by Larry Smith
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” — Mark Twain
At the height of the Cold War, a huge underground bunker deep in the Rocky Mountains was crammed with sophisticated instruments to detect and deter military threats from the Soviet bloc.
The North American Aerospace Defence Command (or NORAD) was a “doomsday” machine designed to fight a nuclear war that no-one could win. The Cold War is over now, but life on Earth is still under threat - although from a very different quarter.
Recently, newspapers reported the building of another kind of ‘NORAD’ in the heart of a mountain on a frozen island in the Norwegian Arctic. And some say the future of humanity could rest within this multi-million-dollar concrete vault.
But instead of radars and computers, it will contain a collection of two million plant seeds, representing all known varieties of the crops that mankind developed in the 10,000 years since agriculture was invented.