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Data from satellite photographs of the tropical rain forest [#permalink]
22 Mar 2007, 08:04
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Data from satellite photographs of the tropical rain forest in Melonia show that last year the deforestation rate of this environmentally sensitive zone was significantly lower than in previous years. The Melonian government, which spent millions of dollars last year to enforce laws against burning and cutting of the forest, is claiming that the satellite data indicate that its increased efforts to halt the destruction are proving effective.
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the governmentâ€™s claim?
(A) Landowner opposition to the governmentâ€™s antideforestation efforts grew more violent last year in response to the increased enforcement.
(B) Rainfall during the usually dry 6-month annual burning season was abnormally heavy last year.
(C) Government agents had to issue fines totaling over $9 million to 3,500 violators of burning-and-cutting regulations.
(D) The inaccessibility of much of the rain forest has made it impossible to confirm the satellite data by direct observation from the field.
(E) Much of the money that was designated last year for forest preservation has been spent on research and not on enforcement.
This is a weaken the argument question. We need to find evidence that the government's claim is flawed. We know that one of the reasons the deforestation has occurred in the past is because the trees were burned.
Choice B addresses this issue, effectively saying that since the trees were unusually wet for 6 months, it was hard to burn them, hence the rate of deforestation has decreased.
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