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Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu

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Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 04:55
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Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercury trapped in global air currents, affects one third of China’s territory.Coal-fired power plants are notorious for emitting large quantities of these pollutants.To combat the problem, the Chinese national government has set aggressive environmental goals for the next five years.These goals include a 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency and a pledge that, by the end of the five years, 10 percent of the nation’s energy will come from renewable resources such as hydroelectric or wind power.

Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the Chinese government’s strategy as a method for achieving a reduction in acid rain?
(A) Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
(B) Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
(C) The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
(D) Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighboring countries, over which China has no control.
(E) Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.

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Last edited by JusTLucK04 on 20 May 2014, 05:47, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 05:19
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Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercury trapped in global air currents, affects one third of China’s territory. Coal-fired power plants are notorious for emitting large quantities of these pollutants. To combat the problem, the Chinese national government has set aggressive environmental goals for the next five years. These goals include a 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency and a pledge that, by the end of the five years, 10 percent of the nation’s energy will come from renewable resources such as hydroelectric or wind power.

prethinkg: a correct answer choice should shows somehow that this 20% improvement in energy efficiency can has adverse effect

Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the Chinese government’s strategy as a method for achieving a reduction in acid rain?

(A) Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements. we only care about sulfur dioxide and mercury

(B) Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region. even if with implementation of the program one region realize the effect it would be enough!

(C) The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.no matter whether a region have problem with acid rain or not. the regulation is compulsory for all the china's territory

(D) Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighboring countries, over which China has no control.
we don't care about other factors.. just factors mentioned in the argument

(E) Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.that's what we prethink
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 06:09
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Here the argument is:

Problem: Coal-fired power plants emit large quantities of sulfur dioxide and mercury -> leads to acid rain -> affect 1/3rd of China's territory
Government's strategy to reduce acid rain: aggressive goals set for next 5 years that focus on improving energy efficiency and increase in usage of renewable resources -> reduce emission of Sulphur dioxide & mercury pollutants

Question stem wants us to identify something that can weaken our belief in the success of Chinese government’s strategy

Let us try to pre-think the potential reasons that can lead to a failure:
1. The goal to improve energy efficiency leads to adoption of technologies/anything else which increase Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants.
We know that there are 2 goals that are laid out- (i) improve energy efficiency, (ii) increase usage of renewable resources. What if the first goal leads to adoption of some technology that increases the emission of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants?

2. The strategy execution fails due to certain adverse factors:
The government has set targets. Anything that shows that these targets might not be achieved shall reduce our belief in the success of the strategy.

Any option choice that shows that one of the above can happen shall be a potential weakener.

Let us evaluate the option choices:
A. Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
We are only concerned about those pollutants that lead to acid rain, not other air pollutants. The government is currently focusing on reduction of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants to combat acid rain. Therefore, "some pollutant" are irrelevant here.

B. Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
The goal is to combat acid rain that affects 1/3rd of China's territory. So as long as there is a noticeable reduction, it does not matter if there is a variation in this reduction across regions. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

C. The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
The option does not tell anything that undermines the success in achieving the goals by those regions that are affected by acid rain. It does not really matter if the goals are forced on other regions.

D. Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighbouring countries, over which China has no control.
We already know that acid rains that are caused by sulphur dioxide & mercury emissions affect China's 1/3rd territory. The government is trying to reduce acid rain by reducing the emission of these particular pollutants. Therefore, other factors that also cause acid rain hardly matter. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

]E. Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.
This is in-line with the 2nd statement in pre-thinking. It says that the Chinese officials tend to ignore the environment regulations since they are more concerned with economic requirements in their territory. This creates a doubt that the officials might rather ignore the government's plan as well in order to ensure that they meet their economic requirements.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2014, 10:49
ab2014 wrote:
Here the argument is:

Problem: Coal-fired power plants emit large quantities of sulfur dioxide and mercury -> leads to acid rain -> affect 1/3rd of China's territory
Government's strategy to reduce acid rain: aggressive goals set for next 5 years that focus on improving energy efficiency and increase in usage of renewable resources -> reduce emission of Sulphur dioxide & mercury pollutants

Question stem wants us to identify something that can weaken our belief in the success of Chinese government’s strategy

Let us try to pre-think the potential reasons that can lead to a failure:
1. The goal to improve energy efficiency leads to adoption of technologies/anything else which increase Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants.
We know that there are 2 goals that are laid out- (i) improve energy efficiency, (ii) increase usage of renewable resources. What if the first goal leads to adoption of some technology that increases the emission of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants?

