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The Ailing Planet : The Green Movement's Role

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Class 10 Class 12

“No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy—with a full repairing lease”. Justify this statement of Margaret Thatcher.


“We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers ; we have borrowed it from our children.” Justify it reasonably.

Man has entertained many false illusions. He considers himself to be the lord of this world. His arrogance and misdeeds have caused untold havoc and destruction. He considers that he has a freehold on this earth. He can indulge himself in plundering of natural wealth and resources at will. The protein-conscious and hungry world has ruined fishing. Forests are disappearing at the rate of an acre and a half every second. Grasslands and croplands are being converted into wastelands and deserts. Man is the most dangerous animal of the world who has made this earth an ailing planet.

We should remember that we are not the masters but only the trustees of this planet. We owe a duty to leave this earth in good health and good shape to the coming generations. As Margaret Thatcher says we have only a life tenancy and not the ownership. Nor have we inherited this world from our forefathers. We have borrowed it from our children. At all costs we have to maintain a sustainable development. We must meet our present needs without harming the interests and needs of the coming generations.


What signs reveal that the earth is a patient in declining health? What is the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and how is it being disturbed?

The earth’s vital signs tell a different story. They give dangerous signals. They reveal that this planet on which we live is no more a pleasant place. It is like a patient in declining health. Lester R. Brown points out that there are four principal biological systems in the world. They are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the foundation of the global economic system. But in most parts of the world human demands on these systems are reaching an unsustainable level. The earth and its environment shows all round degradation and deterioration. We are living on a sick planet.

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without harming the interests of the future generations. It means that natural wealth and resources will be safeguarded to meet the needs of the future generations. Fisheries and forests shouldn’t be plundered. Human development may be such as may not convert grasslands and croplands into wastelands and deserts.


What is the positive shift that has come in human perceptions and what is the role of the Green Movement in bringing such a change?

There has come a change in human perceptions. Man’s view is no longer a mechanistic one. He doesn’t consider this world to be a machine. He has evolved a holistic view. It is a comprehensive ecological view of this world. It is a revolutionary shift in the thinking of man. There is growing a worldwide consciousness that the earth itself is a living organism. It is an enormous being of which we are only parts. The world has its own metabolic needs. It has some vital processes. They need to be preserved and respected. It is becoming quite clear that the earth is an ailing planet. It is in declining health. It is our duty to save this planet for future generations.

The Green Movement is basically a movement to save this planet and its environment from degradation and deterioration. The movement has gripped the imagination of the entire human race. It started nearly 35 years ago. The world’s first Green Party was founded in 1972 in New Zealand. Since then, the movement has not looked back.


What is the Green Movement?

The Green Movement aims at creating a holistic and ecological view of the world. It makes people conscious of stopping further degradation and deterioration of nature and its resources. It started in 1972. The world’s first nationwide Green Party was founded in New Zealand. Since then the Green Movement has captured the imagination of millions. 


“Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment” ? How has “the most dangerous animal'’ of the world caused the destruction of the earth’s principal biological systems?

The concept of sustainable development is being threatened. The principal biological systems of the earth are under pressure. Fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands are being destroyed. In a protein conscious and protein hungry world, over-fishing is common everyday. Forests are disappearing fast. The tropical forests, ‘the powerhouse of evolution’ face extinction. The world is losing about an acre and a half every second. Grasslands are being converted into wastelands and deserts. Croplands deteriorate. The most dangerous animal of the world that has caused this destruction is the man himself. His greed and claims have made this earth a scorched planet of advancing deserts and ailing environment.

Man’s villainy continues unabated. Over-population is making a mockery of all human progress. More mouths need more grains. More men mean more fuelwood. It means deforestation at a large scale. The choice is quite clear. Either we control population or face perpetual poverty. Man’s plundering of natural wealth and resources must bo stopped.