Connect with us

Environmental

A Different Kind of Revolution – What We Can Learn From Cuba

Avatar

Published

on

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.” – Marcus Aurelius

advertisement - learn more

In 1989 the Soviet Union crisis occurred and almost overnight the Cuban economy was left without oil. The dissolution of the Soviet Union hit the Cuban economy severely. The country lost approximately 80% of its imports, 80% of its exports and its Gross Domestic Product dropped by 34%. Food and medicine imports stopped or severely slowed. The largest immediate impact was the loss of nearly all of the petroleum imports from the USSR. (1) The effect was felt immediately. Entirely dependent on fossil fuels to operate, the major underpinnings of Cuban society—its transportation, industrial and agricultural systems—were paralyzed. According to some researchers around 90,000 tractors were unable to be used for the purposes of agriculture once the crisis hit. There were extensive losses of productivity in both Cuban agriculture —which was dominated by modern industrial tractors, combines and harvesters, all of which required petroleum to run —and in Cuban industrial capacity.

--> Our Journalism Is Moving - Our investigative journalism and reporting is moving to our new brand called The Pulse. Click here to stay informed.

What happened in Cuba? – Urban Food

Australian and other permaculturists arriving in Cuba at the time began to distribute aid and taught their techniques to locals, who soon implemented them in Cuban fields, raised beds and urban rooftops across the nation. Organic agriculture was soon after mandated by the Cuban government, supplanting the old industrialized form of agriculture Cubans had grown accustomed to. Relocalization, permaculture and innovative modes of mass transit had to be rapidly developed. (2) The period radically transformed Cuban society and the economy, as it necessitated the successful introduction of sustainable agriculture, decreased use of automobiles, and overhauled industry, health and diet countrywide. People were forced to live without many goods they had become used to. During the ‘Special Period’ there were many years of hardship as the people of Cuba experienced widespread food shortages, starvation and malnutrition. The biggest struggles they faced were with the land. For years chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides had depleted the valuable topsoil of nutrients. Due to the Soviet crisis chemical fertilisers were no longer available. In hindsight this would help make Cuba a world leader in organic urban agriculture. With the widespread destruction of top soil, it took Cuba approximately three to five years to regenerate soil quality to the point where it became fertile and productive again.

Urban Agriculture in a Time of Crisis

Havana has an approximate population of 2.2 million people, so it is a dense urban environment. Most of the food that was supplied to Havana prior to this sudden shortage of oil was transported to the city from rural areas or imported. With scarce fuel for farmers to operate machinery, no fertilisers to protect crops and no way of getting the food that was grown to town, it was the obvious solution for Havana. What the Cubans did out of sheer survival has become a blueprint for Western society moving forward to a more sustainable less fossil fuel dependant economy. The Cubans transformed every piece of available arable land in Havana into organic food production. In a relatively short period of time Cuba had solved the food problem, creating a healthier and more sustainable way of life for its citizens. More than 35,000 hectares (over 87,000 acres) of land are being used in urban agriculture in Havana alone.(3) The city of Havana produces enough food for each resident to receive a daily serving of 280 grams (9.88 ounces) of fruits and vegetables. The urban agricultural workforce in Havana has grown from 9,000 in 1999 to 23,000 in 2001 to more than 44,000 in 2006. Since the late 1980’s over 350,000 new, well-paying and productive jobs have been created in these subprograms over the last twelve years. With the Cuban workforce of around 4.8 million people the jobs created in urban agriculture have been a significant contribution to the country’s total employment.(4)

To this day, approximately 60% of the food for Havana is grown in the city itself urban gardens now produce the majority of the fruit and vegetable requirements of urban areas and in some areas surpluses are sold for wider consumption, with a third of all vegetables now being produced for export.(5) Through careful composting, crop rotation and management Havana can literally feed itself. The fast acting Cuban government allowed local communities to grow organic crops in Havana and invested in organic food production technologies. Now Cuba is a major exporter or bio fertilisers and bio pesticides throughout Latin America. Don’t think for one minute it was plain sailing and Cuba is some utopian place because of this revolution, many people died of starvation and like everywhere Cuba still struggles with many aspects of life and society.

