Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Doomsday Vault

Remember how in Waterworld Kevin Costner was growing a scrawny tomato plant in a post-apocalyptic world? Or how the good guys in Mad Max 2 were trying to grow some sad vegies in the desert, whilst being terrorised by bikers?

One government has taken steps to ensure that it won’t be like that.

Quick, what is Norway famous for?

Frida from Abba comes from there. So did the Vikings. And the Nazis went there. Also Edvard Munch, painter of The Scream, is Norwegian. And they have a lot of fjords, but they don't have Holdens (my little joke).

Which makes it all the more surprising that of all countries, Norway has established the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, commonly known as the Doomsday Vault.

Located in a mountainside near the village of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, a group of islands nearly a thousand kilometres north of mainland Norway, the vault facility preserves a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. Everything is climate and environment controlled, with the seeds being kept frozen so as not to germinate.  It opened on 26 February 2008 and now holds about 2 billion seeds, duplicate copies of crops, vegetables and other foodstuffs from the genebanks of other countries. The idea is to maintain a collection of seeds of all the world’s crops in case of global catastrophe.

That is where you will find me if the living dead walk the earth as in 28 Days or if we experience a global wipeout, such as in The Stand. Not because I want to get the seeds to grow in an irradiated garden plot or to have a little vegie garden in the middle of marauding ferals, but because that seems like a place that will continue on keeping on: light, heat, air filtering. And good security, just lock the front door.

Remember, I thought of it first.

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