Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role

Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role, Class 11 English Hornbill Question Answer, HS 1st year English Notes and select needs one.

Join Telegram channel

Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role

Also, you can read the SCERT Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role All Be Together” book Notes online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per AHSEC (SCERT) Book guidelines. Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role Notes are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 11 English Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role

Chapter: 5




1. Locate the lines in the text that support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’.

Ans. There are several lines in the article that clearty brings out how critically the planet is ailing. For example,

(i) ‘The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health….’

(ii) ‘Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing Environment’ ?

(iii) ‘In large areas of the world, human claims on these systems are reaching an unsustainable level, a point where their productivity is impaired. When this happens, fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands are converted into barren wastelands, and croplands deteriorate.’

(iv) ‘Since the tropical forest is the powerhouse of evolution, several species of life face extinction as a result of its destruction.’

(v) ‘The world’s ancient patrimony of tropical forests is now eroding………………………… growing use of dung for burning, deprives the soil of an important natural fertiliser.’

(vi) ‘..catastrophic depletion of India’s forests over the last four decades.’

(vii) ‘Large area’s, officially designated as forest land, “are virtually treeless”.

(viii) ‘A three years study using satellites and aerial photography …………………warns that the environment has deteriorated so badly that it is ‘critical’ in many of the eighty countries investigated.’

2. What does the notice ‘The world’s most dangerous animals’ at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, signify ?

Ans. The notice signifies the threat that man poses to other creatures of this world. The mirror inside the cage reflects man’s own image as the most dangerous animal on earth. No other creature has destroyed its own home in the manner man has done. Man’s greed, and not need, has done more damage depleted the earth’s environment for his own present needs. He has without leaving anything for future generations. They may not enjoy the hills, the forests, the animals, the grasslands,the rainfall and many other things that he has today so carelessly destroyed. He has treated the planet as his property, as something he has earned and has every right to destroy! But it is not so. Even with a superior intellect, man has acted in a manner that makes him the most dangerous animal on earth.

3. How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted ?

Ans. Earth has four principal biological systems, namely fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. The entire world economy is based on these systems. We are dependent on them for our supply of food as well as raw materials for our industries. But, human demand on these systems is exceeding the production capacity and, as a result, they are on the brink of collapse Over-fishing by the protein hungry world has pushed fisheries to extinction. Demand for wood in different industries and also as fuel in poor countries has brought about depletion of acres of forest land. Moreover, with the increase in population, forest lands are encroached upon for cultivation and setting up dwellings. With disappearance of forests, rainfall becomes Scanty resulting in drought like situation. This in turn damages croplands which become unfertile. Grasslands or pastures are an essential part of the biological system. But they are fast getting converted to wastelands.

4. Why doos the author aver (suggest) that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society ?

Ans. Ovor population is a burden which the earth is unable to bear. In India, it has crossed the saturation point. Its population is more than the entire population of Africa and South America put together. No developmental work can proceed with this kind of increase in numbers. However, development is the only answer to this critical situation. Only when people are employed,educated and healthy, the ratio in population will go down. If the present trend continues, half of its people will die of hunger; their dreams will remain unfulfilled in their huts. Though compulsory sterilisation cannot be a solution, yet some amount of force and pressure would be required to implement family planning. Development of human society can happen only if population control is treated as top priority; else we shali five in perpetual poverty.


Discuss in groups of four.

[Please note: We, here, give you a direction to your discussion. These are few points for you to begin with. We are sure, as you start, more points and ideas will make the discussion very interesting. Thóugh we have discussed within two groups, you çan have as many as you want, with four members in each group. ]

1. Laws are never respected nor enforced in India.

Group A : Laws are never respected nor enforced in india. We see that daily all around us.

Group B : With corruption being so rampant, money makes the law here. Everywhere we see people violating rules and actually getting away with it.

Group A : You are right. Just stand at a traffic crossing and you will see how people, in big swanky cars, violate all traffic rules! It’s so frustrating.

Group B : Not only that. Have you read the recent cases of poaching in our wildlife sanctuary ? Isn’t it a constitutional duty of the state to protect wildlife and forests? But, if you go Deep into the matter, you will find everyone is hand in glove. Many a times, law makers are the law breakers. So, how will they enforce the law of the land ?

Group A : Cutting of trees and hills is happening right in front of us. Everyone is aware. But, the authorities turn a blind eye because those who are illegally settling in these encroached lands belonging to the Forest, are going to vote for them.

