Real World: Havana
Cuban conference addresses climate and development
This week, an international conference of 800 brains is addressing climate change, environmental education, sustainable development, and other green topics — in Cuba. Yes, offering further proof that the commies have the right idea, Cuba got credit from U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner for solving its energy crisis while committing to clean energy. Steiner, who delivered a “master lecture” at the conference yesterday, spoke to the press in Havana, praising his host country’s efforts to develop wind power, solar power, and sugar-cane ethanol. After blackouts plagued the island three years ago, the government overhauled its energy grid and pushed conservation, even going door to door to upgrade incandescent bulbs with more-efficient options. “Cuba can look proudly at having solved a short-term crisis with a long-term commitment toward cleaner energy,” Steiner said. The conference, which ends tomorrow, has also seen researchers detail the possible local effects of climate change.