale for authoring and posting it. It supports
                          the "prosperous way down" scenario quite well, and must be anathema
                          to the Olduvai guys. Murray

                          ~~~~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~

                          Dale, et al. Any comments on the February Harper's article titled "The Oil We Eat," by Richard Manning?

                          ~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~
                        • Francisco González
                          ... is ... mostly ... poor ... rights ... that S ... socialism. ... systems. ... dictator, and ... preferable to ... well to ... them ... than any ... better
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jan 25, 2004
                            --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence B. Crowell"
                            <lcrowell@s...> wrote:
                            > At 07:52 AM 1/24/04 -0000, you wrote:
                            > >> To Francisco
                            > >>
                            > >>
                            > >> The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                            > >> populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                            > >> countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                            > >> countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods
                            is
                            > >> interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we
                            mostly
                            > >> seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our
                            poor
                            > >> soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which
                            > >import
                            > >> virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                            > >>
                            >
                            > For this to happen in a manner that has the least impact on human
                            rights
                            > there has to be a measure of planning for this. That involves
                            that "S"
                            > word that has been so roundly condemned. Of course this means
                            socialism.
                            >
                            > I am not a pangyrist of Castro's Cuba or other totalist socialist
                            systems.
                            > Yet it has to be admitted that Castro is a sort of benevolent
                            dictator, and
                            > if one has a choice of various dictators benevolent ones are
                            preferable to
                            > malevolent ones. The state planning in Cuba is directed reasonably
                            well to
                            > make efficient use of limited resources and to equally distribute
                            them
                            > broadly. On that front Castro has provided a better social system
                            than any
                            > Latin American nation, and in some areas such as basic medical care
                            better
                            > than in the United States. So for the average Cuban things are
                            alright so
                            > long as they know when to shut up.
                            >
                            > For a humanitarian redistribution of urban populations, or other
                            programs
                            > in light of an energy fall off, a considerable measure of social
                            planning
                            > must be in order. Generally this is a form of socialism, and in
                            one way or
                            > another socialism will probably be a part of the middle to later
                            21st
                            > century throughout the world.
                            >
                            > Lawrence B. Crowell
                            ==================================
                            Extremely unlikely in the United States, at least to any meaningful
                            degree. I just don't see how it will be effected. The alienation of
                            the majority of the population from the political process and from
                            the decisions that directly affect their lives is almost complete.
                            Government and legislature are practically reduced to the role of
                            instruments to transfer wealth from the public realm to private
                            corporations. I've just finished reading Lewis Lapham's piece in the
                            February issue of Harper's magazine, on the recent Medicare bill.
                            This had already been described as a huge rip off, but the extent to
                            which it is, as explained by Lapham, is really worth a read.
                            Absolutely astonishing. Add to this the heavy indoctrination of the
                            educated/managerial segment of the population on the unsurpassable
                            virtues of the system they live in, plus the not insignificant little
                            army of academic high and mid brows willing to certify that "human
                            nature" is "what it is" (or similar lapidary discoveries) as well as
                            genetic specialists willing to attest to the "selfishness" of
                            genes... and add to it the ever ready alertness of the system to
                            chant the praises of and give recognition to anything that may offer
                            respectable underpinnings to the system's utter bankruptcy, and you
                            get the idea that some pessimism is in order.

                            On the subject of the Cuban experiment, they are indeed an admirable
                            case. To my knowledge, nothing of the sort has been accomplished
                            anywhere in recent history. Their fate should have been similar to
                            the one enjoyed by their neighbors in the region, anywhere between
                            Haiti and Honduras. And yet there they are, in many respects one of
                            the most decent, dignified and democratic countries in the planet (am
                            speaking in terms of the level of direct participation of people in
                            the decisions that affect their lives, which is what I understand by
                            democracy) showing a resourcefulness and a level of communal
                            cooperation that flies in the face of all the "human naturists". But
                            then again, they are really an exception. The Nicaraguans had a good
                            run at it in the 80's. Of course the US could not tolerate it and
                            destroyed it. Castro himself probably has his share of defects, but
                            he is a very articulate and contagiously engaging individual, able to
                            carry on extemporaneously with great lucidity on almost any subject--
                            sort of the opposite of what happens when you listen to the current
                            American president: the thick torpor of his mind hits you right away
                            and tries to invade you, and you fight it by leaving the room or
                            turning off the set. Pedro Prieto once mentioned that Castro, now in
                            old age, resembles more and more the Don Quixote illustrations by
                            Gustave Dorée. And there is no question that he does. He has my
                            applause.

