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Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup

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Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 03:20
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 464, Date: 20-Nov-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater supplies beneath vast stretches of land are dropping precipitously. Whole river systems have dried up; others are choked with sediment washed from denuded land. Hundreds of thousands of acres of previously irrigated cropland have been abandoned to wind or weeds. Several million acres of natural grassland are eroding at unnaturally high rates as a result of cultivation or overgrazing. All told, about 225 million acres of land are undergoing severe desertification.

Federal subsidies encourage the exploitation of arid land resources. Lowinterest loans for irrigation and other water delivery systems encourage farmers, industry, and municipalities to mine groundwater. Federal disaster relief and commodity programs encourage aridland farmers to plow up natural grassland to plant crops such as wheat and, especially, cotton. Federal grazing fees that are well below the free-market price encourage overgrazing of the commons. The market, too, provides powerful incentives to exploit arid land resources beyond their carrying capacity. When commodity prices are high relative to the farmer’s or rancher’s operating costs, the return on a productionenhancing investment is invariably greater than the return on a conservation investment. And when commodity prices are relatively low, arid land ranchers and farmers often have to use all of their available financial resources to stay solvent.

The incentives to exploit arid land resources are greater today than ever. The government is now offering huge new subsidies to produce synfuel from coal or oil shale as well as alcohol fuel from crops. Moreover, commodity prices are on the rise; and they will provide farmers and agribusiness with powerful incentive to overexploit arid land resources. The existing federal government costshare programs designed to help finance the conservation of soil, water, and vegetation pale in comparison to such incentives.

In the final analysis, when viewed in the national perspective, the effects on agriculture are the most troublesome aspect of desertification in the United States, for it comes at a time when we are losing over a million acres of rain-watered crop and pasture land per year to “higher uses”— shopping centers, industrial parks, housing developments, and waste dumps— heedless of the economic need of the United States to export agricultural products or of the world’s need for U.S. food and fiber. Today the arid West accounts for 20% of the nation’s total agricultural output. If the United States is, as it appears, well on its way toward overdrawing the arid land resources, then the policy choice is simply to pay now for the appropriate remedies or pay far more later, when productive benefits from arid land resources have been both realized and largely terminated.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

1. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) discussing a solution
(B) describing a problem
(C) replying to a detractor
(D) finding a contradiction
(E) defining a term


Spoiler: :: OA
C

2. The passage mentions all of the following as effects of desertification EXCEPT

(A) increased sediment in rivers
(B) erosion of land
(C) overcultivation of arid land
(D) decreasing groundwater supplies
(E) loss of land to wind or weeds


Spoiler: :: OA
E

3. The author most likely encloses the phrase “higher uses” (Highlighted) in quotations marks in order to

(A) alert the reader to the fact that the term is very important
(B) minimize the importance of desertification in non-arid land
(C) voice his support for expansion of such programs
(D) express concern over the extent of desertification
(E) indicate disagreement that such uses are more important


Spoiler: :: OA
D

4. The passages mentions all of the following as economic factors tending to contribute to desertification EXCEPT

(A) price incentives for farmers to use arid lands to produce certain commodities
(B) artifically low government fees for use of public grazing lands
(C) government subsidies for fuels that are manufactured from a variety of crops
(D) worldwide demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States
(E) lack of effective government financial incentives to conserve soil, water, and vegetation


Spoiler: :: OA
A

5. According to the passage, the most serious long-term effect of desertification would be the reduced ability of

(A) the United States to continue to export agricultural products
(B) municipalities to supply water to meet the needs of residents
(C) farmers to cover the cost of producing crops
(D) the United States to meet the food needs of its own people
(E) the United States to produce sufficient fuel for energy from domestic sources


Spoiler: :: OA
E

6. The passage leads most logically to discussion of a proposal for

(A) reduced agricultural output in the United States
(B) direct government aid to farmers affected by desertification
(C) curtailing the conversion of land to shopping centers and housing
(D) government assistance to develop improved farming methods to increase exploitation of arid land
(E) increased government assistance to finance the conservation of arid land


Spoiler: :: OA
E

7. The author’s attitude toward desertification can best be described as one of

(A) alarm
(B) optimism
(C) understanding
(D) conciliation
(E) concern



Source: Master GMAT
Difficulty Level: 700

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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2019, 21:44
I am confused in Q7. I am confused between choice A and E.
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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2019, 00:40
Hea234ven wrote:
I am confused in Q7. I am confused between choice A and E.


Official Explanation


7. The author’s attitude toward desertification can best be described as one of

Explanation

This is a tone question. We can surely eliminate (B), (C), and (D) as not expressing the appropriate element of worry. Then, between (A) and (E), (A) overstates the case. The author says we solve the problem now or we solve it later (at a higher cost). But that is an expression of concern, not alarm.

