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‘Doomsday vault’: Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits

‘Doomsday vault’: Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits thumbnail
Hidden away in a ‘seedy’ part of the Arctic, an international transaction of huge importance occurred on Wednesday. No money was moved, instead there was a massive haul of seeds for storage in a vault designed to protect them in case of global catastrophe.

The recent deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault consisted of 50,000 seeds from several countries around the world including the US, Britain, and Pakistan. The area was chosen due to its lack of tectonic activity and permafrost, allowing for efficient storage of the seeds in temperatures below freezing.

“Together, the nations that have deposited their seed collections account for over a quarter of the world’s population,” Marie Haga, Executive Director of Crop Trust, the organization behind the vault, said in a statement.

Around 15,000 of the seeds came from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA), who were forced to ‘borrow’ from Svalbard three years ago when they could not access their own seed bank in Aleppo, Syria due to fighting in the area.

ICARDA focuses on improving agriculture in dry zones, including Africa and the Middle East. Potato, sorghum, rice, barley, chickpea, lentil, and wheat were among the seeds borrowed, according to They have since been relocated to Lebanon and Morocco.

Located under the snow in the remote Arctic on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is intended to operate as a master backup to seed banks around the world in case of catastrophe. Built to house 4.5 million seeds, it currently holds just under a million, which it can store safely for hundreds of years.

31 Comments on "‘Doomsday vault’: Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits"

  1. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 2:37 pm 

    What a stupid idea,
    we trash the whole planet and
    when nothing is left, we still have a
    secret outpost filled with little bottles
    of seeds.

    What would you rather have, a
    pristine planet with all ecosystems
    working? Or a wasteland and some
    jars of seeds?

    Who thought of this pointless asinine
    exercise? Why, Bill Gates of course.
    He pays for the seed bank.
    It’s his stupid idea. So what else is new.

    Stupid rich people with too much money.
    Only getting worse, under Emperor Trump.

  2. Cloggie on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 3:03 pm 

    Noah 2.0

    It worked at the time of the Great Flood, at least that’s what the Bible claims.

  3. onlooker on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 3:23 pm 

    Looks like some high up people are not so sanguine as like to act

  4. peakyeast on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 3:24 pm 

    Seems more viable to send a collection of hardy bacteria and vira in all directions away from earth inside dirty snowballs.

  5. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 4:20 pm 

    If Bill Gates want to fix the world, why don’t
    he make it illegal to dump trash in the ocean.

    All the whales an dolphins are choking on it.
    No, don’t fix that problem, because that
    would actually fix something. It’s very
    important to not fix anything.
    Every rich person and all
    government officials know this.

  6. Jerome Purtzer on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 4:25 pm 

    I hope they have a good store of Ganja seeds for all the Dudes of the world.

  7. JuanP on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 6:13 pm 

    I helped send seeds for 50,000 people in Haiti. I coordinated an event with more than 350 volunteers this week.
    I believe in collecting, trading, bartering and gifting seeds. I do it almost every single day. I never leave my home without seeds.

  8. makati1 on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 6:23 pm 

    Seeds will be worthless if there is no growing climate to plant in. (Too hot.)

    Seeds will be worthless if there is no one to plant them. (Human extinction.)

    Seeds will be worthless if the soil is radioactive. (World War 3.)

  9. Midnight Oil on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 6:27 pm 

    Go Speed Racer…no it is not a stupid idea.
    Actually, a very prudent, intelligent safeguard that was promoted by alert scientists to preserve genetic folk Heritage.
    Pick up a copy of a book that explains why
    Title “Shattering Food, Politics and the loss of Birth logical Diversity” by Fowler

