Plans for a so-called Doomsday Vault in the North Pole have been unveiled.

The £2.5 million vault, being paid for by the Norwegian government, will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops in an attempt to safeguard future agricultural output in the event of any natural or man-made catastrophe.

The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole and will come into its own in the event of a devastating meteor strike, nuclear attack or if climate change begins to wreak havoc.

It is a sobering thought that such a vault has been deemed necessary and might be brought into use sooner than most of us could ever have expected.

However, it can also act as a reassuring presence. At least we now know that some form of provision is being made.

Hindsight, as we all know, is a wonderful gift but in the event of a global disaster it wouldn’t provide us with much comfort.

More information here – http://www.croptrust.org

Meanwhile, everybody’s favourite airline boss Sir Richard Branson has launched a £12.5 million challenge for the person who comes up with the best way of removing significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Unveiling the challenge with born-again environmentalist and former US Vice President Al Gore, the pullover wearing billionaire said the world needed to realise the scale of the crisis it faced (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6345557.stm).

“The Earth cannot wait 60 years,” he said at the news conference. “I want a future for my children and my children’s children.

“The clock is ticking.”

It is a timely and well thought-out initiative, one that could provide some worthwhile answers to the climate change conundrum.

Presumably grounding Virgin Atlantic’s fleet for 12 months is not the sort of suggestion he is hoping to encourage? 

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