Over the better part of a year this blog has explored various ways of coping with the possibility of Doomsday. It has been hoped that this event never occurs, but because it is a very real possibility it makes sense to make some preparations for its happening. There was some discussion of precursors to the Doomsday event and the stressors that might precipitate the catastrophic tripping point. But, trying to predict the exact moment of the Doomsday event will be impossible right up till the last minute, and at that time no one will be able to do anything constructive. This is a rare and devastating type of event and Nassim Taleb says in his book The Black Swan that for these types of highly unusual events it is best to prepare for the knowable effects of the event and try, and protect your valuables from the possibility of the event rather than to try and predict the event itself, and take last minute actions.
The assumption for the last half century is that an atomic war would be so bad as to be counterproductive even for the country which exploded a surprise attack first bomb. Therefore, it is thought that an atomic war is impossible, and yet many governments have spent vast sums of money to possess these bombs—which they assert can never be used. Obviously, these intelligent people are one of three things: they are crazy and simply hallucinating, they have spoken to God who advised them that what they have spent all of this money obtaining will never be used, or the more plausible possibility, they are lying and they think they can get away with using these weapons if and when the time comes. The time will probably come in the form of a misjudgment of their enemies’ intentions coupled with some sort of unanticipated accidental happening. Then boom, BOOM! boom de boom boom.
At present, so far as I have been able to determine, there is no fallback position for all of humanity other than a few seed banks of commercial food seeds set in isolated places. The acknowledged fallback position for 6.8 billion people is presently two rooms filled with a variety of commercial seeds, at Svalbard. That is pitiful! These blogs have sketched out some alternatives, and now it comes time to try and implement them.
The Earth Ark is the biggest and most expensive and politically the most difficult to bring off but it is the best one for returning Earth to a semblance of our presently beautiful world. The best place to create an Earth Ark is the country of New Zealand because it is far enough away from most of the worst effects of the Doomsday war and it spans many climate zones. Thus a climate approximating many of those found elsewhere in the world could be created in miniature. This miniature Earth when combined with seed banks and sperm banks could reconstitute a reasonable approximation of our current planet. It would take many years to do that, but in as few as twenty years, when some trees had grown to reasonable size, there would be some park like situations back in the Northern Hemisphere. To achieve this Earth Ark requires contacting the people of New Zealand, and showing them how they could be the salvation of humanity and of the whole Earth. The current ecological movement there would have to be shown how it is more valuable to save the ecology of the whole planet even if it is at the expense of crowding the current species already there. Perhaps the influx of survival money might actually help those threatened species already there to survive. The immediate action necessary is to contact the New Zealand government with a letter and an outline of the plan and solicit their cooperation. Once there was enough support from the government to at least give it a study group and a public hearing then it would be necessary to give presentations to demonstrate how it could be implemented on a small scale as a pilot project. It would be like creating a carefully fenced in zoo for a particular part of the outside world.
The Lifehaven Project is a somewhat less expensive undertaking, but it requires more direct outside support to succeed. It consists of inhabiting several remote islands in the Southern Hemisphere with a seed population of humans, animals and as many other living things as possible along with a seed and sperm bank and electronic data bank and a paper library of essential human information. Pitt Island is a good location for one of these Lifehavens because it is very remote from all targets, and yet it is still reasonably comfortable and accessible. The immediate action required is to contact New Zealand for their willingness to use this remote island now inhabited by about 45 people and set up what would be similar to a resort hotel for up to a thousand people. This would require outside financing, but after construction would almost be economically viable as a tourist destination and as an alternate to military service for participating countries—sort of like a Peace Corps.
The South Pole Gene Barrel solution is a placing of small containers around the South Pole at locations defined by where the container came from. This method has the advantage of being almost entirely personally controlled by private individuals. Any person any place in the world can send a small package to the gene barrel at the South Pole via public mail. Once it is there and stored locally it is quite safe, but the final destination would in most cases be moved away from the South Pole Station. The next thing needed for this project is to set up mailing procedures for small packages, up to suitcase size, being sent to the South Pole Station. Once that is done it is necessary to contact the media to get some worldwide coverage. Everyone would be encouraged to submit a small package, perhaps this could be done as a school project in all schools throughout the world, where each kid would bring in a small sample of some seeds from a local tree or some remote and unusual soil.
Antarctic Isotainer Project for a new start is in some ways the easiest to implement, because all it requires at the beginning is a standard isotainer located somewhere in the world to which people could mail their seed samples. It would be best implemented by having many of these isotainers located various ecological zones around the world so the greatest possible variety of seeds and small soil samples could be collected, and separated automatically by their location collection point isotainer. These isotainers could be stored in fenced in areas for protection, but opened to the local public for placing samples during business hours. For this project to work it needs an isotainer, an accessible location with a mailing address and enough advertising to get local people, especially ecologists, to bring in samples. Once it is filled it could be shipped to a designated port which ships containers to Antarctica occasionally.
Monetary funding for all of these projects will be needed which requires a nonprofit organization to be set up as an umbrella organization. It would only take a few substantial gifts to make the whole thing viable. It would be appealing to many foresighted people to participate in saving humanity even if is removed to some future date. If a donor could have their name associated with an area’s being reconstituted through their efforts that would be quite rewarding. The knowledge that in the future it was through their personal effort that these future people would survive and rebuild the world and that everyone forevermore, for thousands of years, would praise the donors’ foresight. That is possibly the greatest contribution anyone could ever hope to have to the future.