By Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES – This news spread like wildfire a few days ago. It was featured in most countries’ main press: A group of scientists from the University of Arizona, participants at the Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference, proposed setting up a sperm bank on the moon to save humanity, they say.
Humankind is in danger of extinction, there’s no doubt about that. Fidel Castro already warned this would happen when he took part at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. There he stated:
“An important biological species — humankind — is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural habitat.
“We are becoming aware of this problem when it is almost too late to prevent it.
“It must be said that consumer societies are chiefly responsible for this appalling environmental destruction.”
“Now that the supposed threat of communism has disappeared and there is no more pretext to wage cold wars or continue the arms race and military spending, what then is preventing these resources from going immediately to promote Third World development and fight the ecological destruction threatening the planet?”
“Enough of selfishness. Enough of schemes of domination. Enough of insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit.
“Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”
Scientists in developed countries have done very little and politicians much less, in the 29 years since then. They have yet to find a solution to the problem, which is real and should be a great cause of concern for all of us.
However, reality in developed countries doesn’t call upon them to find an urgent solution to the many problems that humankind will have to face, sooner or later.
Trying to save humanity, creating a Noah’s Ark on the moon seems to be a joke and many people laughed. But those scientists aren’t playing around, and this news should make us sit down and think instead of laugh.
The solution for saving humanity lies here on Earth. I’m sure that it would be a great deal cheaper and we wouldn’t have to wait for humankind to become extinct in order to start from scratch.
Many of the problems that concern scientists can be resolved with political decisions. It’s no secret that the main danger humankind faces in becoming extinct is a nuclear war of great dimensions. This could be prevented by getting rid of nuclear weapons and banning their development, adopting effective measures by the United Nations.
Deforestation of rainforests is another great danger for human sustenance, but nothing is being done to stop it. The economic interests of multinational corporations and corrupt governments weigh heavier than concerns for humankind’s fate.
The idea is somewhat similar to the Global Seed Vault, which is located on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, on the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. It’s called the end of the world vault (the most logical and cheapest idea), where scientists are storing frozen seeds of the world’s most important crops, to protect this genetic material from disasters in the future.
Scientists are talking about possible natural disasters. However, no matter how severe a natural disaster is, it will never be able to wipe out human life entirely on Earth. The scientists I mentioned at the beginning of this article are saying some 250 trips to the moon are needed to stock this sperm bank.
I wonder: Who will be responsible for doing this? Who will fund it? The same people who can’t fund development of life on Earth today? If life is wiped out on Earth, who will travel to the moon to bring back material stored in this “bank”? It’s absolute madness!
Instead of thinking about how they can restore the landscape after the war, we should be using our brains to think about how we can prevent the war. It’s already a little late, but we can still do something.