Q. ‘We have not inherited this Earth from our forefathers: we have borrowed it from our children’ Justify this statement. (6marks) (2015/2016/2018)
-> The author says that the natural resources of the earth are valuable and limited also. We must preserve them, we cannot destroy them today, and we are exerting too much pressure on the planet to fulfil our needs. We are destroying forests, lands, fisheries, water life etc. which has 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 suit them in good condition. They must be something left for our children to and from the earth.
Q. “The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health.” Elucidate. (6marks) (2017)
-> It is true that the earth looks like a patient in declining health. It is we human beings who, for our comforts, modern life-style 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, 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.
Q. Discuss why it has been pertinently said that “forests precede mankind; deserts follow”. (6marks) (2019)
-> The chapter ‘Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role’ by Nani Palkhiwala is an enlightening treatise on environment degradation, the causes behind, and the solutions needed to be implemented to save our ailing planet. The line from the chapter ‘Forests precede mankind deserts follow’ has been written to bring people’s attention to the fact 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, 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.