seeds on ice svalbard and the global seed vault

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Seeds On Ice

Author : Cary Fowler
ISBN : 1632260573
Genre :
File Size : 21. 74 MB
Format : PDF
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The remarkable story of the Global Seed Vaultand the valiant effort to save the past and the future of agriculture Closer to the North Pole than to the Arctic Circle, on an island in a remote Norwegian archipelago, lies a vast global seed bank buried within a frozen mountain. At the end of a 130-meter long tunnel chiseled out of solid stone is a room filled with humanity s precious treasure, the largest and most diverse seed collection ever assembled: more than a half billion seeds containing the world s most prized crops, a safeguard against catastrophic starvation. The Global Seed Vault, a visionary model of international collaboration, is the brainchild of Cary Fowler, renowned scientist, conservationist, and biodiversity advocate. In SEEDS ON ICE, Fowler tells for the first time the comprehensive inside story of how the doomsday seed vault came to be, while the breathtaking photographs offer a stunning guided tour not only of the private vault, but of the windswept beauty and majesty of Svalbard and the enchanting community of people in Longyearbyen. With growing evidence that unchecked climate change will seriously undermine food production and threaten the diversity of crops around the world, SEEDS ON ICE offers a personal and passionate reminder that we shouldn t take our reliance on the world of plants for grantedand that, in a very real sense, the future of the human race rides on this frozen and indispensable biodiversity."

Shattering

Author : Cary Fowler
ISBN : 0816511810
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 54 MB
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It was through control of the shattering of wild seeds that humans first domesticated plants. Now control over those very plants threatens to shatter the world's food supply, as loss of genetic diversity sets the stage for widespread hunger. Large-scale agriculture has come to favor uniformity in food crops. More than 7,000 U.S. apple varieties once grew in American orchards; 6,000 of them are no longer available. Every broccoli variety offered through seed catalogs in 1900 has now disappeared. As the international genetics supply industry absorbs seed companies—with nearly one thousand takeovers since 1970—this trend toward uniformity seems likely to continue; and as third world agriculture is brought in line with international business interests, the gene pools of humanity's most basic foods are threatened. The consequences are more than culinary. Without the genetic diversity from which farmers traditionally breed for resistance to diseases, crops are more susceptible to the spread of pestilence. Tragedies like the Irish Potato Famine may be thought of today as ancient history; yet the U.S. corn blight of 1970 shows that technologically based agribusiness is a breeding ground for disaster. Shattering reviews the development of genetic diversity over 10,000 years of human agriculture, then exposes its loss in our lifetime at the hands of political and economic forces. The possibility of crisis is real; this book shows that it may not be too late to avert it.

Archiving Eden

Author : Dornith Doherty
ISBN : 9053308849
Genre :
File Size : 21. 51 MB
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Spurred by the impending completion of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Archiving Eden explores the role of seed banks and their preservation efforts in the face of climate change, the extinction of natural species, and decreased agricultural diversity. Serving as a global botanical backup system, these privately and publicly funded institutions assure the opportunity for reintroduction of species should a catastrophic event or civil strife affect a key ecosystem somewhere in the world. Since 2008 Dornith Doherty has worked in collaboration with renowned biologists at the most comprehensive international seed banks in the world: the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service's National Centre for Genetic Resources Preservation in Colorado, U.S., the Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the U.K.; and PlantBank, Threatened Flora Centre, and Kings Park Botanic Gardens in Australia. Utilising the archives' on-site x-ray equipment that is routinely used for viability assessments of accessioned seeds, Doherty documents and subsequently collages the seeds and tissue samples stored in these crucial collections. The amazing visual power of magnified x-ray images, which springs from the technology's ability to record what is invisible to the human eye, illuminates her considerations not only of the complex philosophical, anthropological, and ecological issues surrounding the role of science and human agency in relation to gene banking, but also of the poetic questions about life and time on a macro and micro scale. Doherty is struck by the power of these tiny plantlets and seeds (many are the size of a grain of sand) to generate life and to endure the time span central to the process of seed banking, which seeks to make these sparks last for two hundred years or more. Use of the colour delft/indigo blue evokes references not only to the process of cryogenic preservation, central to the methodology of saving seeds, but also to the intersection of east and west, trade, cultural exchange, and migration. This tension between stillness and change reflects her focus on the elusive goal of stopping time in relation to living materials, which at some moment, we may all like to do.

Unnatural Selection

Author : Cary Fowler
ISBN : 2881246400
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 85. 12 MB
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Seeds and planting materials are central to the agricultural industry that feeds us all. Yet, until recently, there has been little interest in analyzing the legal and political processes through which intellectual property rights are constructed for these biological materials. Concentrating on the U.S. experience, Unnatural Selection offers a comprehensive history and insightful sociological analysis of the struggle to own and control biological materials from the 1800s when farmers adapted and bred their own crops, to the first patent law covering plant varieties in 1930, to current international controversies.