                            And then of course we need to recognize that the effect of a sharp
                            reduction in energy availability would always be much less dramatic
                            in a tropical island like Cuba than in a country like the United
                            States, with its assortment of frigid climates and arid lands that
                            are many times over their carrying capacity in the absence of fossil
                            fuels.

                            But still. Cuba is so far the best model on how to handle the
                            downward curve of an oil peak. No doubt about it.
                          • papp20032000
                            ... ________ I would like to join Francisco in thanking Dale for his contributions with `Drawing lessons from experience. North Korea (1) and Cuba (2) . And
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jan 25, 2004
                              Francisco González wrote:

                              > But still. Cuba is so far the best model on how to handle the
                              > downward curve of an oil peak. No doubt about it.
                              ________

                              I would like to join Francisco in thanking Dale for his contributions
                              with `Drawing lessons from experience. North Korea (1) and Cuba (2)'.
                              And also in his comments on Cuba's life. We have already translated
                              Dale's works into Spanish and posted them in our
                              www.crisisenergetica.org, with the permission of FTW.

                              It is a very good job. Of course, there are differences between a
                              country with a benevolent dictator and the other with a malevolent
                              one, as someone has pointed out. But I have not seen any in which the
                              leader of a country so open and clearly speaks about the oil
                              depletion in particular and the energy depletion in general, as Fidel
                              has made several times in public speeches. He is the only one, so
                              far, daring to tell this to his people, openly and directly.

                              He frequently speaks about resources depletion in the planet and
                              treats the problem globally, within his limited action range. He does
                              not promise brilliant futures, but blood, sweat and tears ahead. He
                              just offers dignity in turn. Very few leaders, if any, dare to do
                              this.

                              This is probably why I prefer a benevolent dictator like him to many,
                              if not all, the so called `democratically elected' leaders.

                              If you go to the Cuban web pages, you may notice that there are many,
                              dealing openly and straightforward with the issues of energy and
                              other resources depletion. And they are all public and institutional.
                              Anybody knows a country with a similar acknowledgement and people's
                              state of mind and awareness, ready to react, as much as they can?

                              I was officially invited last year to an International Conference in
                              Havana, on the challenges of the XXI century, when I presented them
                              my work "The tragedy of the energy". Unfortunately, I could not
                              attend for personal reasons. I hope to resume soonest.

                              However, there are still some shadows in the survival possibilities
                              of deprived countries that worry me. Cuba has had a couple of clear
                              advantages on North Korea, to make it winner in this comparison:
                              climate and soil in one side, as Francisco pointed out, and oil
                              supplies from a friendly neighbor, Venezuela, cut for just a short
                              period. I wonder how could their 12 million inhabitants make it, if
                              the fossil fuel supplies go down much more sharply and on permanent
                              basis. The chart presented by Dale from Jean Laherrére, on
                              correlation between the curves of fuel supplies and food production
                              in North Korea is very, very frightening.

                              Prometheus stole the fire to the gods and brought it to humans and
                              here we are, from naked apes to homo industrialis. Zeus enchained him
                              to a rock in revenge, where a vulture (probably a masked banker),
                              went to eat his lever every day (the human 'pate de foie' of
                              speculation) and his lever was growing again (the eternal and painful
                              myth of economic growth). He was also punished by Zeus by depriving
                              him from the beautiful Pandora, who was given to Prometheus brother.
                              She opened the famous box and all evils and misfortunes spread around
                              the world. Fortunately, she closed it fast enough to keep inside at
                              least the Hope. This is what still moves some of us. The Hope that
                              Herakles will come soon, kill the vulture and unleash our chains and
                              that Zeus will finally take us into the Olympus.

                              Pedro from Madrid
                            • skorpela
                              Murray, The article is well written and covers most of the topics we have been discussing on this thread. There are some good numbers that one can file away.
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jan 25, 2004
                                Murray,

                                The article is well written and covers most of the topics we have
                                been discussing on this thread. There are some good numbers that one
                                can file away. Manning points out how humans interference
                                disrupts "nature's services". I actually don't like this term, as it
                                suggests that nature's services are mainly for man. These are the
                                highlights:

                                1. Humans capture 40 percent of primary productivity.

                                2. Monoculture is a time bomb.

                                3. Farming disrupts annually a naturally developing ecosystem.

                                4. It takes 5.5 gallons of fossil energy to replace one year's worth
                                of lost fertility per acre. In 1997 we burned 400 years worth of
                                ancient fossilized productivity.

