There are many ways to envision an apocalypse – climate change, a virus, nuclear war, maybe even as asteroid. For the few that remain, how will they rebuild civilization? How will they grow corn or wheat or rice? Back in the 1990’s Cary Fowler wondered the same thing. So he petitioned the UN and created the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – otherwise known as the Doomsday vault.
The vault sits deep in a mountain on a desolate island in Norway above the Arctic Circle, and houses seeds from every country in the world.
Fowler no longer runs the Seed Bank — he retired to the Hudson Valley of New York, where he tends an orchard of more than 100 apple varieties — but he spoke with Charles about why the work at the vault is so vital to our future.