The correct answer is (E).


Hope it helps
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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2019, 20:31
In Q-3 i chose D over E
Can someome please explain Q-3?
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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2019, 04:04
Rashigarg7 wrote:
In Q-3 i chose D over E
Can someome please explain Q-3?


Official Explanation


3. The author most likely encloses the phrase “higher uses” (Highlighted) in quotations marks in order to

Explanation

This is an inference question. The author places the phrase “higher uses” in quotation marks. In essence, this is similar to prefacing the phrase with the disclaimer “so called.” This impression is reinforced by the final entry in the list of examples of “higher uses”: waste dumps. This is not to say that the author would argue that such uses are not important. Rather, this is to say that the author does not believe that those uses are more important than agricultural uses.

(A) is incorrect since this term is no more important than other terms used in the passage.

(B) is incorrect since the author is talking about the conversion of non-arid land to higher uses.

(C) is incorrect since the author is clearly opposed to such expansion.

Finally, (D) is a sentiment expressed in the passage, but that is not the reason for placing this phrase in quotation marks.

The correct answer is (E).


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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 10:46
Can someone please post official answer explanations for all the questions
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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 12:52
saishivapriya wrote:
Can someone please post official answer explanations for all the questions


Official Explanation


1. The author is primarily concerned with

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

This is a main idea question. The author’s primary concern is to discuss the problem of desertification. So choice (B) is correct.

A natural extension of the discussion would be a proposal to slow the process of desertification, but that is not included in the passage as written, so (A) must be incorrect.

(C), (D), and (E) are each incorrect because we find no elements in the passage to support those choices. Even admitting that the author intends to define, implicitly, the term “desertification,” that is surely not the main point of the passage. The author also dwells at length on the causes of the problem.

The correct answer is (B).


2. The passage mentions all of the following as effects of desertification EXCEPT

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is an explicit idea question. In the first paragraph, the author mentions (A), (B), (D), and (E) as features of desertification.

(C), however, is one of the causes of desertification mentioned in the second paragraph.

The correct answer is (C).


For question #3 click on below link

https://gmatclub.com/forum/desertificat ... l#p2411404

4. The passages mentions all of the following as economic factors tending to contribute to desertification EXCEPT

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is a specific detail (explicit idea) question with a thought-reverser. The correct answer is (D). The author mentions world demand for U.S. products in the final paragraph, but “mention” alone does not make this a correct answer to the question.

The right answer to a specific detail question must not only be mentioned; it must also answer the question asked. In this case, global need is mentioned as a reason to avoid desertification (feeding people is important) and not as a cause. The other choices are mentioned as causes: (A) and (B) in paragraph 2; (C) and (E) in paragraph 3.

The correct answer is (D).


5. According to the passage, the most serious long-term effect of desertification would be the reduced ability of

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is an explicit idea question, and the answer is found in the last paragraph. There the author states that the most serious longterm effect of desertification will be on the United States’ ability to export agricultural products.

This will be harmful to the United States economically and to the rest of the world in terms of meeting the demand for food and fiber.

As for (B) and (C), though these are plausible as effects of desertification, the author does not mention them specifically, and he certainly does not describe them as the most serious effects of desertification.

(D) is incorrect because the author’s concern is over the ability of the United States to continue to export agricultural products, not the ability of the United States to meet domestic demand.

Finally, (E) fails for the same reason that (B) and (C) are incorrect. Though it might arguably be one result of desertification (and that is an issue we need not address), the author never mentions it as a possible effect.

The correct answer is (A).


6. The passage leads most logically to discussion of a proposal for

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

This is an application question. In the passage the author indicates that government programs which encourage exploitation of arid land are in large measure responsible for the rapid rate of desertification.

A natural extension of the discussion would be a proposal for government spending to conserve arid lands. And this receives specific support in the third paragraph, where the author mentions that government conservation incentives are inadequate. With regard to (A), the author seems to believe that it is necessary for the United States to continue to export agricultural products to meet the world demand.

(B) is surely incorrect, for the author argues that aid to farmers is one cause of the rapid rate of desertification.

(D) is incorrect for the same reason.

As for (C), the conversion of land to “higher uses” is mentioned as a factor complicating the process of desertification. It is not a cause of desertification. The most natural extension of the passage would be a discussion of how to combat desertification.

The correct answer is (E).


For question #7 click on below link

https://gmatclub.com/forum/desertificat ... l#p2410636

Hope it helps
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Re: Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater sup   [#permalink] 09 Dec 2019, 12:52
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