Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Have Questions

When it comes to seed, I think all gardeners harbor some hoarder gene. "My preciousssss!" lol. Ok, maybe some to a much greater extent than others. Ahem!

My questions are based on an assumption of a global catastrophe (well, that's what it was basically built for):

Svalbard International Seed Vault-

"The vault's purpose is to ensure survival of crop diversity in the event of plant epidemics, nuclear war, natural disasters or climate change; and to offer the world a chance to restart growth of food crops that may have been wiped out. Dug into a frozen mountainside on the island of Svalbard, it is hoped the project will safeguard crop diversity in the event of a global catastrophe. "

Yup, that's a good thing. But who's idea was it to put in on an island? And how many of us would know how to get there? many people even know it exists?

"More than 100 countries have backed the vault, which will store seeds, packaged in foil, at sub-zero temperatures. At temperatures of minus 18C (minus 0.4F), the seeds could last hundreds, even thousands, of years. Even if all cooling systems failed, the temperature in the frozen mountain would never rise above freezing due to the permafrost on the mountainside."

All right, I get that, but I have always been under the impression that enduring temperatures at such a low level would destroy the viability of some seed?

"The bank is eventually expected to house some three million seeds."

That's all? And who exactly decides which seeds are worth saving?

"Fenced in and guarded, with steel airlock doors, motion detectors and polar bears roaming outside - the concrete facility will, its backers say, be the most secure building of its type in the world."

Fabulous, can I stash my pennies there? But, who and how many have the key? And what happens if the people that have one aren't around after such a disaster? And who would decide when it would be safe to plant these seeds again...and where?

"While Norway will own the vault itself, countries sending seeds will own the material they deposit - much as with a bank safe-deposit box."

Who's going to decide which counrty gets what if the counrty that stored them there won't be able to grow them, but they'd suit another counrty's growing criteria fine? If there are only a few civilizations left here and there, how are they suppose to know about this place, and if they manage to find it, how are they suppose to get in?

The Global Crop Diversity Trust will help developing countries pay the cost of preparing and sending seeds.

Aww, how nice, but how about free? They honestly expect 'developing' countries to afford that? 'We'd be happy to save your seed, right after you fork over some bucks you don't have. Otherwise pfftt! You lose?'

Keep saving those seeds. They may, one day again, be our currency. Whoever gets in that vault will be king! lol. Wow, I need to go back to bed.

What got me thinking about all this is that the Doomsday Clock has been moved forward another 2 minutes. It is now 5 minutes to midnight.


Carol said...

I've heard of the seed vault, though they haven't yet contacted me to go through my old seeds to see if I have anything to contribute.

Tina said...

Well, what ar they waiting for? Maybe you should offer them a hoe to store instead? Ya gotta have tools to resead the earth! lo.