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Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves

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Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Jun 2018, 22:32
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70% (01:21) correct 30% (01:29) wrong based on 251 sessions

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Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves Sturgeon County is responsible for the vast majority of the county's groundwater pollution problem. Surprisingly, however, Sturgeon County's leading environmentalists support a ballot initiative that will invest in the expansion of the current landfill, as opposed to another initiative that will invest the same amount of money in creating a new landfill that would have zero impact on the county's groundwater.

Which of the following, if true, serves as the best justification for the environmentalists' position?

(A) Several recent ecological studies suggest that the rate of pollution from the current landfill is lower than had initially been reported.

(B) Without continued operation and maintenance, the current landfill's groundwater pollution rate would more than double.

(C) Groundwater pollution is less of a concern in Sturgeon County than is air pollution from the county's coal-fired power plants.

(D) Polling data indicates that the new landfill proposal is unlikely to pass without support from prominent environmental activists.

(E) The site of the proposed new landfill is privately-owned land that the county would have to purchase during a period of high real estate values.

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Originally posted by NandishSS on 21 Jan 2018, 03:10.
Last edited by hazelnut on 21 Jun 2018, 22:32, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2018, 13:07
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NandishSS wrote:
Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves Sturgeon County is responsible for the vast majority of the county's groundwater pollution problem. Surprisingly, however, Sturgeon County's leading environmentalists support a ballot initiative that will invest in the expansion of the current landfill, as opposed to another initiative that will invest the same amount of money in creating a new landfill that would have zero impact on the county's groundwater.

Which of the following, if true, serves as the best justification for the environmentalists' position?

A)Several recent ecological studies suggest that the rate of pollution from the current landfill is lower than had initially been reported.
B)Without continued operation and maintenance, the current landfill's groundwater pollution rate would more than double.
C)Groundwater pollution is less of a concern in Sturgeon County than is air pollution from the county's coal-fired power plants.
D)Polling data indicates that the new landfill proposal is unlikely to pass without support from prominent environmental activists.
E)The site of the proposed new landfill is privately-owned land that the county would have to purchase during a period of high real estate values.


This is an 'explain the discrepancy' problem - the indicators are the word "surprisingly" in the argument, the word "justification" in the question, and the fact that the argument doesn't include any support for the environmentalists' position. To solve this, you'll need to do two things: understand the environmentalists' position, and then find an answer choice that gives a good reason for them to take that position.

The environmentalists prefer the old landfill to the new landfill. So, the right answer will have to explain why, from an environmentalist's perspective, keeping the old landfill is good or creating a new landfill is bad.

(E) shows that the new landfill is bad, but not from the perspective of the environmentalists. There isn't any logical reason for the environmentalists to care about the cost of the land.

(D) tells us why the county might want the support of environmentalists. That's interesting, but the right answer has to tell you why the environmentalists actually did choose to give their support. It's not enough to just show that their support would be good, you have to explain why they give their support.

(A) looks like it says that the old landfill is good. However, (A) doesn't actually give you good information about the rate of pollution. It's lower than initially reported, but since we don't know what the initially reported rate was, that doesn't mean anything to us. It could be quite low, or it could still be very high (but just a bit less high than we thought.)

(C) is similar to (A). Since we don't know anything about the level of pollution from coal plants, we can't get any good info by comparing the groundwater pollution to it. The level of groundwater pollution could still be quite high, even if it's not as high as the coal pollution. Plus, the argument only gives us certain options: old landfill, or new landfill? This answer choice seems to suggest that we shouldn't be worrying about the landfills at all, which doesn't help us decide whether the old one or the new one is better.

