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Guardian’s Seed Nonsense

May 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Latest doommongering from the Guardian:



It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.


The temperature record at Svalbard Airport only goes back to 1977, but the nearest long running station is at Tromo on the north coast of Norway.

Annual temperatures there were just as high in the 1930s.




In particular, winter temperatures have been as high, and even higher, many times since 1921.




At Svalbard itself, the winter of 1985 was actually milder than this year’s.

But facts never bother the Guardian or its readers.

    • May 21, 2017 7:09 pm

      My immediate thought was “fake news”. But fake news is the usual modus operandi of the Grauniad, so no surprise there. I expect Cardinal Harrabin will repeat it on the BBC when he’s back from his latest carbon-free trip to some far away part of the world.

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    May 21, 2017 5:32 pm

    This was, no doubt, an extremely expensive project, running into the millions of whatever currency they chose. Given the combination of the historical climate statistics with just a little common sense, just how stupid, if not to say deluded, can the sponsors have been to build what they did, where they did, in the way that they did? The mind truly boggles but, never fear, those responsible will not admit to the slightest degree of culpability – it was all the fault of “climate change”.

    • Dung permalink
      May 21, 2017 5:43 pm

      Spot on Ian!

      These people seem starngely ignorant of the temperature history of the planet. Unknown to the AGW rentamob Earth is currently in a cold period, in fact current temperatures are at the lowest they have ever been when not in an nice age. A more normal temperature for the planet would be about 10 deg C higher than today so how long was their store expected to last??

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 21, 2017 6:58 pm

    All that happened was that meltwater gushed into the entrance tunnel, froze, and then had to be chipped out.
    Had the entrance area been heated properly, they could have used towels and mops to get the water out. Who hasn’t had to clean up a messy floor?
    Uff da!

  3. Roger Graves permalink
    May 21, 2017 7:08 pm

    Spitzbergen was reported as being in a warm phase in 1922 – see ‘The Changing Arctic’ by George Ifft in November 1922 ( To quote the article:

    “The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.”

    Presumably the designers of the seed vault weren’t aware of this, which shows a lamentable lack of preparation on their part.

    • May 22, 2017 11:30 am

      It also illustrates how bureaucracy in general “functions.” I refer once again to Angelo Codevilla’s powerful little book, “The Ruling Class.” He likens them to the high school clique. Also the faculty lounge. The group is not based on merit, but on comity–sameness of thought. They only consult each other and listen to each other. No wonder they blunder.

      A recent perfect example of this was a Congressional hearing involving the new head of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Ajit Pai. Following his comments on serving the needs for “middle America” between the coasts, California Representative, Anna Eshoo expressed her displeasure at doing anything for those in “Podunk, USA.”

  4. HotScot permalink
    May 21, 2017 9:17 pm

    I looked Spitsbergen up.

    It’s the place where all the non existent Polar Bears go on summer holiday to hide from the greens.

    It doesn’t look like it’s the most intelligent place on earth to build a permanently frozen seed facility. In fact, judging by the acres of greenery, I reckon they just realised they made a mistake and are now trying to shift the blame onto global warming.

    Someone needs their arse kicked.

  5. HotScot permalink
    May 21, 2017 9:20 pm

    And what idiot left the effing door open anyway?

    Oh, right. That would be my daughter. She has no idea how a hinge works (nor a light switch) and she was off partying for a few days recently.

    How was the seed banks electricity bill?

  6. Athelstan permalink
    May 21, 2017 10:42 pm

    ” when light snow should have been falling.” yeah “SHOULD HAVE” !!

    oh dear oh, oh dear! , better have a word with ‘the maker’ then, that will never do!

    And ain’t it the problem, these fu**wit green morons who pen this bilge – what do they misname it…………erm ah yes ‘climate change’ when what they actually mean is, ‘man made warming’, and you can’t have it both ways but the green blob want’s it, demands it to be all so pat, the tropics are warm the poles are cold and nothing in between – right, wot?

    Are they all on Aseed?

    lets all be silly……………….Still, thank God for genetic modification right?…………I mean if we can manufacture man to grow a poley bear coat naturally and eat seals, or grow four stomachs eat grass and stuff in temperate climes and a hump for desert conditions – no probs…….. right?

    Impossible!!? now write about electric cars and all powered by PV arrays – coming to save the world – they’re right down your street.

  7. RAH permalink
    May 21, 2017 11:14 pm

    Hey, you guys need to give journalists a break. After all a just released junk science study concludes they operate at a lower cognitive level than most of the rest of us and that they drink too much.

    It’s not nice to make fun of the mentally handicapped your know! 😉

    • May 22, 2017 11:16 am

      What a surprise. An article in the West Virginia University alumni publication several decades ago (perhaps the 1970’s?) revealed that journalism had the highest percentage of students remanded to what was called “bonehead English.” Early in your Junior year you took the “English Proficiency” exam. It was focused on grammar and involved writing an essay in addition to the usual questions. IF you scored low on the exam, you were sent to remedial or “bonehead English.” Of course that term has been expunged in today’s enlightened society. Passage of this exam was required to receive a degree from WVU.

      The year I was to take it, the University realized that no one who made and A or B in Freshman English ever flunked the English Proficiency Exam and exempted them. My grades allowed me to skip that evening of fun.

      The article revealed that they were heavily governed by emotions. That is a perfect description of the left–emotion rather than fact driven.

      • bea permalink
        May 25, 2017 7:30 pm

        What was the name of the stock newspaper man in the savage, satirical “Way of the World ” column of the (once good) Daily Telegraph? I think it was “Brendan O’Booze.” Or perhaps that is “Private Eye.”

      • May 26, 2017 8:14 am

        Peter Simple, Bea.

        Private Eye’s was Lunchtime O’Booze!

      • catweazle666 permalink
        May 27, 2017 4:46 pm

        Peter Simple?

  8. Don B permalink
    May 22, 2017 1:22 am

    “Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” says Cary Fowler, who helped create the seed vault. “In my experience, there’s been water intrusion at the front of the tunnel every single year.”


    Still worried? Maybe this will help you exhale: “We did this calculation; if all the ice in the world melted—Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, everything—and then we had the world’s largest recorded tsunami right in front of the seed vault. So, very high sea levels and the worlds largest Tsunami. What would happen to the seed vault?” Fowler says. “We found that the seed vault was somewhere between a five and seven story building above that point. It might not help the road leading up to the seed vault, but the seeds themselves would be ok.”

  9. tom0mason permalink
    May 22, 2017 1:46 am

    Interesting piece of history at has photos of the old WW2 weather station at Spitsbergen. Look at the pictures of no ice or snow in evidence. It’s hard to think that just off the coast here the guns on German Navy vessels would freeze with think ice overnight. But that is just anecdote so it probably doesn’t count.

  10. Hick From The Sticks permalink
    May 22, 2017 6:50 am

    Why build a storage facility in a place likely to be amongst the first buried in snow and ice if the world, despite our best efforts, returns to a Little Ice Age or an Ice Age? When it warms up again these seeds will possibly not have survived, or the other hand perhaps plants will have evolved and we won’t need them.

  11. jarlgeir permalink
    May 22, 2017 1:33 pm

    We have temperature measurements form Spitzbergen for 100 years. The station has been moved four times, despite being measured today at the local airport, there is no real warming. The consolidated temp. graph can be seen here:

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