                                5. By 1960 the supply of unfarmed arable lands stopped increasing.
                                Between then and now world population doubled.

                                6. Green revolution led to heavy use of fertilizers and took a
                                heavy toll on water supplies.

                                7. In 1940 the average farm in the US provided 2.3 calories of food
                                energy for each calorie of fossil energy. In 1974 the balance reached
                                the brake even point.

                                8. "We muster our weapons to secure oil, not food today", but the
                                title of the article "The oil we eat" shows that this amounts to the
                                same thing. Some observations also on "real-politik" of George Kennan.

                                9. Pimentel says that if the entire world were to eat the way
                                Americans do, we would exhaust all known world fossil-fuel reserves
                                in 7 years. His detractors say he is off about 30 percent. "Fine.
                                Make it ten years".

                                10. Nitrogen pollution is the biggest pollution worry from our
                                present farming methods. Dead zone at Gulf of Mexico from Mississippi
                                effluent.

                                11. Corn, wheat, hay and soybeans cover 82 percent of American
                                farmland and they are not food as such, but commodities and require
                                heavy outlay of more energy to become food.

                                12. Sugar consumption increased by 500 percent in England between
                                1860 and 1890. Afternoon tea. One sixth of nutrition came from sugar,
                                the same as Americans today.

                                13. Archer Daniels Midland developed a high-fructose corn syrup in
                                the early 70's as the key ingredient in 3/4 of all processed food.
                                Plague selects the poor, who eat the most processed food.

                                14. Ethanol is an energy sink and its cleanliness is questioned.

                                15. The difficulties associated with eating prodcuts higher in the
                                food chain. Tuna, chicken, etc.

                                16. Does eating soyburgers help? Perhaps not, if fossil fuels are
                                used extensively.

                                17. Eighty percent of all grain in the US goes to feed livestock.

                                18. Seventy eight percent of our beef comes from beeflots. So do most
                                of our chicken and hogs.

                                19. "Factory farm system is a continent wide monunment to Rube
                                Goldberg"

                                20. Present trends: Mexico fed 5 percent of its grain to livestock in
                                1960; today it is 45 percent. For Egypt these numbers are 3 percent
                                to 31 percent. In China, 8 percent to 26 percent.

                                The observation, that the prarie grasses could support more bison
                                before the praries were brought under cultivation than beef farming
                                today on the same area of land, if true, is noteworthy. Add to this
                                that bison provided food for many other species than man. There may
                                also be other gems that I missed.

                                S. Korpela
                                40 N 83 W

                                numbers --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "mduffin3"
                                <murrayv@m...> wrote:
                                > --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Francisco González
                                > <fgonzalez@s...> wrote:
                                > > --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Dale pfeiffer
                                > <daleliz@j...>
                                > > wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Drawing Lessons from Experience;
                                > > > The Agricultural Crises in North Korea and Cuba - Pt. 2
                                > > > Cuba-A Hope
                                > > > by Dale Allen Pfeiffer - FTW Energy Editor
                                > > =================================
                                > >
                                > > Dale,
                                > > I've finally got around to reading your two excellent articles
                                > > (Drawing Lessons from Experience, 1 and 2) on N Korea and Cuba as
                                > > very relevant case scenarios of the consquences of shrinkage and
                                > how
                                > > to deal with it. This is really first rate work and I want to
                                thank
                                > > you for it.
                                > >
                                > > I see that the one on Cuba had been posted here by you in its
                                > > entirety,
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/45731
                                > > and am surprised by the lack of interest it elicited (unless this
                                > > thread has branched off into something I've missed).
                                > >
                                > Francisco, thanks for drawing our attention to this article. Also
                                > thanks to Dale for authoring and posting it. It supports
                                > the "prosperous way down" scenario quite well, and must be anathema
                                > to the Olduvai guys. Murray
                                >
                                > ~~~~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~
                                >
                                > Dale, et al. Any comments on the February Harper's article
                                titled "The Oil We Eat," by Richard Manning?
                                >
                                > ~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~
                              • Sheila Newman
                                Hi Shane in Brisbane, You might be surprised to read a very good post fossil fuel population modelling study done by Tony Boys in Japan. www9.ocn.ne.jp/~aslan/
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jan 25, 2004
                                  Hi Shane in Brisbane,
                                  You might be surprised to read a very good post fossil fuel population
                                  modelling study done by
                                  Tony Boys in Japan.

