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Chapter 9 – Environment and Sustainable Development Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : What is meant by environment?

Answer 1 :

It refers to the sum total of all surroundings of a living organism which includes biotic and abiotic factors. Biotic factors comprises of all living creatures while abiotic consists of non-living things like air, water, land etc.

Question 2 : What happens when the rate of resource extraction exceeds that of their regeneration?

Answer 2 :

The function of an environment is to sustain life by providing the necessary ingredients for survival such as sunlight, water, air and soil. If the resources of the environment are extracted at a more rapid pace than its regeneration, we will lose the balance required to sustain life and ultimately it will lead to breakdown of species.

Question 3 :
Classify the following into renewable and non-renewable resources

(i) Trees (ii) fish (iii) petroleum (iv) coal (v) iron-ore (vi) water

Answer 3 :

Renewable sources are: Trees and fish

Non-Renewable sources are: Coal, Iron-ore, petroleum

Question 4 :
How do the following factors contribute to the environmental crisis in India? What problem do they pose for the government?

(i) Rising population

(ii) Air pollution

(iii) Water contamination

(iv) Affluent consumption standards

(v) Illiteracy

(vi) Industrialization

(vii) Urbanization

(viii) Reduction of forest coverage

(ix) Poaching

(x) Global warming.

Answer 4 :

(i) Rising Population

Rise in population leads to depletion of natural resources in the form of deforestation for the purpose of shelter. Depletion of resources leads to ecological imbalance. Government should devise preventive measures to check population explosion.

(ii) Air Pollution

Air pollution means the absence of fresh air for breathing, it can also mean contamination of air. Various pollutants contribute towards air pollution which include CO2, SO2, and CH4 etc. Various health issues are caused by air pollution which includes respiratory and cardio vascular problems. Government should implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emission and search alternative sources of energy.

(iii) Water Contamination

Water pollution is also one of the leading cause of death from diseases such as hepatitis, cholera etc. Dumping of waste in water bodies’ results in pollution and improper sanitation helps in spread of contaminants and pathogen. The government should install more water purifier machines in order to provide clean water and also promote importance of sanitation in rural areas.

(iv) Affluent Consumption Standards

The affluent consumption has put stress on environment. The wastes generated are beyond the capacity of absorption and the resources are becoming extinct which is resulting in environmental crisis. The government should spend on researching resources that are environment friendly.

(v) Illiteracy

A literate population will utilize the available resources judiciously with minimum waste by becoming aware and developing skills to utilize the resources. Lack of knowledge and skills will lead to over exploitation of the resources. The government therefore should educate people about the proper utilisation of resources.

(vi) Industrialisation

Industrialisation is essential for the development of a nation, but one downside is that it reduces the green cover of the earth i.e. it causes deforestation. For obtaining rapid results natural resources are used at a rapid pace which causes harm to environment. These activities disturb the ecological balance. Government should be more careful and prevent unnecessary depletion of natural resources in order to maintain balance with nature.

(vii) Urbanisation

Urbanisation also leads to deforestation and causes soil pollution along with reduction in rainfall. Rapid urbanisation is reducing the area for farming, in future it will cause huge ecological imbalance and it will be difficult for humans to survive without food. So government should provide measures for promoting green cover and stop the expanding population explosion.

(viii) Reduction of forest coverage

Forest coverage is making the soil loose its holding capacity leading to washing of nutrients and deforestation. Deforestation leads to low oxygen levels and less rainfall, soil erosion and rise in CO2 levels. Thus some effort need to be taken by government for restoring the greenery and maintain ecological balance.

(ix) Poaching

Poaching is an act of killing, capturing or hunting animals. Poaching poses a grave risk of disturbing the balance in nature. Thus more steps need to be taken for conserving the wild animals and their habitat by setting up national parks.