    It was through control of the shattering of wild seeds that humans first domesticated plants. Now control over those very plants threatens to shatter the world’s food supply, as loss of genetic diversity sets the stage for widespread hunger. Large-scale agriculture has come to favor uniformity in food crops. More than 7,000 U.S. apple varieties once grew in American orchards; 6,000 of them are no longer available. Every broccoli variety offered through seed catalogs in 1900 has now disappeared. As the international genetics supply industry absorbs seed companies–with nearly one thousand takeovers since 1970–this trend toward uniformity seems likely to continue; and as third world agriculture is brought in line with international business interests, the gene pools of humanity’s most basic foods are threatened. The consequences are more than culinary. Without the genetic diversity from which farmers traditionally breed for resistance to diseases, crops are more susceptible to the spread of pestilence. Tragedies like the Irish Potato Famine may be thought of today as ancient history; yet the U.S. corn blight of 1970 shows that technologically based agribusiness is a breeding ground for disaster. “Shattering” reviews the development of genetic diversity over 10,000 years of human agriculture, then exposes its loss in our lifetime at the hands of political and economic forces. The possibility of crisis is real; this book shows that it may not be too late to avert it.

  10. onlooker on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 6:43 pm 

    Do not need WWIII, to make most of the planet radioactive, just the end of Industrial Civilization as presumed by the Seed Vault. With that happening, poof, goes all the nuclear reactors around the world, nobody to monitor or maintain them. Welcome to radioactive Earth.

  11. Anonymous on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 7:46 pm 

    The seed vault, in principle, sounds like a good idea, and on some levels, it is.

    But, the idea that ‘we’ have a backup plan for the worst, hides more than it reveals.

    For example, amerikan agri-giants (primarily), are doing their level best to suppress and eliminate genetic diversity-everywhere. Monsanto sues farmers that save their own seeds. Plant diversity has decreased a great deal this last century, and amerikan corporations are mostly to blame for this.

    IF we weren’t making since a huge mess destroying on the one hand, and intentionally suppressing plant diversity on the other (ya know, profit), there would be little need for such a vault to even exist.

    The fact that it even exists, or is needed, is a problem in and of itself. But everyone looks at the vault as if IT is the ‘solution'(tm), and not a symptom of a much bigger set of problems. You know, the ones that helped in some part, to make the vault a necessity in the first place. (But no one really seems to want do much about those, except keep doing more of what we need to stop doing). Better to build a vault in the arctic, where no one can get at it, to save it all.

    Like mak says, what use vault if our soil is contaminated, or dead, or parched whatnot?

  12. onlooker on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 8:08 pm 

    Yep Anon the way some count on Renewable or even Geoengineering, too much hubris not enough humility. No, I am not a Luddite

  13. DerHundistlos on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 8:38 pm 

    @ Go Racer X

    YES. These seeds will mean nothing if we have so decimated the Earth’s life support system that growing conditions no longer exist.

    Gates and his wife are clowns. They retrofitted a two-story house inside an Ilyushin cargo plane as the wife enjoys flying the Gates fleet of cargo planes to Africa to offload food and soccer balls. After an hour or two of feel good, Melinda boards her home in the air and returns home to their 67.000 square foot McMansion. She and Bill have no concept of the amount of fuel required for this trip half way around the world and the small amount of grain transported means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    The Buffett/Gates joint foundation DOES NOT fund ecological initiatives of any sort. Funding is only provided to benefit mankind.

  14. DerHundistlos on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 8:43 pm 

    The elites are not worried. They are members of the world’s most exclusive club, which allows them access to the bug out plan of plans. They know it’s only a matter of time before the planet’s life support system implodes, which is why there is a network of MASSIVE fortified under ground bunkers AND, if need be, a plan to leave the Earth.

    Once the SHTF, the self-sealing, 30 ft. thick blast doors close and nobody else is getting in short of a nuclear device.

  15. onlooker on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 8:52 pm 

    well I would not relish among those elites nor living underground beneath a devastated planet

  16. makati1 on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 9:37 pm 

    It will make a perfect tomb for them. In a few million years, even that will be gone.

  17. JuanP on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 6:12 am 

    I can’t understand why some people are against this. We spend trillions every year on incredibly stupid things. This project cost $45 million to build and it costs an insignificant amount of money to operate. Saving seeds won’t save the world but it makes sense.

