The Ailing Planet Question Answer Previous Years and textual Question Solution along with important notes and extra questions and answers of class 11 AHSEC Assam Board.  Summary of the Chapter. Assam Board.


Summary of Chapter

This Chapter was originally an article written by Nani Palkhivala and published in "The Indian Express" on November 24, 1994. It focuses on the factors that are responsible for the declining health of the earth.

Human beings have always been exploiting natural resources which have made the environment critical. Thus man has been regarded as the most dangerous animal in the world. The green movement which was started in 1972 raised the issue of conserving the environment.

Earth has become a patient whose health is declining day by day. In 1987 the concept of sustainable development was popularized by the world commission on environment and development. According to Mr. Lester Brown, the productivity of the global economic system has been damaged. Survival of not just people but of the planet has been of utmost concern.

Industrialization overpopulation and deforestation have made the situation more vulnerable.

The only solution is development. Development in the sense of increased awareness and education will lead to improvement in the health of mother earth.

Lester Brown has correctly said that we have not inherited the earth from our forefathers but we have borrowed it from our future generations. Thus we must realize our responsibility of saving the earth before it's too late. 

Textual Questions Answers

Understanding the text

1. Locate the lines in the text that support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’. 
Ans: The line which supports the title 'The Ailing Planet' is - "The earth's vital signs reveal a patient in declining health." This part of the text says that the chief systems of the earth like natural resources and their productivity are being continually destroyed and are now deprived of their ability to sustain life. The fisheries, croplands, grasslands, and forests are so exhausted that the earth seems to be suffering from terrible ailments and has no possibility to regain its health.

2. What does the notice ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’ at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, signify? (2017)
Ans: The noticeboard signifies that it was the cage of the world's most dangerous animal but not a single animal is present inside as the species itself is extinct. Besides, the mirror shows the person who goes there. This makes us aware that it is a man who is the most dangerous in this world, man is so harmful that it has destroyed the signs of endless species of living organisms in this world. His ways of living and fortune to nature must be stopped now. The notice and the mirror in the zoo are enough for man to realize that he must take up his vital responsibility to take care of all liver on this planet and help others live as well, he must stop being dangerous.

3. How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted?
Ans: The four major biological systems of the earth are - fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands. These combine to become the basis of the world's economy. They supply us not only with food but also raw materials for many purposes. But it is really depressing that these are being continually depleted and very fast too. Forest is cut for many purposes but plantations are so slow. Fisheries are destroyed by the demand made by over-fishing. Grassland has turned to barren lands and croplands have lost their fertility. So, The whole matter is of serious concern.

4. Why does the author aver that the growth of the world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society?
Ans: The author gives us a definite estimate of the fast rate at which the world's population has been increasing and crossed 5 billion. More population will require more food, no more raw materials, and more resources are left to live on. This is a pressure on the earth which is
already suffering from intolerable pressure and demands. Due to the increase in the demands of mankind; the forest fisheries, grasslands, and croplands are continually getting deprived of their sustainability and if this continues, the future generation will have nothing left for survival. This makes it clear that the rise in the world population is helping to the destruction of mankind's future.

Previous Years Questions Notes

1. When was the Green Movement started and where was it founded? (2014)
Ans: The Green Movement was started in 1972 and the first group was founded in New Zealand.

2. What does the author mean by sustainable development in the essay? In which year did the concept become popular? (2015)
Ans: The author says that the concept called sustainable development means development that caters to the needs of the present without affecting the ability of the future generation to fulfill their needs. In 1980 the concept become popular.

3. Explain the line "We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers, we have borrowed it from our children.' (2015, 16, 18)
Ans: The author says that the natural resources of the earth is valuable and limited also. We must preserve them, we cannot destroy them according to our wishes. But sadly, that is what we are doing today, we are exerting too much pressure on the planet to fulfill our needs. We are destroying forests, lands, fisheries, water life, etc. which have killed many species of wildlife. This has destroyed the ecological balance of the environment creating endless problems for life on earth - both for living beings and also for the planet itself. The author says that the earth is not our patrimony to be used and exhausted as we wish. It is rather an asset which we have borrowed from our future generations and we must reform it to them in do condition. They must be something left for our children to and from the earth.

4. What is Sustainable Development? (2015, 18)
Ans: Sustainable Development means development that caters to the needs of the present without affecting the ability of the future generation to fulfill their needs.

5. What is the Green Movement and what are its aims? (2016)
Ans: The Green Movement is a movement that is organized to save environmental degradation. Its aim is to create a holistic approach to safeguard the planet from further degradation.

6. How is man the most dangerous animal in this world? (2016)
Ans: Man is the most dangerous animal in the world as he has posed dangers to the other beings on earth. man is so harmful that it has destroyed the signs of endless species of living organisms in this world. In order to satisfy the daily needs of material life. We are exploiting all the natural resources of the earth and exerting too much pressure on it. It has destroyed the ecological balance of the environment creating an endless problem for life on earth. So man is the most dangerous animal in the world. 

7. What does the notice ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’ at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, signify? (2017)
Ans: See Qno. 3 (Understanding the text)

8. "The earth's vital signs reveal a patient in declining health." Elucidate. (2017)
Ans: It is true that the earth looks like a patient in declining health. It is we human beings who, for our comforts, modern lifestyle, and technological advancements have greatly destroyed the natural resources of our planet. Forests, fisheries, cultivated lands, air, croplands - everything has been polluted and diluted by our population explosion and modern eating habits and lifestyle. Forests are destroyed for firewood, furniture, and paper production, and fisheries are depleted as we are a protein-hungry generation. Croplands are dying and losing fertility owing to excessive use of fertilizers. Because of these factors, the earth is facing problems. There are abnormal climatic changes and many diseases have come to us like respiratory problems, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.

9. Discuss why it has been pertinently said that "forests precede mankind; deserts follow". (2019)
Ans: The chapter 'Ailing Planet: the Green Movement's Role' by Nani Palkhiwala is an enlightening treatise on environmental degradation, the causes behind it, and the solutions needed to be implemented to save our ailing planet. The line from the chapter 'Forests precedes mankind deserts follow' has been written to bring people's attention to the fact of how crucial trees are for mankind. This line means before God put man on earth, he put trees on it to create wholesome and hospitable conditions for him and his posterities; however, a man in his recklessness destroys trees and makes lands barren like deserts; in such conditions, mankind also disappears. To sum up, the line means trees are indispensable for mankind to survive; in their absence, mankind will dwindle away.

Extra Question Notes

1. Why is the earth called a patient?
Ans: The present condition of the planet is really miserable, the environment has been disturbed so badly that the health of the earth is not at all satisfactory, it seems to be an ailing patient. So, the author says so.

2. Which is the biological system that is destroyed most by human beings? How?
Ans: It is the forest that is destroyed most rapidly by human beings. We cut down trees to make houses, furniture to be used as firewood, etc.

3. 'Laws are never respected nor enforced in India'. Discuss.
Ans: The author says that the Indian Constitution has a provision in Article 48A for the conservation of forests and wildlife in the country. But these always remain in official documents never executed in action. So many acres of forest lands are destroyed even officials help in this corruption. There is no law to stop this cutting of trees so their protection of them is a far-off matter. So the author remarks thus.

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