Group B : We indians have to realise that laws are made to benefit us and protect us. So by defying them we are not proving our courage, but our ignorance and foolishness. At times, I feel we are not yet ready for democracy. A Singapore style government is required to clear up the lawless mess that our country is presently in.

Group A : Let us all try to do our little bit in bringing discipline in this country. My first suggestion is that we see to it that all our friends wear helmets while riding the bike. Remember We wear it for our protection, not the policeman’s.

2. “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscape and an  ailing environment ?”

Group A : Have you read the paper today ? Climate change has become a bigger cause of worry than world terrorism, Isn’t that something scary ?

Group B : Of course! The other day I watched on National Geographic how glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. This is actually far more pressing than terrorism. Insurgency and terrorism can be dealt with. And we all know that there are some ulterior motives involved in all acts of terrorism. If any government is firm on putting an end to the menace, they actually can. But, no one can do anything about climate change.

Group A : You are right. No government can bring the extinct animals back, nor can they make forests in places that have turned to deserts. The damage done to environment is irreparable. It is so disheartening to think that we have left nothing for our future generations except a burnt planet, lands they cannot cultivate, vast stretches of wasteland, heaps of non-degradable garbage and a dying environment. Couldn’t we have done something better for them ?

Group B : You are making me feel so guilty. We had no right to destroy the planet the way we did. We are all responsible. In India, we have a shamefully huge population where half of them are starving in the streets. The rich are getting richer and the poor are dismally getting poorer.

Group A : But a part from the population, other problems are universal. Tropical rainforests are disappearing, deserts are advancing, ozone layer is depleting. Destruction in the name of development is going to spell doom for all of us.

Group B : It is never too late to take a step in the right direction. Let us take that small step today for a greener and better environment.

3. “We have not inherited the earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children.”

Group A : Look at the condition of the world today! Politics, environment, everything is on the decline. Our forefathers left this world in our charge so that we hand it to our future generations in good shape.

Group B : And what have we done ? Just plundered and ravaged everything. We behave as if it is our sole property inherited from our forefathers.

Group A : But what I don’t understand is that, should we destroy something that we actually inherit from our forefathers ? Shouldn’t we keep it with more care and responsibility because somebody had preserved and gifted it to us? Should we just take it to a point of no return?

Group B : On the other hand, we should have made it better, with our advanced knowledge and education. What is the point of acquiring knowledge if we cannot benefit from it ?

Group A : Remember what Margaret Thatcher had said ? She very aptly said that we do not have a freehold on this earth; what we do have is a life tenancy with a full repairing lease.

Group B : Now the biggest question is, can we repair the damage done by us ? We do not even have the capacity to do that. The only thing we can do now is stop right here so that we can at least hand over to our children something that rightfully belongs to them.

4. The problems of overpopulation that directly affect our everyday life.

Group A : What a menace this population is turning out to be! Can’t get up in a bus, can’t walk on the pavement without elbowing your way. There are people everywhere around, most of them just idling all the day without any work. How long are we going to carry on like this ?

Group B : You seem to be very annoyed. I am sure you had a tough time today. But what you say is right. I feel suffocated at times in the midst of the teeming population. Not a place in sight where you can spend five minutes in solitude.

Group A : And can you imagine how the entire system is somehow hanging in delicate balance under the burden of an exploding population! Have you seen the local trains in Mumbai ? Or the short distance passenger trains in Bihar, U.P. or M.P.? It looks like someday the railway coaches are going to burst open.

Group B : Come to think of employment for all these people ? And seats in educational institutions? There can never be sufficient of anything for anyone because the number keeps increasing.

Group A : As a result, accommodation has become a major problem. Too many people and no place to stay! Long queues have become a common sight.

Group B : A part from cities, even forest lands are being encroached and wildlife sanctuaries are turning out to be full-fledged villages. It may sound very funny but you don’t get a secluded spot even for a picnic! There would be twenty other groups of picnickers sitting all around you. It is disgusting.

Group A : Unless some drastic step is taken to control population, the entire system is going to collapse.


The phrase ‘inter alia’ meaning ‘among other things’ is one of the many Latin expressions commonly used in English.Find out what these Latin phrases moan.

