The Norwegian government today released the final plans today for the 'doomsday vault' that will eventually hold seeds from all known varieties of crops in safe storage in case of 'nuclear war, asteroid strike or environmental catastrophe'. They're building it on a remote island near the North Pole. In the event of a burn up or freeze, it's going to be the recovery disk for a global re-boot.
So called 'Deep Ecologists' would have it different. They see a catastrophic event such as this seed bank is trying to survive as nature's way of getting rid of us, and carrying on. We're a virus; the planet will get a 'flu, heat up and knock us out.
It's a question of scale. If we look at the highest mountain (just under 9000m) in relation to the radius of the earth (around 6,500,000m) then scaled down, the earth would be as smooth as a billiard ball. All our grand projects: 'skyscrapers' and vast cities are no more than a surface irritant. We exist at the fragile membrane between the ocean of the atmosphere above and the seas below. We climbed out of the water many millions of years ago. And now, having become an annoyance to both oceans, the sea is rising to take us back.
I have many sympathies for this view. I'm not optimistic about humanity's chances of averting global warming. A 90% reduction in global CO2 emissions in 30 years? I doubt it, even with the $25 million carrot Branson is now dangling.
But I just don't think the deep ecology takes seriously the deeper fact of our evolution into conscience. Somewhere, at some time, when the Spirit moved over the surface of the deep, the spark of conscience moved us from ape to something more. And that intervention changes everything. The earth is not a simple closed system.
So will God intervene and protect us from disaster? No. But we will be held responsible for screwing up the greatest gift we were given. And if nothing else works, not the doom-mongering or the cash incentives, it's this theological imperative that might just swing the US Christian right to force the government to do something wildly significant.
Trouble is, when the shit hits the fan, we can be sure of one thing: it won't be the poor, the hungry, the vulnerable who'll be holed up in special bunkers. The rich will survive. And with some sick irony they'll thank God for it.