by Jake Anderson, Activist Post:
A new documentary called The Seeds of Time is bringing the mythic “Doomsday Vault” of Norway back into the limelight. If you have heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, it has likely been either in the context of a conspiracy theory or some cryptic reference in a science journal.
The facts alone make the “Vault” sound like it was taken out of a James Bond movie: 130 meters up in the glacial mountains of Norway, there is a disaster-proof, permafrost-insulated seed bank depository that, in the event of an apocalyptic event, could repopulate the Earth with virtually every known crop. Jutting out of the ice with a glowing fiber-optic display, the entrance of the Svalbard vault immediately conjures visions of a vast underground military installation.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been in service for over six years, but the public remains mystified by the project. Buried under the permafrost of Norway, the vault is now home to over 500,000 samples of crop germplasms. Originally conceived in the 1980s as a 100-year experiment to test the durability of seeds in cold environments, the project struggled to find donors —that is, until an eyebrow-raising team of behemoths, including the Bill Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, and Syngenta – decided to invest. And they invested big: the Bill Gates Foundation alone has poured in $30 million.
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