Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Holy Shit, the Svalbard Seed Vault!

It's seeds. In Svalbard.
One day, something terrible is going to happen to the Earth. I mean, the Earth will be alright. In most apocalyptic scenarios, the Earth will do just fine. That's not what people are really worried about when they say we need to save the planet.

No, what they mean is that we need to save ourselves. In a big ecological disaster, the crops we grow are going to become incredibly scarce. Maybe even extinct. That's problematic if you're a fan of eating. Even if you're strictly carnivorous, your food is not. I don't know why I feel the need to clarify this, but without crops, humanity is just...super dead.
Disco is Dead.

Luckily, we have a contingency plan. Yeah. That's not just something from disaster movies. There is a very real, very functional contingency plan with an out-of-the-way, isolated, 11th hour savior station and everything. It's called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and it is aptly named.

Svalbard Seed Vault.
Because it's in Svalbard, is a global initiative, has seeds, and is a vault. It's that simple, yes.
Funded by various world governments and organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is humanity's insurance policy. It's the destination for real life post-apocalyptic scientists/farmers who want to save the world.

I'm gonna be honest. I want to make fun of this concept. I want to make light of it. At first glance, it's so bizarre that this place exists. At second glance, it's even more bizarre that it has funding.

But you know what? I can't. It's goddamn terrific that we, as a species, are planning so far ahead as to stuff a bunch of biodiversity into nature's refrigerator. All I can do is share it and reassure you that, should you find yourself starving due to a meteor, nuclear war, or massive blight, there's a little beacon of hope in one of the coldest places on Earth.
Northern Lights in Svalbard

A place where you are legally required to carry a hunting rifle outside of towns so that you can defend yourself from polar bears, sure, but it's there. And one day, it may save the world.

And yes, I'm serious about the polar bear gun thing.

Holy shit.


  1. I'm curious as to why "assholes" is designated as a label here

    1. Most apocalyptic scenarios seem to involve assholes, so I felt it was appropriate.