Hot Topics

Trending news, culture, and entertainment from Hearst producers around the country.

Congress is ready for the Apocalypse, are you?

|

Survivalists all over the world, take heart. You’re not the only one hoarding food to prepare for Doomsday. Congress is, too.

And some spicy Doomsday it will be.

Picture
Midnight sun reflects off the face of coastal ridges on June 21, 2008 in Svalbard, Norway. (Getty Images)

As reported by The Huffington Post, seven congressmen spent July 4 weekend on a voyage to a remote Norwegian island to place chili pepper seeds in the sub-zero Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Heard of the vault? If you have, you might be in the minority. The vault, which opened in 2008, hasn’t been in the forefront of the climate-change debate. Svalbard contains the seeds of more than 525,000 crop varieties, was built on a Norwegian archipelago near the North Pole deep inside a mountain as “a fail-safe back-up to existing crop collections around the world,” according to a statement released by the recent delegation.

The congressmen, led by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), delivered the peppers, as well as melon, peanut and bean seeds, to the vault to be kept safe for centuries. Just in case the end of the world comes knocking.

The seed vault, the final protection for the world’s food supply, was built high enough to avoid rising sea levels and deep enough in the mountain to withstand a nuclear explosion.  Preserving the seeds at a constant temperature of zero degrees, rest assured that whatever catastrophe might end the world as we know it, these seeds will hang around.

In the statement released by the delegation, Cardin said:

The world is interdependent when it comes to crop diversity, the essential raw material needed for a healthy and robust food supply. As we manage the impact of climate change and other natural and man-made disasters around the world, the seed vault in Svalbard will be the safety deposit box that ensures we can keep that food supply intact.

Picture
Sen. Cardin in Sarajevo, June 28, 2009. (Getty Images)

Accompanying Cardin to Svalbard were Democrats Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Udall (D-NM), Reps. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), along with Republicans Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL).

This display of bipartisanship comes at an odd moment in time, as a climate and energy bill remains stalled in the Senate.

Also reported by The Huffington Post, the bill seeks to reduce the pollution affecting climate change by taxing carbon dioxide emissions produced by coal-fired power plants among other large polluters. While Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have said that they believe that Americans would be willing to pay less than a dollar a day to curb climate change, Republicans have panned the bill as a “national energy tax.”

So while the climate and energy bill remains in a stalemate on the Senate floor, we can rest assured that when Doomsday rolls around, thanks to Congress we at least have a back-up plan.

Categories: General
Sarah Storm

Comments are closed.