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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Ailing Planet: Notes for Revision

The Ailing Planet Objectives
·        Green Movement
·        Sustainable development
·        Zoo at Zambia
·        Brandt Commission
·        Four Principal biological systems
·        Article 48 of Indian Constitution
·        Population Explosion (consequences, the best contraceptive etc.)
·        Era of Responsibility

1. Locate the lines in the text that support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’.
The following lines in the text support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’:
·        Are we to leave our successors a scorched Planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment.
·        A three years study using satellites and aerial photography conducted by the United Nations warns that the environment has deteriorated so badly that it is critical in many of the 88 countries investigated.
2. Significance of ‘The World’s most dangerous animal’ at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia:
The notice signifies that there is depletion of resources and deterioration of environment. Man is responsible for this and his own survival is threatened.
3. Why does the author agree that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society?
The population of India was estimated to be 920 million in 1994. Overpopulation upsets all plans of development and puts a severe strain on the earth’s principal biological systems. This leads to poverty and unemployment and development is hampered.
4. The causes for endless anguish to common man are:
The endless anguish is caused to common man, when laws are constituted but are never enforced or respected in our country. Evils like casteism, untouchability, and bonded labour still exist and need to be abolished by strict laws.
5. The unusually alarming statistics about the population that the author talks about are:
The author says that the population explosion has distorted the future of human society. Mankind took a million years to reach the first billion. The second billion was added in just another 100 years and the twentieth century has added 3.7 billion more.
The present population is over 5.7 billion. Every four days the population increases by one million.
6. Importance of Green Revolution:
The Green Revolution is important as the signs of the earth which are connected with life shows the earth as a patient. We have moral obligations. We must become good stewards of the planet and act as responsible trustees of the legacy for future generations.
7. Concept of sustainable development:
Sustainable development is that progress which is made to meet the needs of the present and takes care not to endanger the future. This means we must not deprive the world of its resources and protect our endangered species.
8. Role of industry in the new era of responsibility:
Industry is the main source of environmental pollution. In the new era of responsibility, the industrialists must become conscious of their responsibility towards environment. They should remain environmental friendly even when they exist as leading manufacturers.
9. Justify the title of the essay.
The author has depicted the planet earth as someone who is suffering from a disease. The green movement takes a holistic view of the situation and seeks to maintain and conserve the environment and maintain it.
10. What is the holistic and ecological view of the world that has emerged in recent times?
The view about the world in the recent times is that it is an organism which has become ailing and needs looking after. It also has metabolic needs and vital processes which have to be nurtured and preserved. We have to save the earth for our successors.

11. Explain the statement ‘forests precede mankind; deserts follow’.
Forests have helped to nurture mankind from times immemorial but man has destroyed these forests ruthlessly and deserts have taken their place. Man is destroying himself by destroying forests.
12. Role of industries in the preservation of environment:
Industries and industrialists have to exercise control in use of natural resources. The top officials need to become the guardians of our environment if we have to think about our future generations.
13. What are the four principal biological systems that the author refers to?
The author refers to fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands as they form the foundation of the global economic system. They provide raw materials for industry.
14. How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted?
Earth’s principal biological systems are being depleted by excessive use. Over fishing is quite common. Forests are being destroyed to obtain firewood for cooking.
Grasslands are turning into deserts and produce from croplands is decreasing.
15.How has the growth of world population affected the environment? Support your answer with suitable arguments?
The author Nani Palkhivala enumerates some alarming statistics to suggest how the growth of world population has tremendously affected the environment. The population which took a million years to reach the first billion took just another hundred years to reach the second billion. Another century passed it and reached the alarming figure of 3.7 million. Presently it is over 6 million and there is a huge demand on resources, natural or man made. The resources worldwide are under a lot of stress and pressure. The four principal biological systems i.e. fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands which form the foundation of the global economic system and provide raw materials to the industry are facing a lot of stress. The human demands on these systems are increasing at a rapid speed. Hence, sustainability and productivity are both hampered. When this happens, fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands become wastelands and croplands deteriorate. The need of the hour is to become sensitive towards the needs of the environment to get affected; we will leave behind nothing but an ailing planet for our future generations.
16. We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children. Discuss.
Earth’s resources are limited and will not last for ever. In the twentieth century, there has been a revolutionary change in human perception. We cannot take the planet for granted. We are mere custodians. We have to take a holistic view of the very basis of our existence. The earth is a living organism of which we are parts. It has its own metabolic needs to stay alive and must be respected and preserved for the future generation. What is required is sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the destiny of future generation. There are four biological systems, namely fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the foundation of the global economic system. They supply us food and raw materials for industry. In larger areas of the world, these systems are reaching unsustainable levels. Their productivity is being damaged. The growth of world population is another factor distorting the future of our children. Development is not possible if population increases. In this era of responsibility towards our future generation, population must be controlled. Industries must become environmental friendly. Now many industrialists, politicians and writers have realized their responsibility in preserving the non renewable natural resources for the future generation.


  1. ThnX for posting such an AWSM Post .. !!

  2. Thank you... it really proved helpful!

  3. 15 th ques. u 've put 3.7 million instead of 3.7 billion & same is the case wid 6 million...Rest is Truly helpful...cheers#

  4. thank you for AMAZING answers.It really helped a lot.

  5. thank you for AMAZING answers.It really helped a lot.