“Within a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, could lie the future of humanity. The room is a ‘doomsday vault‘ designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world’s crops. It is being built to safeguard the world’s food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies.”
And I’m on my way…
“The $3 million vault” – which seems a remarkably cheap price to “safeguard the world’s food supply” – “will be built deep inside a sandstone mountain lined with permafrost on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen. The vault will have metre-thick walls of reinforced concrete and will be protected behind two airlocks and high-security blast-proof doors. It will not be permanently manned, but ‘the mountains are patrolled by polar bears’, says [Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project].”
“This will be the world’s most secure gene bank by some orders of magnitude,” says Fowler.
Rumors are the vault was designed by Jerry Bruckheimer – and it’s not seeds they’re keeping in there… but Noah’s Ark. Wait –
(A somewhat related, and very interesting, story: global seed-hunters, as reported in The Guardian).