seeds

Arctic seed bank -- should we be comforted, or alarmed?

Today comes news that a seed bank set up on a frosty Arctic island in Norway to preserve the possiblity of feeding the world after a nuclear or climate disaster has reached the half-million mark for seed samples.

I'm confused: Should we be comforted, or alarmed? I mean, if the likelihood of nuclear or climate disaster is high enough to necessitate this kind of thing, that's bad. But then again, it seems like a prudent move, right?

I live just about an hour down the road from the lush Skagit River valley, which is a source of seeds used around the world for a variety of crops (not to mention a major producer of veggies that land on my plate on a regular basis.) Can't we keep getting our seeds there?  

Hmmm... it turns out they're calling this facility on the Norwegian island a "doomsday" seed vault.

Sigh. My stomach hurts.

-- Robert McClure