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I have been developing and promoting survival strategies for the species of the Earth ever since I refused to drop H-bombs on people, back in 1960. The efforts of the recent ten years are based on getting DNA into a storage location where it could go untended for thousands of years and still yield useful material. The EarthArk is little more than standard transportation storage containers, like the ones you see on trucks, trains, and ships, filled with deep-frozen samples of all the varieties of presently living things. It might be impossible to revivify mammals after a deep-freeze, but their intestinal microbiome should survive, and that would prove valuable. The arctic plants and temperate plants too have seeds that are cold tolerant, so they will probably last for thousands of years at minus 55 degrees.

18 white areas of slow moving ice shown in Antarctica

An Antarctica ice flow chart with non-moving areas in white. Click

The best place for an EarthArk is at the top of Argus Dome in Antarctica. It is the highest point on the ice sheet, 4,093 m (13,428 ft or 2.54 miles) above sea level by GPS survey at -80.367 77.352. Temperatures at Argus Dome fall below −80 °C (−112 °F) almost every winter. By exposing the containers to that low temperature in the winter and keeping them insulated in the summer, −100 °F could be maintained. One of the qualities of the EarthArk is that once in place it doesn’t need any human maintenance, so people could come to it thousands of years in the future and take back viable seeds of most plant and microbiome species of the Earth. And, possibly, some specially prepared animals.

Yesterday, I had a chance to mention, at one of my groups, that one day every four years could be declared EarthArk day and suggested Leap Day for the remembrance. That suggestion was immediately countered with, “Scientists have already created one, so we need not worry”. I countered with three reasons why the Svalbard project can’t possibly survive without continual human assistance, but was immediately scowled at by the moderator for creating a controversy, so I didn’t pursue it. This was proof yet again that the time is not right for promoting the EarthArk, because The EarthArk is shockingly uninteresting. And yet, the people here in Bend, Oregon, refuse to take responsibility for the care of their roads, and choose to drive expensive new cars but will not pay a few pennies to fix the thousands of potholes in the streets.

Rich people living in paradise refuse to take care of ugly things.