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http://kiddingtow n.com/journey-to-the-end-of-the-earth/ March 8, 2011
What is ‘Students on Ice?’ ‘Students on Ice’ is an educational journey to Antarctica. It takes high school students to show them the horrifying impacts of human activities in Antarctica so that the youngsters, the future policy makers of the earth, will realize that the end of the earth is quite near and therefore something is to be done to save the planet. Why did Geoff Green decide to take high school students to Antarctica? Geoff Green didn’t find any good in taking curious celebrities to Antarctica until he thought of taking high school students. He believed the young vibrancy in them would easily understand the seriousness of the threat that poses the earth by visiting Antarctica and would act their bit to save the planet from further deterioration. Why is Students on Ice a success? When one stands in the midst of the calving ice-sheets and retreating glaciers and melting icebergs, he realizes that the threats to the earth are real. It is different from talking about Antarctica from the comfort zones of our warm countries and therefore being in Antarctica is a shocking realization. What does the parable of phytoplankton teach us? Phytoplankton is a single-celled grass that feed the entire southern ocean’s marine life. These micro organisms require a low degree of temperature for their survival. But due to the overheating and the depletion of ozone layers, their existence is threatened. The message for the humans is to take care of the small things so that the bigger things will also fall in place. What beauty of balance does the author see in Antarctica and in the warm countries? While in Antarctica the author saw crab-eater seals having sun-bath on the ice-floes much like the stray dogs sleep under the shade of trees in the warmer countries. While the polar animals prefer a bit of warmth, the tropical ones desire a bit cool. The author believes that the earth has a balancing of climatic variations and after millions of years the Polar Regions will once again become warmer and the warmer will turn cooler. ‘In that short amount of time we have managed to create quite a ruckus…’ Explain. OR, What is the human impact on Antarctica? Humans came to the earth’s scene just twelve thousand years ago which is comparatively a second in the geological clock. Yet the destruction we have created on the planet is countless. We have made this planet almost a scorching desert by way of deforestation for our developmental works. All these consequences are affecting the Antarctic regions even though we have not started any destructive works there. How is Antarctica significant in climatic debates? Antarctica is a continent that has a landmass with miles deep ice, layers over layers. In each of those layers lie millions of years old carbon records of the organisms that existed since the beginning of the earth. While pondering over the issue of the future of the earth, these carbon records will shed light on the past and enable the scientist to co-relate the past, present and future. What is the significance of the title, ‘Journey to the End of the Earth?
The title, ‘Journey to the End of the Earth,’ has more than one meaning. It describes an educational journey to Antarctica undertaken by groups of high school students to learn more about the real impact of Global Warming and the future of the earth. The journey, being to the extreme south of the earth, is really towards the end of it. Another meaning of this title is more significant as the warnings that Antarctica gives are shocking and much concerning the humanity and the millions of other species on the earth. The changes taking place in Antarctica are pointing a warning finger at the existence of the earth; the earth is journeying to its end! Why does the author consider his walking on the Antarctic ocean to be one of his epiphanies?