The Doomsday Chart
Doomsday population crash with food shortfall as a precursor.
This chart was posted on 2008 June 11
After the Doomsday events the very survival of humanity is in grave doubt, and with the present technical, and political trends that tragedy is probably within the natural lifetime of people now living, and possibly within the life expectancy of old people. To avert the end of humanity there have been proposed three solutions:
1. The Earth Ark which is in its ideal form would be the conversion of the island nation of New Zealand into an Noah’s Ark type of lifeboat upon which a great many species now resident throughout the world might be maintained. It would be rather like a very large zoo supported by all humanity and maintained by the people now living there. This is obviously very expensive, and would require a great deal of political cooperation.
2. The Lifehaven Project which is much smaller, but requires a modest number of remote places in the Southern Hemisphere, mostly uninhabited islands, to be populated with a few hundred people each who would maintain as great a diversity as possible of people, animals, plants, other living things, and an information database of the wisdom of humanity. This would still be costly in private finance terms, but a tiny expense for a large nation. The politics of populating some uninhabited islands shouldn’t be too politically difficult considering the goal is to save humanity, and various threatened species which will certainly go extinct with the next atomic war.
3. The Gene Barrel Solution is a much smaller undertaking, and it can be done in part by individuals operating alone, and with few political complications. It consists of scattering in remote locations small barrels of seeds which would be worthless to recover for their pre-Doomsday value, but of infinite value after the Doomsday had destroyed most life forms in the now habitable world. Many places can be chosen for these Gene Barrels, but some sites in Antarctica would be a natural choice because of its consistently cold temperature and remote location.
There already exist 1,300 genebanks throughout the world as of 2006. There is a bomb proof facility Svalbard International Seed Vault which unfortunately the builders located directly on an H-bomb target. So far as I know none of the other seed banks have prepared for nuclear war, and for a several year environment for the seeds being totally unprotected from a very hostile radioactive environment, and human predation for short term food needs.
The Gene Barrel Solution has the survival seeds located as far away from the war and human predation as it is possible to get, Antarctica for example, on Vincent Massif. By making each of the barrels small, and remote from each other it takes a great and very specific effort to recover even one of these barrels. They are so difficult to get that it takes more caloric energy to get to one of them than can be had by eating all of the food value located in the barrel. Therefore there are no hungry gangs of starving people boring into the seed vault as will likely happen at the existing seed vaults.
In general seeds can be stored for a long time at low temperatures and the temperature beneath the surface at the South Pole is minus 48°. So a barrel of seeds located there should be viable for hundreds of years. There are other stations, and perhaps there could be air drops into remote locations that no one has ever set foot upon. Each of these barrels could be documented as to what was in it and its geographic location should be published in a public database. And printed in durable paper, and circulated to remote libraries, and even chiseled in stone at some likely departure locations for a journey to Antarctica. The idea is that everyone knows exactly where they are, but no one would bother going there until after Doomsday destroyed most viable species, and the genetic diversity available in the barrels would become very desirable. Then it would be worth the difficult trip to get a Gene Barrel.
People from all over the world could participate in creating Gene Barrels by simply collecting a few plastic bags full of local seeds and soil from various local environments. Along a local stream, out in an open field, under some rocks. Each of these unusual places has all sorts of strange microbes and seeds. At the moment a handful of this is all but worthless locally but in a few years it would likely be just what was needed to get your local environment looking similar to what it does right now. Collect every kind of seed you can, sometime you will find the wind has blown lots of local seeds into a ditch. Just put a handful in a plastic bag. You might be able to get your local hardware store to give you their last year’s throwaway commercial seeds to put into your package. Pack it up good and tight with string and tape and in a sturdy can like it is going to be outside for a hundred years. I will try and get a sponsor to drop off your package in the wilderness of Antarctica. Some possibilities for doing this are:
Those are commercial adventure tourist providers but they might dump off a package for us in Antarctica.