Once in a blue moon mass media actually offers something of value. The CBS Morning Show’s segment Saving the Seeds of Tomorrow showcased the Berry Botanic Garden, a six acre oasis just outside of Portland, Oregon. Much more than mere plant enthusiasts, the botanists at Berry Botanic have a mission: to ensure the gifts of nature’s pharmacy are preserved despite the reality of global climate change.
I learned that 1 in 6 wild plants are used in medicine, and 1 in 10 are used for food (the latter in developing countries especially). I also learned that at no time since the age of the dinosaurs have so many plant species become endangered or extinct. Citing the miraculous properties of plants like Madagascar’s Rosy Periwinkle (below), a compound from which has reduced the fatality rate of child leukemia from 90% to 5%, botanist Andrea Raven knows a cure for cancer or AIDS could also be found in plants. The key is ensuring the survival of as many as possible so medical researchers have a chance to examine them. To help accomplish this she and her associates cultivate endangered plants, extract their seeds, and freeze them for future propagation and research.
For those who still believe global warming is “nonsense” and part of some diabolical “liberal agenda,” here’s yet another wake up call.