1. prima facie       

2. ad hoc

3. in camera       

4. ad infinitum

5. mutatis mutandis  

6. caveat

7. tabula rasa

Ans. : 1. prima facie : at first sight

2. ad hoc : for a special case or purpose only

3. in camera : in privacy or secrecy

4. ad infinitum : endlessly; without limit

5. mutatis mutandis : wilh appropriate changes.

6. Caveat : a notice that an interested party files with the proper officers directing him to stop an action until he can be heard

7. tabula rasa : prior to change or experience; chance to start afresh


1. Locate the following phrases in the text and study their connotation.

1. gripped the imagination of

2. dawned upon

3. ushered in

4. passed into current coin

5. passport of the future

Ans. 1. gripped the imagination of : used here to mean ‘cap- tured the minds of people’.

2. dawned upon : came to realisation, became obvious.

3. Ushered in : brought in.

4 . passed into current coin : used in currently spoken language.

5. Passport of the future : entitlement into the future.

II. The words ‘grip, ‘dawn’, ‘usher, ‘coin’, ‘passport’ have a literal as well as a figurative meaning.Write pairs of   sentences using each word in the literal as

figurative sense.

Ans. Grip :

Literal : I gripped her hand for fear of falling.

Figurative : Fear gripped the entire locality after the murder.


Literal : It was a mesmerising Sight to see the veil of mist at down.

Figurative : It did not even dawn on me that I could be checked.

Usher :

Literal : Two volunteers were deputed to usher in the guests.

Figurative : The song of the cuckoo ushered in the season of spring.

Coin :

Literal : The five rupee coin has now a bronze colour.

Figurative : Today’s youngsters coin words as per their convenience.

Passport :

Literal : My passport will expire in another two years.

Figurative : Clearance of his legal papers was his passport to freedom.


1. Make posters to highlight the importance of the Green Movement.

Ans. Students will do themselves.

2. Maintain a record of the trees cut down and tone parks demolished in your area, or any other act that violates the environment. Write to newspapers reporting on any such acts that disturb you.

Ans. To,

The Editor,

The Assam Tribune,


Sub : Cutting down of hills and felling of trees.


Through your esteemed daily, I would like to bring to the notice of the authorities that despite the ban on cutting of hills, everyday truckloads of earth are being carried away from our locality.Many illegal settlements have come up on the hills around here and they unhesitatingly cut a part of the hill to build the hut. For the same reason, trees are felled too. As a result, with every shower, the loose earth from the cut portion of the hills flow down with rain water causing heavy siltation in the drains as well as on the roads. Just a few years back, the hills behind our house had thick forests which have, in view of the above facts, not so surprisingly disappeared.

Unless some strict measures are adopted and enforced, the water logging problem in the city will never cease. Rain water cannot flow through the drains as those are filled with layers of mud and earth from these hills. Simply digging up the mud and dumping it on the roadside after the rain cannot be a solution. When the authorities are aware of the whole situation, I, as an aggrieved citizen, appeal to them to take urgent and practical steps to put a stop to it.

Yours truly,

Karan Rawal


House no. 7,

Bye-lane 8, Zoo-Narengi Road,

Guwahati- 21


1. What is the Green Movement ? What has been its role in the declining environmental scenario ?

Ans. Green Movement is an organised action to save the environment. It aims at creating a holistic approach to safeguard the planet from further degradation. The world’s first nationwide Green Party was founded in New Zealand in 1972. This has been the only movement in world history that has captured and stirred every nation to wake up and act.

Since its inception, protection and study of environment has gained new momentum. Awareness has been spread that the earth is a living organism with metabolic needs of its own.Respect and preservation of those needs have become crucial as the planet shows visible signs of ailing. It has borne the burden and torture of human beings for a long time and will collapse if we do not act responsibly right now. It is our solemn duty to protect the planet which is the only home–for us and our future generations.

2. What is ‘sustainable development’ ? How is it being threatened by man ?

Ans. Sustainable development is that  which maets he need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The idea  is to use the natural resource for our development rationally, without depriving the future generations.The present environmental scene is a threat to sustainable

development. The four principal biological systems are on the verge of collapse. Protein hungry populace have destroyed the fisheries; forests have disappeared due to both need and greed of people; grasslands and pastures have become dumping grounds for wastes; croplands have lost their fertility and turned into virtual deserts. If this destruction continues unabated, our future generations will have nothing to live on. It is not only the survival of the human race at stake; it is the survival of the planet as well.