A Western Comparison

If we compare the productivity of Havana, Cuba to Canada’s largest city, Toronto, Ontario with a population of just over 5 million (Greater Toronto Area) we can see how reliant Western cities are on cheap fossil fuels. Toronto imports 60 percent of the fresh produce from the U.S.,  the remainder of produce can travel up to 350 miles from within Canada to reach the city of Toronto.(6)  While there are obvious differences in culture and economic systems we can see what can be done by way of localisation and poses questions to the sustainability of current food production systems. Like many Western cities Toronto is expected to grow to  8.6 million by 2031 according to Toronto’s ministry of Public Infrastructure which will engulf valuable land on the urban fringe which is prime farmland.

advertisement - learn more

Some Key Lessons From Cuba – A Blueprint for Western cities

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Relocalization

A focus toward smaller local communities that are connected and self sufficient in delivering food without the excessive long distance transport costs and externalities. Bringing back the community through greater awareness and connection to food production.

Urban Gardening – Roof Top Gardening – Small Spaces

What started initially on domestic/residential rooftops and balconies quickly took off and enveloped unused spaces such a sold parking lots or derelict land. Maximising wasted and unused space in urban environments or converting unproductive space into productive and abundant spaces allowed Havana to grow food in the city. Organopónicos are a system of urban organic gardens that developed in Cuba. They often consist of low-level concrete walls filled with organic matter and soil, with lines of drip irrigation laid on the surface of the growing media(7) these systems helped facilitate the growing of crops through the efficient use of resources and water.

Organics – Permaculture – Organopónicos

Cuba has demonstrated that organics farming and permaculture on a large scale can produce large volumes of food in smaller areas without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic materials can be used to produce organic compost and beneficial insects ‘biocontrols’ can be used to help with pests and disease. With appropriate crop rotation the use of green manure and cultivation to maintain soil productivity.

Connection – Collaboration – Design

As well as developing new ways of growing food, this move to more sustainable production has had the added benefits of improving the overall environment. Deforestation has now been reversed throughout the country. Megan Quinn, The Outreach Director for, ‘The Community Solution’ who worked on a film ‘The Power of Community How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,’ outlines one of the defining factors that helped the Cubans survive the oil crisis was the fact that people came together to solve the problem. Being a socialist society helped with a relatively quick transition to develop this powerful group dynamic, enabling Cuba to take on this challenge. From this crisis many positive health, social and educational benefits resulted. Cuba now has a life expectancy equal to that of its nearby counterpart (the United States) and infant mortality rates are lower than that of the United States.

The Cuban experience showed that immediate action of communicating and collaboration between government, communities and citizens was crucial for getting projects happening within the city. The Cubans demonstrated that when working together for the common good problems can be solved. Collaboration and cooperation are the keys to developing more sustainable communities that thrive.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

 CoverONENOV

Source: Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

 (1) Carmen Diana Deere (July–August 1991). “Cuba’s struggle for self-sufficiency – aftermath of the collapse of Cuba’s special economic relations with Eastern Europe”. Monthly Review.

(2) Donovan, Sandy; Rao, Sujay; Sandmann, Alexa L. (2008). Teens in Cuba. Capstone. p. 26. ISBN 9780756538514.

(3) Knoot, Sinan (January 2009). “The Urban Agriculture of Havana”. Monthly Review (Monthly Review Foundation)

(4) http://monthlyreview.org/2009/01/01/the-urban-agriculture-of-havana/

(5) http://www.academia.edu/343690/Planning_for_peak_Oil_learning_from_Cubas_Special_Period

(6) http://www.academia.edu/163905/Placing_Food_Torontos_Edible_Landscape

(7) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organop%C3%B3nicos

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Environmental

3 Million Masks a Minute: The Next Plastic Problem?

Avatar

Published

on

By

4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies estimate worldwide humans are using 129 billion face masks each month. Most masks are disposable, made from plastic microfibers that are not biodegradable and may fragment into smaller plastic particles polluting ecosystems.