Thunder Lightning

Author : Lauren Redniss
ISBN : 9780679644729
Genre : Nature
File Size : 87. 92 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Note: This eBook file contains many richly detailed full-color images and makes use of unconventional page layouts. Because of this, readers will be required to zoom in on each page to read the text and see the finer detail of the artwork. [It has not been optimized for devices that display only in black and white.] From the National Book Award finalist Lauren Redniss, author of Radioactive, comes a dazzling fusion of storytelling, visual art, and reportage that grapples with weather in all its dimensions: its danger and its beauty, why it happens and what it means. WINNER OF THE PEN/E. O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, KIRKUS REVIEWS, AND SHELF AWARENESS Weather is the very air we breathe—it shapes our daily lives and alters the course of history. In Thunder & Lightning, Lauren Redniss tells the story of weather and humankind through the ages. This wide-ranging work roams from the driest desert on earth to a frigid island in the Arctic, from the Biblical flood to the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Redniss visits the headquarters of the National Weather Service, recounts top-secret rainmaking operations during the Vietnam War, and examines the economic impact of disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Drawing on extensive research and countless interviews, she examines our own day and age, from our most personal decisions—Do I need an umbrella today?—to the awesome challenges we face with global climate change. Redniss produced each element of Thunder & Lightning: the text, the artwork, the covers, and every page in between. She created many of the images using the antiquated printmaking technique copper plate photogravure etching. She even designed the book’s typeface. The result is a book unlike any other: a spellbinding combination of storytelling, art, and science. Praise for Thunder & Lightning “[An] aesthetically charged and deeply researched account . . . a wild rainstorm of a book, pelting the reader with ideas and inspiration.”—Nature “A gorgeous and illuminating illustrated study of weather in all its tempestuous variety . . . Redniss’s combo of fact, folklore, and vibrant etched copperplate prints enthralls.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Eerily beautiful . . . Contains plenty of scientific explanation (including more than a few nods toward global warming), but also far-flung personal stories that illuminate the beauty, wonder and chaos inherent in the elements.”—The New York Times “Magical . . . Redniss has . . . shown us how human beings live with nature—fighting, coexisting, taming, predicting via leech barometer and radar and intuition.”—The New York Times Book Review “[A] twenty-first-century genius . . . The reader willing to put herself fully in Redniss’s hands will be rewarded with a delicious feeling of being enveloped by a phenomenon that eclipses the chiming trivialities of daily life.”—Elle “Redniss is one of the most creative science writers of our time—her combination of beautiful artwork, reporting, and poetic prose brings science to life in ways that words alone simply cannot.”—Rebecca Skloot “Redniss combines her own dual punch of expressive art and impressive erudition to give an entirely new take on all that happens above our heads.”—Adam Gopnik “A strange and wonderful thing, the work of a first-class mind that refuses to submit to any categories or precedent.”—Dave Eggers

The View From Lazy Point

Author : Carl Safina
ISBN : 9781429950350
Genre : Nature
File Size : 78. 43 MB
Format : PDF
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An exhilarating journey of natural renewal through a year with MacArthur fellow Carl Safina Beginning in his kayak in his home waters of eastern Long Island, Carl Safina's The View from Lazy Point takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, from the high Arctic south to Antarctica, across the warm belly of the tropics from the Caribbean to the west Pacific, then home again. We meet Eskimos whose way of life is melting away, explore a secret global seed vault hidden above the Arctic Circle, investigate dilemmas facing foraging bears and breeding penguins, and sail to formerly devastated reefs that are resurrecting as fish graze the corals algae-free. "Each time science tightens a coil in the slack of our understanding," Safina writes, "it elaborates its fundamental discovery: connection." He shows how problems of the environment drive very real matters of human justice, well-being, and our prospects for peace. In Safina's hands, nature's continuous renewal points toward our future. His lively stories grant new insights into how our world is changing, and what our response ought to be.

The Profit Of The Earth

Author : Courtney Fullilove
ISBN : 022645486X
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 39. 95 MB
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While there is enormous public interest in biodiversity, food sourcing, and sustainable agriculture, romantic attachments to heirloom seeds and family farms have provoked misleading fantasies of an unrecoverable agrarian past. The reality, as Courtney Fullilove shows, is that seeds are inherently political objects transformed by the ways they are gathered, preserved, distributed, regenerated, and improved. In The Profit of the Earth, Fullilove unearths the history of American agricultural development and of seeds as tools and talismans put in its service. Organized into three thematic parts, The Profit of the Earth is a narrative history of the collection, circulation, and preservation of seeds. Fullilove begins with the political economy of agricultural improvement, recovering the efforts of the US Patent Office and the nascent US Department of Agriculture to import seeds and cuttings for free distribution to American farmers. She then turns to immigrant agricultural knowledge, exploring how public and private institutions attempting to boost midwestern wheat yields drew on the resources of willing and unwilling settlers. Last, she explores the impact of these cereal monocultures on biocultural diversity, chronicling a fin-de-si�cle Ohio pharmacist's attempt to source Purple Coneflower from the diminishing prairie. Through these captivating narratives of improvisation, appropriation, and loss, Fullilove explores contradictions between ideologies of property rights and common use that persist in national and international development--ultimately challenging readers to rethink fantasies of global agriculture's past and future.

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