Q. 1. What are the factors enumerated by Nani Palkhivala that have made our earth an ailing planet? How can we ensure its health? (KVS 2013)
Why does Nani Palkhivala call all the earth ‘The Ailing Planet’? How can the ailing planet survive?
Ans. The signs of the earth connected with life (necessary for staying alive) show that the earth is a patient in declining health. Its deserts are advancing. Landscapes are being impoverished and environment is ailing. Aerial photography using satellites has revealed that the environment has deteriorated very badly in many parts of the world, in fact, it has become critical in many of the eighty eight countries investigated. The concept of sustainable development and Green Movement can help the ailing planet to survive. People must discharge their moral responsibility as stewards of the planet and trustees of the legacy of the future generations. The plundering of the natural resources should be controlled. These must be preserved for the future generations.
Q. 2. Lester R. Brown divided the Earth into four biosystems, what are they? What harm is being caused by human beings to these bio-systems? [KVS Ahmedabad 2016]
Ans. According to Lester R. Brown, there are four principal biological systems in the world. They are croplands, grasslands, fisheries and forests. They together form the foundation of the global economic system. In addition to provide food, these four systems provide us with the raw materials for industry. But in most part of the world, these systems have been overexploited. Fisheries are being ruined, forests are fast disappearing, grasslands and croplands are being converted into deserts and wastelands. The Earth and its environment show deterioration and degradation. Sudden climatic change and global warming are all vital signs. The Mother Earth shows all signs of a patient in declining health and is in need of immediate cure.
Q. 3. “No generation has free hold on the earth. All we have is a life with a full repairing lease.” Explain with reference to ‘The Ailing Planet– The Green Movement’s role.” (MSE 2008)
We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers we have borrowed it from our children. Elucidate. (NCT 2008, Ncert )
Ans. This statement is made by Mr. Lester Brown, the author of the book ‘The Global Economic Prospect’. Mr. Brown has in his mind the well known belief that the property which we inherit from our forefathers is ours and we can do whatever we like with it. So, he asks us to remember that the earth is not for us to use or abuse as we like. It is something which we are duty-bound to preserve for the next generations. So, while we use the earth and its resources for our present needs, it is our duty to see that we do not compromise the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. It is therefore, very important that we do not strip the world off natural resources the our future generation would need. Even more important is the fact that we should not pollute these resources which make them useless or harmful.
Q. 4. How is growing human population responsible for the falling health of the earth?
Ans. Earth’s principal biological systems are being depleted because of over-consumption. These systems are unable to cope up with the demands of human beings. The population of the world which was just one billion in the year 1800, has now become six billion. The increased population has increased demands. There are large areas on the earth where the forests have disappeared and the grasslands have become barren. The protein hungry world eats more fish than the sea can easily afford. Consequently, the amount of the fish has depleted. The poor burn wood for fire. The number of trees that are planted are not enough to undo the cutting of trees and so the forests deplete. Human beings use chemicals to have more production from crops and this results in the deterioration of the cropland.
Q. 5. What are the earth’s principal biological systems? Why have they been depleted and how can they be preserved?
Ans. The earth has four principal biological systems. These are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the basis of the world’s economic system. They supply us food and raw materials for industry. These biological systems are being depleted due to excessive use. Overfishing is quite common. Forests are being destroyed to obtain firewood for cooking. In many areas of the world, these biological systems have reached an unsustainable level. Grasslands are turning into deserts and produce from croplands is decreasing. It seems they have lost their productivity. The decimation of forests is likely to cause extinction of several species. We must change our outlook and stop over using the natural resources. We have to hand them over to the coming generations in a healthy state so that they can meet their needs. Consciousness of our moral responsibility as caretakers of the legacy of our children can help to preserve these non-renewable resources.