Guest Post - Albert Bates

by: Heather on 08/28/2009
Posted in: Guest Posts

Albert Bates, author of The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times, is currently in Ireland teaching a permaculture course. He will be doing book signings in Counties Tipperary, Killarny, Kells, and at the Electric Picnic and Dublin Fringe next week. He sent along this story from the Tipperary paper. Sláinte Albert!

Ambassador to visit Tipp ecovillage
By Peter Gleeson
The Guardian, County Tipperary, Ireland

Cuba may be the most sustainable country in the world, but now it is about to get a lesson in eco-friendly ways of living from the North Tipperary village of Cloughjordan.

The Cuban Ambassador to Ireland is visiting the locality this Saturday to be briefed on how Ireland is developing its first ecovillage in North Tipperary.

The Ambassador Noél Carillo expressed an interest in visiting Cloughjordan to see it's ecological sustainability projects. Cloughjordan is the home of Ireland's first ecovillage which is now well under construction.

The project includes the development of ecologically friendly houses using 100 percent renewable energy for heating and hot water.

Existing Cloughjordan residents along with ecovillage members have also started a community supported farm which is of particular interest to the Ambassador.

The Cloughjordan Development Committee along with supporters of the ecovillage have organized this State visit.

Cuba went through economic collapse as a result of the shortage of energy resources. That happened after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 and Cuba lost its primary sugar market and the source of almost all its petroleum. The Cubans rose to the occasion, and today the country is a model of sustainability for the rest of the world.

According to recently released World Wildlife Fund report, Cuba is the only country in the world with "sustainable development." The report contains a graph, which shows two features - the Human Development Index (established by the United Nations) and the so=called "ecological footprint" which shows the per person energy and resources consumed in each country.

Surprisingly, only Cuba has passed in both areas, which is enough to be designated a country that "meets the minimum sensitivity criteria" for sustainable living.

The Cuba ambassador's visit to Cloughjordan will co-incide with a screening of the popular documentary The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. The film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people.

Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call "The Special Period."

The film opens with a short history of "Peak Oil," a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever.

Cuba, the only country that has faced a crisis - the extensive reduction of fossil fuels - is an example of options and hope. The Cloughjordan Development Committee said in a statement this week.

The film will be followed by a panel of experts on the points raised by the film. The day will end with a Cuban night in the Railway Bar, Cloughjordan, where Latin music DJs will be providing the music.

All are welcome to the event. The Cuban Ambassador will arrive at 11 am and will first be treated to Fair Trade coffee in the meadow in front of the Church of Ireland in the village.

He will then tour the ecovillage where he will plant a tree to mark his visit. This will be followed by the film screening in MacDonagh's GAA Centre at 3:15pm.

A discussion on sustainable living will then take place. Among those participating will be Peter Gaynor of Fairtrade Ireland, Peadar Kirby, fro the University of Limerick, the Cuban Ambassador, Mr. Carillo, and Albert Bates, Global Ecovillage Network representative for the Americas. The discussion will be chaired by Iva Pocock from the Cloughjordan ecovillage.


The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook         The Power of Community


blog comments powered by Disqus