                                  www9.ocn.ne.jp/~aslan/

                                  He has also written one on North Korea. In fact he based theJapan one
                                  on the N.Korea experience.
                                  I collect these kinds of articles and have written one myself on
                                  Australia and France if you are interested.

                                  Sheila N
                                  (Melbourne)

                                  fla_ming_mo wrote:

                                  >To Francisco
                                  >
                                  >I read your post and am now interested to read the north korea one
                                  >also. Fascinating stuff and I agree there isnt enough discussion on
                                  >how societies adjust to falling fossil fuel availability (the oil
                                  >shocks of the 70s were only a blip in comparison to what former
                                  >soviet allies have gone through).
                                  >
                                  >The manner in which a reversal of the urbanisation of human
                                  >populations over the last 50 years will play out in different
                                  >countries is fascinating also. The varying ability of individual
                                  >countries to make agriculture work using old fashioned methods is
                                  >interesting also. Australia is in a poor position given we mostly
                                  >seem suited to long distance transport/export, and given our poor
                                  >soil and unreliable water supplies. Countries like Japan which import
                                  >virtually all essentials dont bear thinking about.
                                  >
                                  >Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?
                                  >
                                  >Shane in Brisbane, AU
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >Your message didn't show up on the list? Complaints or compliments?
                                  >Drop me (Tom Robertson) a note at t1r@...
                                  >
                                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/
                                  >
                                  >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  > energyresources-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Tom Robertson
                                  Folks: Last night, I saw the movie Lost in Translation. It takes place in Japan, mainly in the city of Tokyo. As a counterpoint, a short segment on Kyoto
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jan 26, 2004
                                    Folks:

                                    Last night, I saw the movie "Lost in Translation."

                                    It takes place in Japan, mainly in the city of Tokyo. As a counterpoint, a
                                    short segment on Kyoto also lets us know the country as it was a thousand or
                                    so years ago.

                                    Mainly about communication between spouses, there is another story told
                                    throughout the movie.

                                    It is about the Tokyo/Japan energy environment.

                                    I would guess that the total energy consumed per square meter in the sites
                                    shown both directly and as background in the movie are near the highest in
                                    the world.

                                    In the course of the movie, you make a visual transition from Tokyo and its
                                    extended environment via high-speed train, into a temple and its natural
                                    environment in Kyoto. The difference is really shocking.

                                    It is also worth noting that Japan operates with what is perhaps the highest
                                    Energy Returned on Energy Invested of all nations, in that it has very
                                    little domestic energy resources and thus obtains the energy it needs
                                    through international trade and financial processing.

                                    There is another story here as well. This is a story based on the ecological
                                    workings of succession, where systemic behavior and consequences reflect the
                                    available and use of power.

                                    In the temple scene, you can see a climax community, where all components
                                    have worked out over time a wonderfully diverse and integrated web of human
                                    processes extracting a high level of available energy within the larger and
                                    smaller energetic processes of nature.

                                    It also may be that the Japanese cities reflect the climax level of cultural
                                    energy use, as with the rich energies and other resources available from
                                    international trade. Japan builds a complex and very highly integration of
                                    cultural behavior based mainly on local intelligence and external resources.

                                    On another thread, Sheila Newman mentions the post fossil fuel population
                                    modeling study done by Tony Boys in Japan.

                                    Sheila says can see it at: www9.ocn.ne.jp/~aslan/

                                    Tom Robertson, Moderator, EnergyResources Group
                                    (39°53'N 76° 59'W)
                                  • toteva123
                                    Hello group, Dale Pfeiffer did post the first part of the article about North Korea on this group. It is message # 44878. Here is the link:
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jan 30, 2004
                                      Hello group,

                                      Dale Pfeiffer did post the first part of the article about North
                                      Korea on this group. It is message # 44878. Here is the link:

                                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/44878

                                      Marieta(Tx)


                                      --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "fla_ming_mo"
                                      <void_genesis@h...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Can you point me to the original post on North Korea?
                                      >
                                      > Shane in Brisbane, AU
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