Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Planning for a Perilous Future

What a wonderful concept – creating a seed bank to store samples of all the crops that nourish us on earth. I love it when human beings go beyond their own immediate needs and think of future generations. Beyond their children, their grandchildren, or great-great-great-grandchildren; thinking of the generations of humankind a thousand or more years in the future, and doing something today to provide for a potentially perilous future.

It’s a terrible prospect, that there might come a day when “…plant epidemics, nuclear war, natural disasters or climate change….” will have killed most crops on earth. What would it be like to be sent back to the early days of agriculture when we first learned to grow food? All the knowledge we’ve gained over centuries – and all our advanced technology – will be worthless without the seeds to start again.

Thanks to Norway and other Scandinavian countries, humans will have a second chance to get it right. Life will wait patiently until then in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

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