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Chapter 5- The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
Locate the lines in the text that support the title “The Ailing Planet”.

Answer 1 :

The lines in the text supporting the title ‘The Ailing Planet’ are : “The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health.” Thus the earth’s condition is compared with an ailing patient, whose condition is deteriorating day by day. The role of the Green Movement has been summed up in the words : “We have begun to realize our ethical obligations to be good stewards of the planet and responsible trustees of the legacy to future generations.”

Question 2 :
What does the notice “The world’s most dangerous animal” at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia signify ?

Answer 2 :

At a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia there is a notice which reads, ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’. But inside the cage there is no animal but only a mirror where you can see yourself. This notice signifies that amongst all the animals, man is the most dangerous Animals don’t disturb the environmental and ecological order of the nature. But the man is doing so rapidly and mercilessly.

Question 3 :
How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted ?

Answer 3 :

Mr Lester R Brown has pointed out in his book ‘The Global Economic Prospect’ that there are four principal biological systems of the earth. These are : fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands. They form the foundation of the global economic system. In addition to supplying our food, these four systems provide virtually all the raw material for industry except minerals and petroleum-derived synthetics.

But unfortunately, in large areas of the world, human claims on these systems are reaching an unsustainable level, a point where their productivity is being impaired. When this happens, fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands are converted into barren wastelands and croplands deteriorate. In a protein-conscious and protein-hungry world, over-fishing is common every day. In poor countries, local forests are being decimated in order to procure firewood for cooking. That is why these four systems are being depleted.

Question 4 :
Why does author agree that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society ?

Answer 4 :

The author has rightly stated that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society. The world population is increasing at an alarming rate. It took mankind more than a million years to reach the first billion. That was the world population around the year 1800. By the year 19Q0, a second billion was added. But the twentieth century has added another 3.7 billion. The present world population is estimated at 5.7 billion.

With the abnormal rise in the world population the future of mankind is very badly affected. The population remains within control when incomes rise, education spreads and health improves leading to all around development. But the development itself may not be possible if the present increase in the population continues. The rich get richer and the poor remain poor for want of control of the population. The rate of unemployment increases and more and more people remain without work. It affects very badly the future of human society

Question 5 :
Laws are never respected nor enforced in India.

Answer 5 :

The author points out that Article 48A of the Constitution of India provides that ‘the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. Thus there is a provision in our Constitution for the protection and improvement of the environment as well as to safeguard the forests and wildlife of our country. But these are not followed strictly. That is why the author says that laws are never respected nor enforced in our country.

The author cites examples to prove his point. As per our Constitution, casteism, untouchability and bonded labour shall be abolished. But even after more than forty-four years of the operation of the Constitution, these social evils are prospering and flourishing in a shameless manner. A recent report of our Parliament’s Estimates Committee has highlighted the near ‘catastrophic depletion’ of India’s forests over the last four decades.

It is reliably estimated that India is losing its forests at the rate of 3.7 million acres a year. Large areas, officially designated as forest land, ‘are already virtually treeless’. The worst part is that the actual loss of forests is estimated to be about eight times the rate indicated by government statistics. This itself shows that in India laws are neither respected nor properly enforced in India.

Question 6 :
“Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and an ailing environment ?

Answer 6 :

Due to vast deforestation and ecological disturbances our planet Earth is ailing. We must behave like responsible trustees of the legacy to future generations. But we are not acting as “good stewards” and are constantly ignoring our environmental obligations. The concept of ‘sustainable development’ was popularized in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development. In its report it defined the idea as ‘Development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of  future generations to meet their needs’.

Thus we should never try to strip the natural world of resources which would be needed by our future generations. That is why this question was raised by Brandt Commission : ‘Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment’ ? If we are not consciously aware of preserving forests and natural resources needs of our future generations, then we shall be leaving for them advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and an ailing environment.

Question 7 :
“We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers: we have borrowed it from our children.”

Answer 7 :

In the lesson the author Mr. Nani Palkhivala rightly quotes the words of Mr. Lester Brown, ‘We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children”. When we borrow something we are duty bound to return it in a ‘ similar or preferably in a better condition.

So it is our ethical and moral duty to return this earth to our children or the future generations without creating environmental and ecological , disorders. If we pass on fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands in a deteriorating and dilapidated condition, it is not at all fair on our part. If we indulge in overfishing and excessive deforestation we shall not be able to pass on to our future generations the earth in a good environmental condition. That will be totally against the ethics of borrowing.

Question 8 :
The problems of overpopulation that directly affect our everyday life.

Answer 8 :

The world today is facing the danger of overpopulation. Every four days the world population increases by one million. The population of India is estimated to be 920 million today. It is more than the entire populations of Africa and South America put together. The problem of overpopulation directly affects our everyday life. Generally speaking,the countries which are over-populated are also the poorest.

The population remains under 1 check where there is high income of people and widespread education. Thus developed countries, with less population, are much more prosperous than the overpopulated underdeveloped countries.Overpopulation also causes unemployment, so more people are without work. Poverty and unemployment affect adversely an our everyday life.

Question 9 :
Locate the following phrases in the text and study their connotation :
1. ‘gripped the imagination of
2. ‘dawned upon’
3. ‘ushered in’
4. ‘passed into current coin’
5. ‘passport of the future’

II. The words grip, dawn, usher, coin, passport have a literal as well as a figurative meaning. Write pairs of sentences using each word in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Answer 9 :

1. Grip :
(i) (take and keep a firm hold of) : The frightened child gripped his mother’s hand in the fair.
(ii) (seize firmly) : The brakes failed to grip and the car ran into a wall.
(iii) The eminent speaker gripped the attention of his audience.
(iv) This film is a gripping story of love and hatred.
(v) (understanding) : We must have a good grip of a problem to find its proper solution.
(vi) The speaker had a good grip on the audience he held their attention and interest.

2. Dawn :
(i) (begin to grow light): The farmers start working when the day is just dawning.
(ii) (begin to appear) : The truth began to dawn upon him.
(Hi) (grow clear to the mind) : It has just dawned on me that I could easily solve that problem.

3. Usher :
(i) (a person who shows people to their seats in theatres, cinemas, etc; doorkeeper in a law court) : The usher showed us the seats when we went to see the movie.
(ii) (lead, conduct) : The doorkeeper ushered me to my seat.
(iii) (herald, announce) : The change of government ushered in a period of prosperity. *

4. Coin :
(i) (metal money) : Gold and silver coins are quite rarely found these days.
(ii) (other aspect of matter) : Ramesh failed to see the other side of the coin.
(iii) (treat a person as he treated you): Mohan misbehaved with Sohan, but Sohan paid him back in the same coin.

5. Passport :
(i) (government document to be carried by a traveller abroad, giving personal particulars) Don’t forget to carry your passport while travelling abroad.
(ii) (something that enables one to win or obtain something) Do you think that flattery is a passport to success.



Chapter 5- The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role Contributors


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