  18. Davy on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 7:13 am 

    Juan, I know what you are doing down in Miami and it is the future. It is the actions that says “yea we are screwed but we can do something now.” What we can do now is food related. We can do this as individuals and small communities. We can do things like this seed vault at higher levels with more funding. Our lifeboats of the coming collapse are food related. In the end our survival is food related so anyone dismissing this seed vault as stupid is showing their stupidity.

  19. Cloggie on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 9:37 am 

    I never leave my home without seeds.

    No man does.

  20. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 11:02 am 

    Like your comments. Ya. Fly halfway around the world in an Antonov 124, to deliver soccer balls and candy bars. Then go home to the 67,000 square foot house.

    Too bad Bernie Sanders did not win. A sick mental-case Evil old bitch named Hillary, got in his way. Bernie would have won, and trimmed the evil rich people down to
    size. No more airplanes dumping outs soccer balls for
    hordes of starving Ethiopians. Does Melinda Gates leave them some bottles of ketchup? Marinated soccer balls are much better with ketchup.

  21. Ghung on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 11:16 am 

    Is it smarter to save seeds, and these plant species, and not need them,, or to, at some point, need them and not have them available? I’ll take the former every time.

    It’s sort of like stockpiling a few months of food and other supplies you may never need.

  22. peakyeast on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 1:32 pm 

    Just to make it clear: I am not at all against saving seeds. It should be a far greater amount and it should be in many locations.

    I am much more against Super Bowl, hollidays using aeroplanes and similar wasteful distractions.. Waaay more. They should be outlawed.

  23. Anonymous on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 5:16 pm 

    Sorry guys, you can build all the low-cost seed vaults you like, but if you keep allowing monsanto and other uS agri-corps to genetically modify diversity out of the world, AND allow them to jail and fine famers that save their own seeds for next years harvest?

    Guess whats gonna happen….

    That seed vault might have cost 45 million, but uS and other allied Agri-giants spend FAR more than that, suing farmers and researching new ways to poison the world with their GMOs.

    Guess whos winning the GMO wars? Its not the seed vaults people. Grow up.

  24. Apneaman on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 5:34 pm 

    Climate change doubles size of northern lakes, pushes bison off habitat

    “But the impact is clear on the sanctuary’s 2,000 to 3,000 bison — Canada’s last herd of genetically pure, tuberculosis−free wood bison, considered a species at risk. As the lakes grow, they drown out the sedge meadowlands around their banks that are the animals’ favourite food.”

    The human cancer will extinct a few million species then itself.

  25. onlooker on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 5:37 pm 

    Yes, but the time of Monsanto and other big is coming to an end. The future if they’re is one belongs to those who can live sustainability with themselves and Nature. The seed vault can be a bridge to that future

  26. dooma on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 7:45 pm 

    The time of “big” everything should have come to an end a long time ago. Or, at the very least, we need to act NOW!

    I would have no hesitation joining an organization to put a bullet through the head of some of these greedy billionaires who are destroying this planet for their selfish gains.

    You would not have to kill them all before they got the message that their kind is not wanted anymore.

    Then do what the American forefathers warned us so clearly of, and remove the parasitic banking system. Just for a start.

    We are at the point where the masses have to act.

  27. Antius on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 8:24 pm 

    ‘I would have no hesitation joining an organization to put a bullet through the head of some of these greedy billionaires who are destroying this planet for their selfish gains.’

    Dooma, these are people who have for the most part worked extremely hard and single mindedly and have been successful through sheer determination. Many of them are quite altruistic and use their money to benefit humanity. Elon Musk and Bill Gates come to mind. These men will achieve things that you and I never will, because they possess a concentration of resources that allows them to fund massive developments.

    I have always been puzzled by people’s attitude towards the rich. People that have never worked so hard for some reason believe that wealthy people owe them something. Why is that? Bill Gates got rich by developing a product that all of us found useful. He didn’t get his money by stealing it through innovation and selling something that we all needed at a reasonable price. Why would anyone resent him simply for being successful. I do not understand the reasoning of people who are disgusted by the idea of the wealthy owning private yachts or other such luxuries. They always bleat on about the injustice of the rich having such luxury whilst the third world goes hungry. Why? Why does someone owe something special to people they have never had anything to do with in the third world just because they are wealthy?

