CBSE Class 12 English - Journey to The End of The Earth
About the Author: Tishani Doshi is an Indian poetess, journalist, and dancer based in Chennai.
The theme of the story: In this narrative, Tishani talks about her journey to Antarctica which is described as the coldest, driest and windiest continent in the world and how the impact of human activities can be studied by visiting it.
The narrator went on a trip to Antarctica with a program called “Students on ice” which gives the students an opportunity to have a firsthand experience to understand how climatic changes can pose to be the biggest threat to human existence. Narrator begins by telling the minor details of the journey that she boarded a Russian research ship-The 'Akademik Shokalskiy' and journey began 13.09 degrees north of the Equator in Madras (Chennai) crossing the nine-time zones, six checkpoints, three bodies of water and at least three ecospheres and traveling over 100 hours in car, airplane, and ship to reach there. After reaching the narrator had a surreal experience. Ninety percent of the earth's total ice volumes are stored in Antarctica. Whether West Antarctica Ice sheet will melt entirely or not is the biggest question to be answered. The narrator states that if we want to study the earth's past, present, and future, Antarctica is the place (for us) to go; with its simple eco-system and lacks of biodiversity, it becomes the best place to understand and study how little changes in the environment can have big results. It is warned by the scientists that a further depletion of the ozone layer will affect the lives of the sea animals and birds of the region further also affecting the global carbon cycle. The burning of fossil fuels has created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world and its impact can be visibly seen through the increasing global temperature melting the icebergs in Antarctica. Geoff Green who heads the ‘Students on Ice’ program believes that high school students are the future policymakers as they can help in saving the earth from ecological dangers and the effects of global warming, unlike the retired celebrities. Further to study the impact of global warming narrator gives the example of microscopic phytoplankton’s who are single-celled plants are and they nourish the entire Southern Ocean’s food chain. As they require sun’s energy to assimilate carbon and supply oxygen the depletion in the ozone layer can have the tendency to affect this functioning further affecting the lives of all marine animals. In the end, the narrator was thinking about the beauty of the place and wished it to remain the same as any change can have big consequences.