Antarctica: The Conclusion, Part II

As I conclude this last in the series of entries from Antarctica, I thought it would be helpful to make a connection back to manufacturing. No doubt, you are probably wondering why a blog on Antarctica is found on Shopfloor.org, whose topics are manufacturing related. Three quick points:

1. At a superficial level, the boat that I am on, the polar clothing we had to wear to stay warm, and all things needed to make a safe, a successful journey would be impossible without manufacturing. We make it all; it’s not as if these things just fall out of the sky.

2. One of the reasons for this trip was to look into the theory of global warming, which has been a big focus on our blog in the last few months. It’s interesting to note that not all the scientists on board here buy into this theory. During our concluding Q&A session yesterday, several of the scientific crew said that they’d like to see more evidence in another 50 to 100 years before one can say for sure we are really facing global warming.

3. Finally, a definite connection can be made between the early explorers like Amundsen, Cook, Drake, Scott and Shackleton and today’s manufacturers. They share the same risk-taking and entrepreneurial spirit. The spirit of the early explorers exists in today’s manufacturers who are at the cutting edge of innovation, R&D, and discovery. Each also live
according to the scouting model of leaving the world better than how they found it.

This trip would not be possible without the heroism of the early explorers who paved the way for expedition ships like ours today. Many explorers gave their lives for the privileges we enjoy today. At Cape Horn, there is a monument of an albatross and underneath the sculpture a poem by Sara Vial:

I am the albatross that waits for you
at the end of the earth
I am the forgotten soul of the dead
who crossed Cape Hope
from all the seas of the world
But they did not die in the furious waves
Today, they fly in my wings to eternity
in the last trough
of the Antarctic wind

Thank for reading these entries over the last week and for joining me on this fantastic journey in my quest to reach all seven continents.