If you survive Armageddon, or something more likely – global warming – you may have Norway to thank for your survival. The government of Norway funded a project called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which has banked more than 1.5 billion seeds, representing every major food crop on Earth.
The vault was built on the island of Spitsbergen and is 600 miles from the North Pole. It has all the attributes of a doomsday structure – it looks like a slab of concrete jutting from the side of an icy mountain. And inside the structure, it’s just about as nondescript.
It’s built to last 10,000 years – we should know by then whether or not we’ve royally screwed up the planet. While there could also be a global catastrophe, the more practical purpose of banking the world’s seeds is that the plant life that we eat is already going extinct.
The main culprit – surprise, surprise – is corporate farming. One amazing example given is that just only a little over a hundred years ago there were over 7,000 types of apples being farmed in the U.S.
Now? About 300.
It used to be that seeds were handed down through family generations, essentially like family recipes. But with corporate farms dominating the market, many of the seeds have gone to the wayside.
There are an incredible amount dramatic and exponential changes happening on our planet. Just look at how quickly the population has doubled over and over again in just the last 200 years. So, the idea that we need to plan for “food extinction” is not only not far fetched, it’s a practical idea. The following video from 60 Minutes goes into more detail.
April 9th, 2008