  • Reflect On:

    What's the solution to the words plastic pollution problems? Why do we even use it when there are so many other biodegradable substances we can use? Why has plastic not been banned worldwide?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The high demand for face masks since the coronavirus pandemic began has resulted in the production of billions of disposable masks — with no way to properly dispose of them.

Masks are littering cities, clogging sewage channels and turning up in bodies of water, prompting researchers to warn of the potential for masks to become the next “plastic problem.”

Recent studies estimate that worldwide, humans are using 129 billion face masks each month — about 3 million a minute. Most of them are disposable face masks made from plastic, non-biodegradable microfibers that break down into smaller plastic particles — micro- and nanoplastics — that become widespread in ecosystems.

The World Health Organization says an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID response each month, a trend likely to persist for some time.

At the start of the outbreak, U.S. officials estimated the country would need 300 million face masks to cope with the pandemic in 2020. U.S. manufacturer 3M made 550 million masks in 2019 and plans to produce 2 billion this year as long as the pandemic lasts.

“The enormous production of disposable masks is on a similar scale as plastic bottles, which is estimated to be 43 billion per month,”said environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark, and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. “But unlike plastic bottles, there is no way to recycle face masks, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways.”

Common surgical masks have three layers: an outer layer with non-absorbent fibrous material (like polyester) that protects against liquid splashes, a middle layer with non-woven fabrics (like polypropylene and polystyrene) created using a meltblown process which prevents droplets and aerosols via an electrostatic effect, and an inner layer made of absorbent material like cotton to absorb vapor.

Masks contain many polymers, including fabric polypropylene. Polypropylene is one of the most commonly produced plastics and does not easily break down. Weathering from solar radiation and heat cause polypropylene to generate a large number of micro-sized polypropylene particles and nanoplastics.

Disposable face masks are made directly from microsized plastic fibers, which release plastic particles easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. A newer generation of masks, called nanomasks, releases even smaller particles creating a new source of nanoplastic pollution, according to the University of Southern Denmark.

Like other plastic debris, “disposable masks may accumulate and release harmful chemical and biological substances, such as bisphenol Aheavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms,” according to Xu and Ren. Some of the toxic chemicals released during degradation of plastic polymers include phthalatesorganotinnonylphenolpolybrominated biphenyl ether and triclosan.

The impacts of plastic as a solid waste and microplastics contamination in the environment have been investigated, validated and demonstrated by different researchers in various publications, according to a study in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Face masks get into the environment when disposed in landfills and dumpsites or littered in public spaces. They then make their way into lakes, rivers and oceans, breaking down into plastic particles within a few weeks.

In the years prior to the pandemic, environmentalists warned about skyrocketing plastic pollution and its threat to oceans and marine life. As much as 13 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, according to a 2018 estimate by UN Environment.

According to a report by OceanAsia, roughly 52 billion face masks were manufactured in 2020 to meet the demand of the coronavirus pandemic and 1.56 billion were estimated to have entered the ocean, resulting in 4,680 to 6,240 metric tonnes of face masks. These masks take as long as 450 years to completely break down –– slowly turning into microplastics that negatively affect marine wildlife and ecosystems.

The environmental research community needs to move faster to understand and mitigate these risks, said researchers Xu and Ren. They proposed the following for dealing with the problem:

  • Set up mask-only trash cans for collection and disposal. Do not put masks in the recycling.
  • Consider standardization, guidelines and strict implementation of waste management for mask wastes.
  • Replace disposable masks with reusable face masks like cotton masks.
  • Develop biodegradable disposal masks with materials that are safe.