That leaves (B). (B) is correct because it suggests that the environmentalists voted for the old landfill in order to ensure that it keeps being maintained, which will prevent pollution.
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 03:08
Hi,
I can't understand properly why the answer is B. The paragraph talks about expansion while the answer talks about maintenance. Wouldn't it be possible that the old landfill would've been maintained even though new landfills were formed?
I got stuck between B and D and I removed B eventually.
Please tell me where I am wrong. Any explanation is helpful. Thank you.
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 03:19
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nischalnch wrote:
Hi,
I can't understand properly why the answer is B. The paragraph talks about expansion while the answer talks about maintenance. Wouldn't it be possible that the old landfill would've been maintained even though new landfills were formed?
I got stuck between B and D and I removed B eventually.
Please tell me where I am wrong. Any explanation is helpful. Thank you.


B needs further assumption: Build new landfill will leave current landfill without continued operation and maintenance.
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 11:48
Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves Sturgeon County is responsible for the vast majority of the county's groundwater pollution problem. Surprisingly, however, Sturgeon County's leading environmentalists support a ballot initiative that will invest in the expansion of the current landfill, as opposed to another initiative that will invest the same amount of money in creating a new landfill that would have zero impact on the county's groundwater.

Which of the following, if true, serves as the best justification for the environmentalists' position?

A)Several recent ecological studies suggest that the rate of pollution from the current landfill is lower than had initially been reported. -We need comparison between new land fill and old land fill.
B)Without continued operation and maintenance, the current landfill's groundwater pollution rate would more than double. -Correct
C)Groundwater pollution is less of a concern in Sturgeon County than is air pollution from the county's coal-fired power plants. -Air pollution is out of scope
D)Polling data indicates that the new landfill proposal is unlikely to pass without support from prominent environmental activists. -Out of scope
E)The site of the proposed new landfill is privately-owned land that the county would have to purchase during a period of high real estate values. -Cost is out of scope
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves  [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2018, 01:50
NandishSS wrote:
Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves Sturgeon County is responsible for the vast majority of the county's groundwater pollution problem. Surprisingly, however, Sturgeon County's leading environmentalists support a ballot initiative that will invest in the expansion of the current landfill, as opposed to another initiative that will invest the same amount of money in creating a new landfill that would have zero impact on the county's groundwater.

Which of the following, if true, serves as the best justification for the environmentalists' position?


A) Several recent ecological studies suggest that the rate of pollution from the current landfill is lower than had initially been reported.
B) Without continued operation and maintenance, the current landfill's groundwater pollution rate would more than double.
C) Groundwater pollution is less of a concern in Sturgeon County than is air pollution from the county's coal-fired power plants.
D) Polling data indicates that the new landfill proposal is unlikely to pass without support from prominent environmental activists.
E) The site of the proposed new landfill is privately-owned land that the county would have to purchase during a period of high real estate values.


VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:




Your goal in this "Explain the Paradox" question is to find a reason why environmentalists would support the expansion of a landfill that comes with groundwater pollution problems over the construction of a new landfill that would come with no groundwater pollution problems. As you anticipate what you would want to see from a correct answer, you might think about:

-What if the new landfill doesn't have groundwater pollution problems, but instead creates other pollution problems?

-What is leaving the old landfill would create even bigger problems than staying there?

Choice B works well with the second option: if leaving the current landfill would create a much bigger environmental problem than staying there would, that is a reason that those who care about the environment would vote to stay. Choice B is correct.

Choices A and C may be tempting, but each comes with a significant flaw. Note that A, while reducing the impact of the pollution problem with the current landfill, still leaves the ballot proposals as a comparison between "some pollution" and "no pollution," so you still don't have a reason that the environmentalists would pick "some" when "none" is an option. And while choice C may seem to hit the standard of "what about other types of pollution other than just groundwater?" note that the argument doesn't provide any reason to suspect that the new landfill would create more air pollution. With all known information, it's still a comparison between "some pollution" and "no pollution."

Choice D is irrelevant - what the polls suggest is no reason for the environmentalists to choose pollution over no pollution. And choice E is carefully invalidated by the phrase "same amount" in the argument - if each plan costs the same amount, then the expense of the land for the new landfill isn't a reason to not choose it.
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Re: Ecological studies have shown that the current landfill that serves &nbs [#permalink] 09 May 2018, 01:50
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