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The world needs a backup plan for restoring the human population after the Doomsday catastrophes have run their course. The EarthArk Project is a plan for a deep-freeze storage depot in the coldest regions of Antarctica intended to preserve seeds and everything else that a revivification of the despoiled Earth could use. A second project called Lifehavens are communities of a thousand people from every different ethnic background living in carefully chosen remote places. These would be micro-humanities which would be capable of fully restoring humanity’s genetic diversity if called upon to do so. Because the sites are not currently economically viable for human settlement these communities would of necessity be supported by the outside world. The population would be slowly moved through the site  with a total turnover about once in ten years. This keeps each site fully in contact with the normally developed world but provides stability and diversity to the community. They would be located on what are currently remote places of no military value and therefore unlikely to be attacked and as far as possible from any possible hostilities. Click the hot links to see how these plans have been developed.

Those are the big public projects but there are some personal ones which individuals can participate in right now, which future people would consider very favorably. My favorite is the The EarthArk Project which is an effort to save the genetic variability of all Earth’s species. This is done at first by individuals, such as yourself, collecting small seed samples of local living things, especially wild things and including small soil samples, and sending them to the local collection facility which ships them to very cold (-40°C) very high locations in the mountains of Antarctica for long-term storage. In the extreme cold there they will maintain viability for thousands of years without any further supervision. The containers shipped the to the EarthArk storage depot will be tagged to the location from which they came and thus those future people, from that locality, will be able to go there and bring back what they need to restore much of the vitality which that given area now possesses but which may have been lost by then. The most viable region for particular plants may have shifted but there may still be good areas for a particular storage container to be taken as a whole.

The EarthArk Project should include a vaccine bank containing inoculations for protecting humans and animals and plants from all known pathogens. Of course it impossible to know what diseases are going to come into existence and become a serious threat but unused vaccines from current epidemics could be safely stored at the EarthArk sites deep in Antarctica for very long periods of time without any human supervision. When a vaccine has been made for some particular disease outbreak it is usually made in much larger quantity than is required for the particular outbreak and the remaining over-run could be stored. At present vaccines are simply disposed of at the end of the risk period for their target disease but  these could and should be stored for some use in the distant future. They might be considered out of date for maximum strength by modern users and thus discarded from current use but they might at almost no cost be shipped to the Antarctic storage site when combined with other shipments. They would then be safe and are out of the usual chain of supply so they wouldn’t pose a problem for vaccine manufactures when a new outbreak of some disease needs newly manufactured materials. However, if at some distant date the ability to manufacture a particular vaccine was disrupted there would be a ready supply available.

When a safe and remote location is available for storage it becomes feasible to have manufacturers of these types of products manufacture large quantities of them on a routine basis. Presently they are made on a crash basis as quickly as some particular pathogen becomes a problem. If this type of operation was make into an ongoing one making an abundance of similar materials constantly for distant future use then when an new outbreak occurred requiring immediate attention the facilities would be readily available. They simply shift production from a non-currently-critical vaccine to a currently critical one and once the crisis was over they could continue making the routine materials. Within a few years of this type of operation if there was a strange new pathogen the equipment, materials and people would be already available and the disease could be quickly contained.

Preparing for the distant future might pay for itself with the first crisis.