Article written by Megan Redshaw, a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Environmental

Zimbabwe Man Invents An Electric System That Charges Itself

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso has invented an electric system that runs off a battery. The unique thing is the battery charges itself with electromagnetic radiation that's present naturally in the environment. It can run forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do these technologies never see the light of day? Why are they usually ridiculed and brushed off as fake? What would the implications be if this technology was released to the world?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.

According to Maxwell’s claims, the energy to power the battery is taken from electromagnetic waves that exist all around us and are naturally present in our environment. The vehicle had 5 normal gel batteries which were sufficient enough to start the vehicle and charge the batteries, and from there on in, the batteries are constantly charging.

His story and developments began to make noise. For example, SABC News, a major news station owned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation picked up the story and relayed it to their viewers.

According to the Zambian Observer,

“The United States government has given Zimbabwe’s prolific inventor Maxwell Chikumbutso a new home in its populous state of California. Chikumbutso is the founder of Saith Holdings Inc. under which he made headlines for his serial innovations which include the world’s first ever green power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies, an electric powered car which doesn’t consume fuel, a fuelled helicopter and many more.”

When this story broke, a number of “fact-checkers” simply labelled it as false without any investigation. When I first saw this I thought to myself, why would multiple media outlets cover the story, film it and present it to the entire country if it was fake? And why did fact checkers simply label the story as false from the armchairs of their offices without providing any evidence showing that it was?

Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.

The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire the change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…

The full story and more is covered in their new film, Thrive II: This Is What It Takes.  You can see a brief clip from THRIVE II below and Foster and Kimberly’s interaction with Maxwell.

In the film, Chikumbutso explains:

One of the painful realities I have seen in energy is this is a very dangerous game all together. Yeah, especially free energy, because you know they can try to kill it – using professional people and that has happened to me…I went through a lot, poisons, like I’m saying right now, I’m fighting it. They come to you then they say, No, you mustn’t do this.” When they see you’re not giving up, then they can just frame you, then they can so no, you’ve done ABC.” My prayer is this thing must see the light of day.

As far as those “fact checkers” go. As I mentioned above they simply labelled this development as false. For example, PolitiFact explained that “Three years ago, a man at a one-day event touted “inventions,” including a car that defies the laws of physics. Since 2015, his story has only found a home on false news blogs and conspiracy sites.”

Snopes did the same, also mentioning our article that was publishing covering the story:

On 25 April 2018, the conspiracy oriented, reality-adjacent website Collective Evolution picked up the story once again, this time citing the aforementioned Zambian Observer story and the 2015 video of that same event from South African television. As is often the case with Collective Evolution articles, the claims made there have been cloned and regurgitated ad infinitum by other dubious clickbait sites.

Again, there is absolutely no evidence or investigation by these fact checkers to vet the technology, and the common theme used to try and debunk Chikumbutso is that his invention breaks the laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics to be exact, because it produces more energy than is put into the device. They also use ridicule to support their narrative.

We here at Collective Evolution would argue that the device does not at all break the laws of physics, and that the law is not well understood, or needs to be revised. Furthermore, if there’s one thing constant about physics it’s change.

Take, for example, prominent physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in the year 1900 that, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” 

It wasn’t long after this statement when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. Einstein’s theories challenged the accepted framework of knowledge at the time, and forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of reality.

It serves as a great example of how concepts that are taken to be absolute truth are susceptible to change. It’s also important to mention that if these fact-checkers actually did some investigation into this case, they would have a different opinion. How come fact checkers have the ability to label something as false without any actual investigation?

That’s why people like Foster and Kimberly are so important.

In fact, there are multiple inventions out there that appear to break the second law of thermodynamics which have received absolutely no attention. For example, renowned inventor and engineer Paramahamsa Tewari developed an electrical generator that put out more power than it takes in, achieving over-unity efficiency. He published a paper in Physics Essays titled “Structural relation between the vacuum space and the electron” in 2018 before he passed. The paper explains the concepts behind the make-up of what we perceive to be our physical material world, the concepts in there explain the the thoughts behind his generator. You can view a video of the generator here, and read more about it in an article I dive deeper about it, here.

