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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The Ailing Planet - Key Notes and Question Bank
ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Nanabhoy "Nani" Ardeshir Palkhivala (Jan 16, 1920 - December 11, 2002)
was an Indian jurist and economist. Having earned his worth as juror and
economist, he went on to receive honorary doctorates from Princeton
Rutgers University, Lawrence University, University of
University, Ambedkar Law University and the University of Mumbai. The laudatio
from Princeton called him "... Defender of constitutional liberties,
champion of human rights ...", and stated, "he has courageously
advanced his conviction that expediency in the name of progress, at the
freedom, is no progress at all, but retrogression. Lawyer, teacher,
economic developer, he brings to us as Ambassador of India intelligence,
humour, experience, and vision for international understanding...." It
is indeed this visionary that we see emerge in his understanding of the
ecological system and our ailing planet.
KEY NOTES -
1) First Nation-wide Green Party: established 1972, New Zealand
2) Worldview shifted from mechanistic to holistic and ecological
3) Realisation that the planet is a living organism in declining health due to human impact on its natural resources
4) Sustainable development - Development that meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of the future generations to
meet their needs - key to human survival and prosperity in the future
5) We, today known as the 'world's most dangerous animal', are custodians of the future.
6) Undiscovered species exist in large numbers but we may never discover their identity if we do not conserve their habitats
7) Lester R. Brown's book 'The Global Economic Prospect'
identifies four principal biological systems of the earth as fisheries,
forests, grasslands and croplands. They provide food supply and raw
material for our survival.
8) Over-fishing and deforestation, coupled with uncontrolled population
explosion, has led to the collapse of fisheries, disappearance of forest
cover, conversion of grasslands to barren wastelands and the
deterioration of crops.
9) We lose an acre and a half of forests every second and the World Bank
estimates a five-fold increase in the rate of forest planting to cope
with the demand for fuel wood.
10) Article 48 A of the Constitution - "The State shall endeavour to
protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and
wildlife of the country". Author laments that laws are never respected
or enforced in India.
11) Fertility falls as incomes rise, education spreads, and health
improves. Thus development which may ensure raised incomes, is the best
contraceptive. But development itself is not possible without a control
on our population explosion. More children mean more hungry mouths which
implies poverty as well as increased demand on our natural resources.
12) India's current population is estimated to be 1.2 billion while the
world population is about 7 billion. Hence, we hold the major chunk of
the world. The author questions whether we recognise this fact and are
at least now willing to make a change in our awareness of the human
impact on environment.
13) Era of responsibility - the awareness of our role and the need for sustainable development
14) Author claims that the industry must join the cause and work towards
becoming eco-friendly just as Du Pont under the leadership of Mr. Edgar
15) We are tenants of the planet, and are required to keep it repaired
and well-maintained for generations to come - Margaret Thatcher, Lester
INDIA IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION
The Green Movement in India is an emerging movement that stresses
environmentally friendly practices in transport, construction, law, etc. Some of the Indian movements towards ensuring a safe, ecologically healthy future are as follows:
– GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) - National Green Building Rating
System for the country
QUESTION BANK -
Short answer questions –
Q.1. ‘No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is
a life tenancy witha full repairing lease’ Justify this
Q.2.How has ‘the most dangerous
animalof the world’ caused the
destruction ofthe earth’s principal biological
Q.3. How is population
explosion perpetuating poverty?
Q.4.Why did the zoo authorities
put a mirror inside a cage in the zoo at Lusaka?
Q.5.Discuss the‘holistic and ecological view of the world’
Q.6.What do you understand by
Q.7.What is the Green Movement? Name some movements in India which fall under this category.
mankind,deserts follow’. Explain this statement.
Q.9.What is the role of the
industries in protecting environment?
Q.10.What did Margaret Thatcher say about man’s lifespan on earth?
Long answer questions –
Q.1. Human survival and environmental conservation go hand-in-hand. Comment.
Deforestation, overfishing and overpopulation are some of the problems
identified by Nani Palkhiwala in his essay. Discuss his views and your
opinions about the same.
Q.3. Write an article on the misuse of natural resources taking inputs from the chapter.
Q.4. How is poverty related to the ailment of our planet? Explain with reference to the cycle of inflation and fertility.
Q.5. What are some of the ways in which a school student can contribute to the conservation of our environment?