Norway Spending $13M on Doomsday Vault; Aims to Save Earth's Food Supply From Nuclear Disaster

The entrance to the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, pictured February 29, 2016.
The entrance to the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, pictured February 29, 2016. | (Photo: Reuters/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix)

The government of Norway is set to spend $12.7 million on upgrading its Arctic doomsday seed vault, which is aimed at preserving the planet's crop diversity from nuclear or other disasters.

The Norwegian government announced on its website last week that the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which was built 10 years ago in an abandoned Arctic coal mine in Svalbard, will now be able to host several new features.

"The project includes the construction of a new, concrete-built access tunnel, as well as a service building to house emergency power and refrigerating units and other electrical equipment that emits heat through the tunnel," the government stated.

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The doomsday vault can store up to 4.5 million crop varieties, and it currently hosts 890,000 samples of crops like maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, barley, potato and others from across the globe.

The supply has already been used for important purposes, the article noted.

"In 2017 the important role of the seed vault was made evident. For the first time seeds were redeposited at the seed vault on Svalbard. The ICARDA International Research Center, previously operating out of Aleppo in Syria, returned seeds harvested after they had retrieved their seeds from Svalbard in 2015," it said.

The website for Global Seed Vault states that its mission is to "ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide."

It argues that 10,000 years of agricultural legacy should not be left to chance, and warned that if crops disappear, they may be lost forever.

"We need crop diversity both in farmer's fields and stored in genebanks — available to all through an efficient global system to ensure that nutritious food will be available at stable and affordable prices without expanding agriculture's footprint. Safeguarding biodiversity in — and around — agriculture is a prerequisite for food security," the website continues.

"No single institution can hold this diversity, which amounts to millions of distinct crop varieties, and make it available to plant breeders and farmers around the world. The Crop Trust brings together and secures those genebanks that are tasked by the international community with conserving this legacy for all of us."

Big name Christian pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship megachurch in California, talked about doomsday fears in America last year with the nuclear war threats of North Korea.

"You may have heard on the news that North Korea has now developed what they are calling a hydrogen bomb, that has the capacity to cause far more destruction," Laurie warned in a September 2017 Facebook message.

"In fact, they're saying it could be three to four times more potent than the bomb we dropped in World War II on Nagasaki. Plus, they have intercontinental missiles, effectively a delivery system to get it to America."

The pastor admitted that America finds itself in "scary times."

"We need to pray that God would put a shield over our country. That God would protect America, and that God would wake up America," he urged at the time.

"That we would wake up to our spiritual need and our need for God. I pray that He wakes up the Church, I pray He wakes you and I up as well."

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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