Question 1: What is meant by environment?
Answer: The total planetary inheritance and the totality of resources is called environment. In simple language; our surrounding is called our environment. The environment is composed of two types of components, viz. biotic and abiotic. The biotic components include all the living beings, while the abiotic components include non-living things like air, water, soil, etc.
Question 2: What happens when the rate of resource extraction exceeds that of their regeneration?
Answer: When the rate of resource extraction exceeds that of their generation, the resource gets exhausted. This diminishes the carrying capacity of environment which is a potential threat to the existence of life.
Question 3: Classify the following into renewable and non-renewable resources: (i) trees (ii) fish (iii) petroleum (iv) coal (v) iron-ore (vi) water.
Answer: Trees, fish and water are renewable resources, while coal, petroleum and iron-ore are non-renewable resources.
Question 4: Two major environmental issues facing the world today are ____________ and _____________.
Answer: Global warming and ozone depletion
Question 5: How do the following factors contribute to the environmental crisis in India? What problem do they pose for the government?
Question 6: What are the functions of the environment?
Answer: Following are the functions of the environment:
Question 7: Identify six factors contributing to land degradation in India.
Answer: Six factors responsible for land degradation are as follows:
Question 8: Explain how the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.
Answer: Negative environmental impact has long term opportunity costs involved. When the rate of resource extraction is higher than that of its renewal, many resources get exhausted or become on the verge of extinction. As a result, we are forced to invest too much in exploration of alternate resources. The environmental pollution results in bad quality of air and water which results in many diseases; like asthma and cholera. Prevention and treatment of these diseases involved huge cost to the society. Thus, it can be said that the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.
Question 9: Outline the steps involved in attaining sustainable development in India.
Answer: Following are the steps involved in attaining sustainable development in India:
Question 10: India has abundant natural resources—substantiate the statement.
Answer: India has a unique geographical location and hence it is endowed with plenty of natural resources. Most of the minerals are found in abundance in India; except petroleum. Some of the major rivers are in India and thus a vast portion of India has highly fertile land. India gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year which makes it an ideal place for harnessing solar energy. The vast area of the Thar desert is ideal of harnessing wind energy. A very long coastline of India means we can get plenty of resources from the ocean.
Question 11: Is environmental crisis a recent phenomenon? If so, why?
Answer: Before the industrial revolution, the rate of extraction of resources was very low and it was less than that of renewal of resources. But after so many years of industrial revolution and subsequent development, the rate of extraction of resources has grown manifold. This has resulted in exhaustion of resources in many countries. It has also resulted in high levels of environmental pollution. Hence, it can be said that environmental crisis is a recent phenomenon.
Question 12: Give two instances of
Question 13: State any four pressing environmental concerns of India. Correction for environmental damages involves opportunity costs—explain.
Answer: The four pressing environmental concerns of India are; air pollution, groundwater pollution, pollution of rivers and soil erosion.
It is indeed true that correction of environmental damages involves opportunity costs. Let us take example of air pollution. For minimizing air pollution, we need to fit vehicles with catalytic converters which means increased cost of the vehicle. For rectifying the pollution of water bodies, we need to clean up our rivers which is a gargantuan task.
Question 14: Explain the supply-demand reversal of environmental resources.
Answer: Before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the supply of natural resources was higher than demand. But after many years of Industrial Revolution there has been a role reversal. At present, the demand of natural resources is higher than supply.
Question 15: Account for the current environmental crisis.
Answer: The current environmental crisis is because of our unsustainable practices. We are overusing and misusing the natural resources. As a result, many resources have either exhausted or are on the verge of exhaustion. The excess use of natural resources has created a huge amount of waste which is beyond the waste absorption capacity of the environment. This has resulted in a situation in which our environment’s ability to sustain life has been compromised. This situation is called environmental crisis.
Question 16: Highlight any two serious adverse environmental consequences of development in India. India’s environmental problems pose a dichotomy — they are poverty induced and, at the same time, due to affluence in living standards—is this true?
Answer: One of the serious consequences of development in India is air pollution and another is heavily polluted rivers. Ganga; the holiest river of India; resembles a dirty drain near most of the cities is passes through. It is absolutely true that India’s environmental problems are poverty induced as well as due to affluence in living standards. The poor people continue to fell tree to obtain firewood because they cannot afford LPG. Felling of trees has serious environmental consequences. On the other hand, the affluent lifestyle means increased consumption of fossil fuels which also causes serious damage to the environment.
Question 17: What is sustainable development?
Answer: The development which ensures a good quality of life for the current generation and also ensures that the future generation would get at least the same quality of life is called sustainable development.
Question 18: Keeping in view your locality, describe any four strategies of sustainable development.
Answer: The following strategies can help in ensuring sustainable development for any locality:
Question 19: Explain the relevance of intergenerational equity in the definition of sustainable development.
Answer: Intergenerational equity means whatever natural resources are available to our generation should also be available to the coming generations. In fact, this is the basic premise of sustainable development. If the development can be sustained in a way that many generations to come would be in a position to enjoy the bounty of nature then only we can say that we are practicing sustainable development.
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