via GregEnslen.com | Tech Corner with Greg Enslen, 04/17/13: Taking the Long View: Exploring the world of technology…this week, we’re taking the long view and looking at the future of our plants, cities and ourselves.
Taking the Long View
Planning ahead can be a difficult affair, whether one is planning a week or a year down the road. But what about people who are planning a hundred years down the road, or a thousand? Or ten thousand?
Futurists try to predict the future, but others work to plan ahead by doing something more concrete — in some cases, forward-thinking planners are trying to figure out how to preserve parts of our planet by locking them away until some future time.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Folks in Norway are working to preserve and protect all plant life on Earth by creating a massive “seed vault” to secure samples of seeds and other plant materials from around the world. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault will store duplicates of all seed samples from the world’s crop collections, using the environment and remote location to keep the samples preserved until such time as they are needed to recreate the world’s food supply. “The Vault can therefore be considered the ultimate insurance policy…it will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today.”
They are building a massive underground facility on the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen, 810 miles from the North Pole. According to Wikipedia, Spitsbergen was “considered ideal due to its lack of tectonic activity and its permafrost, which will aid preservation. The location 430 feet above sea level will ensure that the site remains dry even if the icecaps melt.” For more information, visit http://www.croptrust.org/content/svalbard-global-seed-vault.
And a Future Thinker Passes…
If you have played “Sim City,” you know about the concept of an “arcology,” a massive, self-contained city in one building. These self-sustaining proposed hives of humanity were first envisioned by Paolo Soleri, who passed away on April 11, 2013. He coined the term to “emphasize buildings and communities that lived in harmony with their environments.”
While none have ever been built, the new city of Masdar (under construction in Abu Dhabi) is the closest we’ve come yet to self-contained cities: Masdar will be home to 50,000 residents and be powered by the sun.
Hornsleth Deep Storage Project
Deep under the Pacific ocean, sunk all the way to the bottom of the Mariana trench, this combination art and science project hopes to do something that has never been done before: preserve human DNA samples in a location completely out of harm’s way.
Here’s what they’re saying: “A vast steel sculpture, 8 by 8 by 8 meters in size, will be lowered deep into the Pacific Ocean. This first of a series of sculptures will be stored at the bottom of the Marianas trench, 11,000 meters down, 200 miles off Guam Island between Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia. And the hollow sculpture will be filled with tiny vials of human blood and hair samples.”
These folks are really planning ahead: “This is art and hard science colliding head on. Science is progressing faster than the greatest philosophers dare to predict, so who’s to say that there won’t be a point in the future when these samples can’s be utilized to bring people and endangered species back to life? How will we have evolved? How will humans be different? The Deep Storage Project is fighting back against the natural decay and erosion destroying all that we know and understand.” For more information on this fascinating project, visit http://www.deepstorageproject.com.
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