3. Do you feel population control should get topmost priority in our country ? Why ?

Ans. India’s population scenario is the worst in the world. It is equal to the total population of South America and Africa put together. The teeming numbers make a mockery of all developmental and progressive measures. There is shortage of food, dearth of accommodation, lack of health care facilities and hardly any education for a huge mass of India’s poor. And, more than half of them are unemployed. They live a despicable life, languishing in poverty. It is not possible for the country’s natural resources to take care of the huge number. It is also a burden on the environment, with settlements spreading to forest lands and wildlife sanctuaries. Water resources too are being over used. If India has to progress, it’s population has to be drastically controlled.

4. Discuss the role of industry and development in this Era of Responsibility.

Ans Development of human society can never happen at the cost of the environment nor can industrial growth. Development and conservation have to complement each other. We cannot alienate ourselves from nature.

In this Era of Responsibility, man is showing serious concern towards environmental issues. For the first time in human history, this concern has surpassed all other contemporary issues.

Industry has a crucial role to play here. Industrial activities have polluted and degraded the environment to a large extent. However, it can still be saved if more businessmen think like the Chairman of Du Pont, Mr Edgar S. Woolard who declared himself to be the Company’s ‘Chief Environmental Officer’. As a leading manufacturer, he pledged excellence in environmental performance.

SHORT ANSWER TYPE (Upto 40 words)

1. What is the Green Movement ? Why was it initiated and where ?

Ans. The Green Movement is a revolution to fight destruction of environment. It was initiated to create a holistic approach towards protection and study of environment. The first nationwide Green Party was founded in New Zealand in 1972.

2. What has been the most remarkable change in man’s perspective towards the planet ?

Ans. The Green Movement has changed man’s outlook towards environmental issues. For the first time, the earth came to be considered a living organism whose needs should be respected and resources should be preserved. Concern for survival of the planet has surpassed the concern for survival of man.

3. What do the earth’s vital signs reveal ? What is our duty towards it ?

Ans. The planet reveals visible symptoms of ailment. Surveys show that the deterioration of the environment can be termed ‘critical in most countries. Our primary duty now is to save whatever is left of the environment. We have to safeguard and protect the earth for our children.

4. What is ‘sustainable development” ?

Ans. Sustainable development is the development that meets the need of the present world without taking away the ability of future generations to develop them. More specifically, it emphasises on development without plundering the world of natural resources future generations would need.

5. What are the principal biological systems of the earth ?

Ans. The earth has four main biological systems according to Mr Lester Brown. They are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They are the support system of global economy.They not only provide food for mankind, but also supply virtually all raw materials for industries.

6. Why have several species of wildlife become extinct ?

Ans. Several species of wildlife have become extinct, while several more are on the endangered list, primarily because human beings have destroyed or encroached upon their natural habitat,decimated the forests and wantonly killed wild animals.

7. What is the result of man’s sustainable claims on earth’s biological systems?

Ans. Man’s ever increasing demand on earth’s biological systems has resulted in diminishing productivity. Fisheries are on the verge of collapse due to overfishing, forests are fast disappearing, vast stretches of grasslands have turned to wastelands and croplands are losing fertility.

8. What do you understand by the statement ‘Forests precede mankind, deserts follow’ ?

Ans. Forests and desert are two distinctly diverse physical features of the world. Forests have been there even before the existence man. He has indiscriminately destroyed it. Thus, there will be barren lands deserts after he leaves.

9. How is poverty related to the exploding population ?

Ans. The growth of world population has singularly damaged human society. Demand for food and land is far beyond what the earth’s resources can bear. If this trend continues, half of the world population will die of starvation and many would remain homeless. Poverty will remain a perennial problem.

10. Why is development regarded as the best contraceptive ?

Ans. When there is development, there would be employment, resulting in better income. Education will spread and to so will the understanding of having small families. Development  will improve health care and spread awareness among control.

11. What is the author’s comment on laws in India ?

Ans. The author very rightly says that in our country, laws are neither respected nor enforced. It is a known fact that Indians pride in defying laws. Neither the government nor the citizens show adherence to laws. In India, money makes and speaks the law.

12. Do we have a freehold on this earth ? Comment ?

Ans. Human beings suffer a misconception that the earth is their personal property. But, we have not created any of these things to destroy them so wantonly. Neither have we inherited this planet as our property. We are here as tenants and have to leave it one day for future generations in a habitable state.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top