Friday, February 29, 2008

Someone froze Noah's Nuts

Well, technically, they are seeds.
Here is an article that has come to my attention several times this week. I hadn't been ignoring it so much as not really putting much stock in what it was about. Yet, when I am bombarded by the same thing over and over for a full week, well even I will stand up and take note. So, here is the quick and dirty on what we have going on. The location is the Norwegian Island of Svalbard. Don't know where that is? Get a globe, find the northern regions of Greenland, head east. That large island sitting about 75 north, almost on 15 east... see it? That's Svalbard, sitting a mere 600 miles from the North Pole. The what is a giant vault that serves just one purpose. Find, collect, and store as much of the plant life data, in the form of seeds, that we can gather from around the world for the purpose of protecting int for the future.
A veritable stationary Noah's ark or vegetation has been constructed in this sub-arctic island. The structure sits 500 feet below the permafrost, designed to weather all weather, earthquakes and bomb blasts, with a security system on par with most missle silos. Aptly named the Global Seed Vault, hopes to stop the growing shortage of bio-diversity. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that three quarters of the worlds bio-diversity has been lost in the last century. A staggering number. This undertaking is hoping to protect the knowledge stored in other, more vulnerable seed banks, as those in countries like Iraq have been destroyed due to conflict in the nation. All in all, I find this a bold undertaking that I whole-heartedly believe in.
But what's your opinion, dear readers? One single seed bank? Is this a good idea? Are they going overkill here? I'd love to hear your feedback.

1 comment:

Wren Draco said...

They do mention within the articles that few locations offer the sort of natural protection available to the global seed bank (ice, remote-ness, permanence, etc.). And it isn't the only one, anyway, most developed countries have some sort of seed bank as far as I know. It is not a bad idea.