Concluding Remarks: The fact that these technologies, and similar technologies that can provide “free energy” to the planet exist is very exciting. We here at Collective Evolution have also had the privilege of seeing some of these technologies with our own eyes, and it’s quite unfortunate that they always come under such a harsh resistance. What does that tell you about our world and the underlying stories that navigate our current thinking? The fact is, new energy technologies like the one mentioned in this article have the ability to completely collapse the biggest energy companies in the world. Just because this is true, does not mean we should not approach the conversation and determine how we can implement them and perhaps create further adjustments in our society along the way.

I started to examine the breakthrough solutions, and much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world, and yet they have not really seen the light of day. If the new energy technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change be profound, it would affect everybody, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that’s happened in the history of the world.  – Dr Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor

Professor Emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire. He outlined the importance of these concepts in his paper titled Space and Terrestrial Transportation and Energy Technologies For The 21st Century.

There is significant evidence that scientists since Tesla have known about this energy, but that its existence and potential use has been discouraged and indeed suppressed over the past half century or more.  – Dr. Theodor C. Loder, III (source)

Imagine a planet where we live in transparency and all developments are made public. Why does something that threatens power have to be kept a secret? Why is the excuse always to protect “national security.” Why is our planet like this, and why are we accepting and choosing to live the way we do when we have the potential to do so much better?

Of course, energy is a huge part of our existing economy, and thus it’s easy to see how disrupting energy is disrupting the entire economy. We would lose jobs, industries etc. Our progress as a species is held back by our love affair with our current ways of thinking and economy, even when it creates a world that is slowly destroying itself. So what’s the solution then? Transparent discussion ad a new conversation. We must begin realizing what it is that truly holds back these technologies, and it isn’t as simple as saying ‘the elite’ or ‘the deep state.’ It’s our ways of thinking and being, our collective story.

We talk about this in great detail in an interview with someone who has been working in the ‘new energy’ space for many years. Dive into this important conversation on CETV here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Environmental

Half a Million Sharks Could Be Killed to Make COVID-19 Vaccine

Avatar

Published

on

By

2 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline may need to slaughter half a million sharks to harvest squalene, an oil made in shark livers, to make a new line of COVID jabs. Glaxo mixes squalene with a witches’ brew of proprietary surfactants to produce its controversial AS03 vaccine adjuvant. Adjuvants are compounds that amplify immune response to hyperstimulate the immune system. They are associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Scientific studies have linked squalene adjuvants to Gulf War syndrome and to a wave of debilitating neurological disorders including epidemics of narcolepsy caused by Glaxo’s H1N1 Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009 swine flu “pandemic.” One study showed a 13-fold increased risk of narcolepsy in children who received Pandemrix.

The devastating cascade of brain injuries to children and health care workers forced the termination of that Glaxo vaccine after European governments used only a small fraction of the jabs they had purchased from Glaxo. A recent study links squalene to carcinomas. In a bizarre and reckless twist, Glaxo has revived the dangerous adjuvant as its hall pass to the COVID-19 money orgy.

The company said it would manufacture a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines. Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one ton of squalene.

Shark Allies, a California-based group, said Glaxo will kill around 250,000 sharks to make enough AS03 for the world’s population to receive one dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. If, as expected, two doses are needed, half a million sharks must die.

Glaxo declared that it would be producing 1 billion doses of AS03 “to support the development of multiple adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”

Glaxo has developed partnerships with multiple companies, including its behemoth rival Sanofi, China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Innovax Biotech in the city of Xiamen. Glaxo has also agreed to make the technology available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for COVID vaccines in Australia and elsewhere. Glaxo said it is focusing on what it considers a “proven technology” that will give the company “several shots on goal.”

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Elevate your inbox and get conscious articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!