    I do not understand why the rich are expected to pay so much more tax than the rest of us. Everyone should pull their weight. No one should expect to use a public service without paying for it. Yet rich people are expected to pay more. Why? It’s their money! Why the hell should anyone else feel that they are entitled to it?

  28. makati1 on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 9:21 pm 

    Antius, suck in some more of that free mind destroying Koolaid. Not ONE billionaire EVER did a positive thing for humanity unless it had a huge profit attached. Not one.

    Bill Gates did what he did to become a billionaire, not a good person. Some will argue that the internet is not a good thing. More so every day. It is helping to destroy the world faster than anything.

    The rich got there on the backs of the poor, as always. They have more than they should for the work they did. No one is worth 100,000+ times what anyone else is worth. No one.

  29. makati1 on Sat, 25th Feb 2017 9:27 pm 

    Seeds? Who needs seeds when chemicals can do the job better.

    “A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that nearly 5,000 more people died from opioids in 2015 than in 2014. Both heroin and opioid use have exploded in the US, after decades of doctors over-prescribing painkillers in the 1990s and 2000s. A report from the CDC released Thursday found that the drug problem has become so deadly that heroin deaths outnumbered gun fatalities last year for the first time in US history. Until 2007, gun deaths outnumbered heroin deaths five to one, according to the Washington Post. But 2015 saw 12,989 people die from heroin and 12,979 die from gun homicides.”

    America in decline…

  30. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 26th Feb 2017 1:40 am 

    Well Antius, you missed the big picture.

    Surely you would be opposed to a welfare plan that gives a bum $50,000 a year to buy cartons of Fireball and Jack Daniels.

    So, then why aren’t you opposed to all the welfare-bum programs, such as are enjoyed by giant defense contractors and by Elom Munsk?

    That guy gets unlimited subsidies for Tesla, Space X, and his solar cell company.

    He’s just good at extracting federal ‘free money’. So why shouldn’t he pay a big pile of taxes, when its us paying him, not the other way around?

    Why do the rich get all the money? Does the word ‘monopoly’ come to mind? You shoudl re-read history of 100 years ago, how the Robber Barons took everything not nailed down, just so they could have more and more and more, for themselves. So back then we had a government, and they broke up monopolies.

    And who sets wages? You think your wage is set by a free market? Ha. Its set by whatever the rich man pays you. And his preference is to pay you about $1.00 per day.

    So he gets $10,000,000 a day,
    and you get $1.00 a day.
    So the rich man needs a tax cut?

    OK however you like!
    You must be young. Plenty time to figure it out.

    When America had fairness and prosperity (1950’s 1960’s) the rich people had a sky high tax rate. Like 75% taxation. Cause if they wanted to pay themselves $10 Million a year, then the government took $7.5 Million of it.

    And it was a good and fair society. Today’s society has low tax rates on the rich, and its turned it all into a hell-hole. 99% live in poverty, the other 1% live like Gods. Whatever U like though. Peace.

  31. dooma on Sun, 26th Feb 2017 7:55 pm 

    Ah Antius, the glimmer in your eyes from “personality love” can be seen from my shoreline. The typical American worship of anyone who has earned more than they could earn in 10 lifetimes had left you blind to the reality of life. As other people have mentioned, not one of these obscenely wealthy individuals has not got where they have without savvy accountants, bending the rules (Bill is notorious for anti-competition practices).

    But he is not the sort of person I would target first though. It would be anyone in the banking and finance sector that are so good at leeching off the common man and bribing the government. All the companies that moved offshore dodged tax and cried broke. All the politicians who have gladly received bribes.

    The list is huge. And I have not even touched on the environment or defense.

    You have totally been bullshitted to and have swallowed it all on a plate of MSM!

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