(x) Global warming

Global warming is the effect of sustained increase in global temperature which is caused due to deforestation and environmental pollution. Greenhouse gas emission is the main culprit. Global warming leads to variation in seasonal temperature and rise in sea level by melting of polar ice. Government should check the level of CO2 emissions and adopt greener methods.

Question 5 : What are the functions of the environment?

Answer 5 :

Functions of environment are as follows:

1. Environment provides the essential sources for survival like water, air and soil and minerals. These natural resources can be mixed with other resources from the environment to produce resources which are essential for survival.

2. It provides the factors that are critical for a life to survive.

3. Waste is generated due to production and consumption, the environment absorbs these waste.

4. It provides beauty to the man and improves the quality of life.

Question 6 : Identify six factors contributing to land degradation in India.

Answer 6 :

The following factors contribute towards land degradation in India:

1. When agents such as strong winds or floods remove the upper layer of soil, it is called soil erosion. Top most layer contains essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Erosion of this layer reduces the land productivity.

2. Water logging causes salinity and alkalinity of the soil. Water logged in top layer absorbs nutrients of the soil and reduces its fertility.

3. The growing population has an ever increasing demand for space and thus deforestation occurs which causes soil erosion and reduces soil fertility.

4. The practice of shifting cultivation by small farmers and marginal farmers result in soil being eroded of nutrients.

5. Extensive use of fertilizers have contributed to reduction of soil fertility and quality

6. Due to the overgrazing of livestock in grasslands, it is slowly turning into desert.

Question 7 : Explain how the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.

Answer 7 :

Whenever the lands are extracted at a rapid pace which is greater than its regeneration, the carrying capacity of the environment declines. In such a situation, the environment does not perform at its full function, which will result in crisis. For such a situation there should be new alternatives which are eco-friendly resources in order to avoid crisis in environment. Imbalance in environment brings about diseases which may be air or water borne, which will increase the expenses. The cost of managing diseases and finding alternative resources are the opportunity costs associated with the environment. These cost are high which confirms the statement that opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.

Question 8 : Outline the steps involved in attaining sustainable development in India.

Answer 8 :

Following steps are involved in attaining sustainable development in India:

1. To control population explosion India has taken various steps which includes providing education and awareness on birth control methods.

2. Using eco-friendly fuels like CNG and LPG will reduce the CO2 emission that will be beneficial for environment.

3. India has abundance of solar and wind power which can reduce energy expenses. It will help in sustainable development.

4. Recycling of waste products also helps to sustain the environment. Waste generated from household can be used as manure. Banning use of plastic bags is a great step for reducing environmental pollution.

5. Penalising vehicle owners and industries for emitting high amount of smoke along with high taxes and fines has led to reduction in pollution.

6. Using of input efficient technology has resulted in higher production and productivity and lesser use of resources which enhances growth opportunities for India.

Question 9 : India has abundant natural resources – substantiate the statement.

Answer 9 :

India has an abundance of natural resources which consists of fertile soil, rivers, green forests, high mineral deposits and mountains. Indo-Gangetic plains are the most densely populated, fertile cultivated plains in the world which stretches from Arabian Sea to Bay of Bengal. Cotton cultivation is most favourable in the black soils of the Deccan plateau. Iron reserves of India are around 20% of the total iron reserves in the world. Hydel energy is attained through the hydel power plants. Vast variety of flora and fauna make India a rich country in terms of bio-diversity. All these facts point towards the fact that India has abundant natural resources.

Question 10 : Is environmental crisis a recent phenomenon? If so, why?

Answer 10 :

Environmental crisis is indeed a recent phenomenon. Before industrialisation there was less demand for environmental resources as there was less population and it was able to sustain with the resources, it was surplus for the existing population. As there was less exploitation of resources so the rate of regeneration was much faster. But in present day due to population explosion, rapid urbanisation and over exploitation of natural resources the nature is unable to replenish the stocks, which is causing ecological imbalance that is putting pressure on environments carrying capacity giving rise to environmental crisis.


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Chapter 9 – Environment and Sustainable Development Contributors

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