2. The strategy execution fails due to certain adverse factors:
The government has set targets. Anything that shows that these targets might not be achieved shall reduce our belief in the success of the strategy.

Any option choice that shows that one of the above can happen shall be a potential weakener.

Let us evaluate the option choices:
A. Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
We are only concerned about those pollutants that lead to acid rain, not other air pollutants. The government is currently focusing on reduction of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants to combat acid rain. Therefore, "some pollutant" are irrelevant here.

B. Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
The goal is to combat acid rain that affects 1/3rd of China's territory. So as long as there is a noticeable reduction, it does not matter if there is a variation in this reduction across regions. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

C. The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
The option does not tell anything that undermines the success in achieving the goals by those regions that are affected by acid rain. It does not really matter if the goals are forced on other regions.

D. Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighbouring countries, over which China has no control.
We already know that acid rains that are caused by sulphur dioxide & mercury emissions affect China's 1/3rd territory. The government is trying to reduce acid rain by reducing the emission of these particular pollutants. Therefore, other factors that also cause acid rain hardly matter. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

]E. Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.
This is in-line with the 2nd statement in pre-thinking. It says that the Chinese officials tend to ignore the environment regulations since they are more concerned with economic requirements in their territory. This creates a doubt that the officials might rather ignore the government's plan as well in order to ensure that they meet their economic requirements.

Hope this helps!


I don't know what the right answer is, but i certainly don't think E is the correct answer.
'Chinese officials tend to ignore the environment regulations' is not the issue here. Yes they might ignore environment regulations. But China is aiming at bringing in more 'efficient forms of energy'. i.e. if the current 100% input produces 50% electricity, new forms of electricity would produce 80%. It isn't an environmental regulation. They're not asking to control CO2 or sulphur emissions or anything. They are just bringing in more efficient forms of energy.
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2014, 11:34
gauravkaushik8591 wrote:
ab2014 wrote:
Here the argument is:

Problem: Coal-fired power plants emit large quantities of sulfur dioxide and mercury -> leads to acid rain -> affect 1/3rd of China's territory
Government's strategy to reduce acid rain: aggressive goals set for next 5 years that focus on improving energy efficiency and increase in usage of renewable resources -> reduce emission of Sulphur dioxide & mercury pollutants

Question stem wants us to identify something that can weaken our belief in the success of Chinese government’s strategy

Let us try to pre-think the potential reasons that can lead to a failure:
1. The goal to improve energy efficiency leads to adoption of technologies/anything else which increase Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants.
We know that there are 2 goals that are laid out- (i) improve energy efficiency, (ii) increase usage of renewable resources. What if the first goal leads to adoption of some technology that increases the emission of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants?

2. The strategy execution fails due to certain adverse factors:
The government has set targets. Anything that shows that these targets might not be achieved shall reduce our belief in the success of the strategy.

Any option choice that shows that one of the above can happen shall be a potential weakener.

Let us evaluate the option choices:
A. Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
We are only concerned about those pollutants that lead to acid rain, not other air pollutants. The government is currently focusing on reduction of Sulphur dioxide and mercury pollutants to combat acid rain. Therefore, "some pollutant" are irrelevant here.

B. Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
The goal is to combat acid rain that affects 1/3rd of China's territory. So as long as there is a noticeable reduction, it does not matter if there is a variation in this reduction across regions. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

C. The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
The option does not tell anything that undermines the success in achieving the goals by those regions that are affected by acid rain. It does not really matter if the goals are forced on other regions.

D. Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighbouring countries, over which China has no control.
We already know that acid rains that are caused by sulphur dioxide & mercury emissions affect China's 1/3rd territory. The government is trying to reduce acid rain by reducing the emission of these particular pollutants. Therefore, other factors that also cause acid rain hardly matter. Therefore, the option does not suggest that the goal will not be achieved.

]E. Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.
This is in-line with the 2nd statement in pre-thinking. It says that the Chinese officials tend to ignore the environment regulations since they are more concerned with economic requirements in their territory. This creates a doubt that the officials might rather ignore the government's plan as well in order to ensure that they meet their economic requirements.

Hope this helps!


I don't know what the right answer is, but i certainly don't think E is the correct answer.
'Chinese officials tend to ignore the environment regulations' is not the issue here. Yes they might ignore environment regulations. But China is aiming at bringing in more 'efficient forms of energy'. i.e. if the current 100% input produces 50% electricity, new forms of electricity would produce 80%. It isn't an environmental regulation. They're not asking to control CO2 or sulphur emissions or anything. They are just bringing in more efficient forms of energy.


You must read the stem carefully, it says the govt has set some goals to achieve a particular target. It is understood that to achieve those goals a human intervention is reqd ie Officers or Law enforcement bodies, and if there is a doubt on the commitment of these officers. In that case I do not think any plan of Chinese govt to achieve the goal will materialize.

Consider Kudos If my post helps!!!

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Veritas - Critical Reasoning [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2014, 09:57
Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercury trapped in global air currents, affects one third of China’s territory. Coal-fired power plants are notorious for emitting large quantities of these pollutants. To combat the problem, the Chinese national government has set aggressive environmental goals for the next five years. These goals include a 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency and a pledge that, by the end of the five years, 10 percent of the nation’s energy will come from renewable resources such as hydroelectric or wind power.


Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the Chinese government’s strategy as a method for achieving a reduction in acid rain?

A. Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
B. Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
C. The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
D. Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighboring countries, over which China has no control.
E. Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2014, 10:06
Expert's post
rirshi wrote:
Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercury trapped in global air currents, affects one third of China’s territory. Coal-fired power plants are notorious for emitting large quantities of these pollutants. To combat the problem, the Chinese national government has set aggressive environmental goals for the next five years. These goals include a 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency and a pledge that, by the end of the five years, 10 percent of the nation’s energy will come from renewable resources such as hydroelectric or wind power.


Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the Chinese government’s strategy as a method for achieving a reduction in acid rain?

A. Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements.
B. Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.
C. The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.
D. Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighboring countries, over which China has no control.
E. Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.


Merging similar topic. See above discussion for explanation.
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Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2014, 10:50
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Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercury trapped in global air currents, affects one third of China’s territory.Coal-fired power plants are notorious for emitting large quantities of these pollutants.To combat the problem, the Chinese national government has set aggressive environmental goals for the next five years.These goals include a 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency and a pledge that, by the end of the five years, 10 percent of the nation’s energy will come from renewable resources such as hydroelectric or wind power.

Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the Chinese government’s strategy as a method for achieving a reduction in acid rain?
(A) Some forms of air pollution, such as heavy particulate fumes, would not be affected by the suggested energy improvements. so what....we just need to combat the problem....not eliminte fully.... hence does'nt matter
(B) Once the changes have been implemented, the actual reduction in acid rain would vary from region to region.so what ....some positive changes will be there
(C) The goals would be forced on every region in China, including those that have no problems with acid rain.does'nt weaken....
(D) Acid rain is also caused by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions or pollution from neighboring countries, over which China has no control.so what ... this could still be a positive step
(E) Regional Chinese officials tend to ignore environmental regulations in order to meet aggressive economic requirements imposed on their regions’ industries.this is a weakener ... states that the plan may not be implementable....CORRECT
Re: Acid rain, caused by high levels of sulfur dioxide and mercu   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2014, 10:50
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