CBSE Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet : the green Movement’s Role  



The Ailing Planet : the Green Movement’s Role Important Question Answers

The Ailing Planet Important Questions – Multiple Choice Question


Q.1. What is the concept of Sustainable Development?

  1. Development of the future
  2. Development for the present
  3. “Development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations.”
  4. Environmental development

Ans : (C)


Q.2. What is the meaning of holistic and ecological view?

  1. the preservation of the environment
  2. saving of the water resources
  3. saving trees
  4. rainwater harvest

Ans : (A)


Q.3. What happens to the forest in poor countries?

  1. They are cut down for fuelwood.
  2. They are cut down for furniture.
  3. They are grown more and more.
  4. Nothing as such

Ans : (A)


Q.4. What are the four principal biological systems that form the foundation of the global economic system?

  1. water, air, sand, forests
  2. ocean, forests, deserts, land
  3. fisheries, grasslands, forests, and cropland
  4. All of the above

Ans : (C)


Q.5. What was the issue raised by the author in the chapter ‘The Ailing Planet’?

  1. Global Warming
  2. Save Water
  3. Save Electricity
  4. deteriorating health of the earth

Ans : (D)


Q.6. What will the grasslands turn into if systems become unsustainable?

  1. turn into a barren wasteland
  2. turn into desert
  3. soil quality will deteriorate
  4. Nothing as such

Ans : (A)


Q.7. “Who raised the question “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment ?”

  1. Brandt Commission
  2. Brundtland Commission
  3. UN World Commission
  4. None of the above

Ans : (A)


Q.8. What does the three-year study conducted by the United Nations state?

  1. Environment has deteriorated that it is critical in eighty-eight countries.
  2. Forests are being cut down at an alarming rate.
  3. There is not much of drinking water left.
  4. Fossil fuels are getting extinct at a fast rate.

Ans : (A)


Q.9. Who said:  We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children.”

  1. Brandt Commission
  2. Franklin d Roosevelt
  3. My Lester Brown
  4. Margaret Thatcher

Ans : (C)


Q.10. What is the transcending concern?

  1. Green house gases
  2. the survival of forests
  3. the survival of planet
  4. the survival of rivers

Ans : (C)


The Ailinig Planet:the green Movement’s Role Related Links 

The Ailing Planet Lesson Explanation, Question Answers  The Ailing Planet MCQs 
The Ailing Planet Lesson Explanation Video The Ailing Planet MCQs Video 


The Ailing Planet Important Questions – Subjective Question


Q.11. ‘The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health. “ What are these ‘vital signs’?

Important Points-

– earth’s principal biological systems are: fisheries, forests, grassland and croplands

– are foundation of global economic system

– provide food and raw material for industries

– human claims exhausting these resources

– leading to collapse and disappearance

– protein hungry world, overfishing 

– forests being destroyed to procure firewood

– firewood costs more than the food


Q.12. What is the global concern raised by Mr Lester R. Brown that threatens the very existence of man?

Important Points-

–  three year study using satellites and aerial photography

– conducted by UN

– warns environment to be critical in many eighty eight countries investigated

– Parliament’s Estimates Committee highlighted the near disastrous exhaustion of India’s forests over the last four decades.

– India is losing forests at the rate of 3.7 million acres a year.

– Large areas officially designated as forestland are already virtually treeless. 

– Actual loss more than eight times the rate indicated by government statistics

– The world’s ancient patrimony of tropical forests is now eroding at the rate of forty to fifty million acres a year.

– Growing use of dung for burning deprives the soil of an important natural fertiliser

– The World Bank estimates that a five-fold increase in the rate of forest planting is needed to cope with the expected fuel wood demand.

– The world’s ancient patrimony of tropical forests is now eroding at the rate of forty to fifty million acres a year.

– Growing use of dung for burning deprives the soil of an important natural fertiliser.


Q.13. What are the four systems that sustain life on earth? 

What threats are they facing?

Important Points-

– Mr Lester R. Brown in his thought-provoking book, The Global Economic Prospect, points out that the earth’s principal biological systems, i.e., fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands form the foundation of the global economic system.

– In addition to supplying our food, these four systems provide almost all the raw materials for industry except minerals and petroleum-derived synthetics.

– Fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands are converted into barren wastelands and croplands deteriorate.

– In a protein-conscious and protein-hungry world, over-fishing is common.

– In poor countries, local forests are being demolished in order to procure firewood for cooking.

– Since tropical forests house various species of life, they face extinction as a result of its destruction.

– In large areas of the world, human claims on these systems are reaching an unsustainable level, a point where their productivity is being impaired.

– Dr Myers warns against the depletion of forests as a result of which several species face extinction

– James Speth, the President of the World Resources Institute, said that we are losing the forests at an acre-and-a-half to a second.


Q.14. “Fertility falls as incomes rise, education spreads, and health improves.” Justify.

Important Points-

– The present world population is estimated at 5.7 billion.

– Every four days the world population increases by one million.

– Development is not possible if the present increase in numbers continue.

– The rich get richer and the poor beget more children, which in turn makes them poorer. 

– More children do not mean more workers, merely more people without work.

– The choice is really between control of population and perpetuation of poverty.

– The population of India has crossed 1.3 billion today.

– It means that more and more people will die in hutments if no priority is given to population control.

– Compulsory sterilization is not the solution as we are not animals

– People should be educated to volunteer family planning.

– It ought to be understood that the choice is between control of population and continuation of poverty.


Q.15. Laws are neither respected nor enforced in India. Discuss.

Important Points-

– The Indian government through Article 48A of the Constitution of India provides that the State shall try to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. 

– But the law has not had the due impact as laws are neither valued nor enforced in India.

– Forests are being cut and illegal shooting of wildlife goes on.

– Rules remain on paper only. 

– In actual life, these are never put into practice.


Q.16. “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing desert, impoverished landscapes and an ailing environment?” Discuss.

Important Points-

– likelihood of such an eventuality occurring in future

– Our resources are limited, not last indefinitely if consumed indiscriminately

– Fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands form the basis of the global economic system. 

– increasing population puts pressure on them

– excessive use impairs their productivity

– reaching to an unsustainable level

– results are awful and disastrous

– The fisheries will collapse, forests disappear, grasslands will become barren wastelands and croplands will lose their fertility.

– Decimation of forests will increase dryness and heat and there will be less rainfall. 

– Hence there is a possibility of the earth becoming an overheated place full of increasing deserts, poor landscapes and ailing environment in future.


Q.17. We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children’. Discuss.

Important Points-

– This is a revolutionary statement by Mr. Lester Brown.

– focuses attention on the position of man in this universe

– focuses attention on the position of man in this universe

– We are only custodians or trustees and we must continue development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. 

– In our effort to feed the increasing millions, we are plundering the heritage of our children.

– Our consumption of non-renewable resources should be checked. We must preserve natural resources and hand them over to children intact as they are the real owners.


Q.18. Discuss – The problems of overpopulation that directly affect our everyday life.

Important Points-

– It leads to poverty and unemployment.

– lack of resources and facilities

– Overpopulation leads to lesser education and low health facilities which results in more problems like the rise in harmful diseases and fertility rate.

– The natural resources are being consumed at a very fast rate to fulfil the need of the population throughout the world. 

– Deforestation is one of the issues where forests are being cut down. 

– All this results in global warming and if the population is not controlled, it will deplete the environment and earth.


The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role Extra Question Answers


Q1. What did Lester Brown mean when he said that we have not inherited this earth from our forefathers, we have borrowed it from our children?

A1. Man has always considered himself the lord of this earth. He has squandered the valuable resources of the planet indiscriminately. His arrogance and misdeeds have caused havoc and destruction. He believes that he has the divine right to plunder the natural wealth. The hungry population of this earth has ruined fisheries. Forests are disappearing at an alarming rate of one and a half acre per second, Grasslands and croplands are turning into deserts. We must remember the fact that we are not the masters of this planet but only trustees. We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers but have borrowed it from our future generations. We must keep this earth in good health for them. At all costs, we have to maintain sustainable development. We must meet our present needs without harming the needs and interests of the future generations.


Q2. What is the main issue discussed in the chapter?

A2. Earth is the biggest resource of anything that man depends on. Both man and earth share a common bond. Man is dependent on air, waterways, forests, fisheries which are given to him by the earth. But man’s villainy is causing a great danger to

the earth. Overpopulation is another curse putting its own pressures on our planet. More mouths need more grains, more firewood and more space to live. Man must remember that he has not inherited the earth from his forefathers but has borrowed it

from the future generation. If man does not understand the impact of his actions a time will come when it will be difficult for both man and the earth to survive.


Q3. Justify the title ‘ailing planet’.

A3. The title ‘Ailing Planet’ is aptly justified. Nani Palkhiwala, the author, brings our attention towards the critical condition of our planet, Earth. Man’s recklessness, greed and indifference to the needs of the planet, have literally made its condition exactly like a patient needing immediate treatment. The illness of pollution has reached its final stage. If the intensive care treatment is not given to it, it may collapse. 

The word ‘ailing’ means sick or not improving. The author feels that the current state of our planet ‘Earth’ is like that of a patient in declining health. The Earth is in poor health as its vital systems like forests, water, and atmosphere are deteriorating day by day. All these components of the earth need to be revived.  


Q4. Tell something about the writer of the lesson.

A4. Nani Palkhivala was born in 1920 in Bombay in what was then the Bombay Presidency. His family name derives from the profession of his forefathers (a common practice among Parsis), who had been manufacturers of palanquins (“palkhis”).

He was educated at Masters Tutorial High School, and later at St. Xavier’s College, both in Bombay. He was a dedicated scholar and, not letting a stammer hold him back, he excelled. At college, he earned a master’s degree in English language and literature and thus, overcame his speech impediment.


Q5. What are the four principal biological systems?

A5. Mr Lester Brown pointed out in his book that the earth has four principal biological systems: fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the foundation of the global economic system. They provide not only food but also raw materials for our industry except minerals. However, man’s constant demands on these have led them to an unsustainable level. Overfishing, decimating forests, and vanishing grasslands are forcing certain species to disappear. Forests have been destroyed to provide firewood and wood. Grasslands and woodlands have turned into deserts and wasteland. The world is losing its forests at the rate of 3.7 million acres a year.


Q6. What is the holistic and ecological view of the world?

A6. The holistic and ecological view means that the world is one whole. An enormous being of which human beings are a part. So, the ecology depends not just on human beings but on all the  things living and nonliving. Like a human being, the world has its own metabolic needs which should be respected and preserved. This view considers the earth as a living organism.


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