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If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an

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If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2017, 06:56
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Question Stats:

68% (01:28) correct 32% (01:29) wrong based on 164 sessions

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If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality and visibility over the city will begin to suffer, rainwater may be polluted, and the city will contribute to the global problem of greenhouse emissions. Taxing every polluting commercial establishment per volume of polluted air or per particulate volume of greenhouse emissions will induce businesses to reduce the amount of pollution they emit; this charge will therefore protect the city's air.

Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?

A. Businesses will reduce the amount of pollution they emit by reducing the number of products they build.

B. The tax will not significantly affect the commercial health of most businesses, even if their factories do not reduce the amount of pollution they emit.

C. The tax will not induce businesses to dispose of their greenhouse gas pollution covertly.

D. The quality of the air is an important issue for most of the city's residents.

E. Polluted air could be purified and cleaned of greenhouse gasses through technology installed at company factories at the point of emission.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2017, 11:18
vikasp99 wrote:
If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality and visibility over the city will begin to suffer, rainwater may be polluted, and the city will contribute to the global problem of greenhouse emissions. Taxing every polluting commercial establishment per volume of polluted air or per particulate volume of greenhouse emissions will induce businesses to reduce the amount of pollution they emit; this charge will therefore protect the city's air.

Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?

A. Businesses will reduce the amount of pollution they emit by reducing the number of products they build.

B. The tax will not significantly affect the commercial health of most businesses, even if their factories do not reduce the amount of pollution they emit.

C. The tax will not induce businesses to dispose of their greenhouse gas pollution covertly.

D. The quality of the air is an important issue for most of the city's residents.

E. Polluted air could be purified and cleaned of greenhouse gasses through technology installed at company factories at the point of emission.


Once we read the question, we realize that this is an assumption question. Accordingly, there must be a conclusion. What is that conclusion? In all likelihood it is the sentence "this charge will therefore protect the city's air." The word "therefore" often introduces the conclusion.

Now we can employ the why? test. Why will this charge protect the city's air? Because "taxing every polluting commercial establishment per volume of polluted air or per particulate volume of greenhouse emissions will induce businesses to reduce the amount of pollution they emit."

However, you will notice that the conclusion contains the modal verb will. Thus, it reads more as a prediction than a statement of fact. What reasons do we have for believing that this prediction is true? Employing the why? test again while looking at the answer choices shows that answer choice (C), if true, will support this prediction.

Not convinced? You can always employ the negation test. If answer choice (C) is the best answer it will, when negated, destroy the argument.

The tax will not induce businesses to dispose of their greenhouse gas pollution covertly. This negated statement, if true, casts serious doubt on the prediction above. If businesses can (and will) dispose of their greenhouse gas pollution covertly, then it is most unlikely that they will reduce the amount of pollution emitted. Accordingly, the conclusion "this charge will protect the city's air" is in doubt.


This question reminds me very much of the following official question:

If the county continues to collect residential trash at current levels, landfills will soon be overflowing and parkland will need to be used in order to create more space. Charging each household a fee for each pound of trash it puts out for collection will induce residents to reduce the amount of trash they create; this charge will therefore protect the remaining county parkland.

Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?

(A) Residents will reduce the amount of trash they put out for collection by reducing the number of products they buy.
(B) The collection fee will not significantly affect the purchasing power of most residents, even if their households do not reduce the amount of trash they put out.
(C) The collection fee will not induce residents to dump their trash in the parklands illegally.
(D) The beauty of county parkland is an important issue for most of the county’s residents.
(E) Landfills outside the county’s borders could be used as dumping sites for the county’s trash.
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Re: If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2017, 07:47
The argument made is that the tax will make the businesses reduce the emissions. The tax is based on the amount of emission. If the amount of emission can not be measured accurately (If the business can emit covertly), then the overall decision goes for a toss. Hence the correct option is C.

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Re: If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2017, 13:38
If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality and visibility over the city will begin to suffer, rainwater may be polluted, and the city will contribute to the global problem of greenhouse emissions. Taxing every polluting commercial establishment per volume of polluted air or per particulate volume of greenhouse emissions will induce businesses to reduce the amount of pollution they emit;

Conclusion : this charge will therefore protect the city's air.

Pre-thinking: In the premise it is mentioned that the commercial establishment will reduce the amount of pollution they emit and thus the overall pollution will reduce. Now the assumption behind this could be - 1. Commercial establishment causes significantly high amount of pollution and their reduction will be enough to "protect the city's air".
2. Also, there will be no other alternate way in which the pollution can be increased or caused.



Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?

A. Businesses will reduce the amount of pollution they emit by reducing the number of products they build. [How will they reduce is not the assumption, we are interested in knowing, what makes the author sure that there will definitely be a decrease!]

B. The tax will not significantly affect the commercial health of most businesses, even if their factories do not reduce the amount of pollution they emit.[the commercial health is not in question here - Out of Scope]

C. The tax will not induce businesses to dispose of their greenhouse gas pollution covertly.[Now think, if they covertly dispose off their gases, will the pollution decrease? Nah! it would not! Hence, this is an assumption by the author that the companies will not use any other means to dispose of the gases]

D. The quality of the air is an important issue for most of the city's residents. [We already know that from the presmises - so this is irrelevant]

E. Polluted air could be purified and cleaned of greenhouse gasses through technology installed at company factories at the point of emission.[Out of Scope - We are not interest in knowing how can the air be cleaned]


Correct answer - C
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Re: If the city goes on polluting the air at present rates, air quality an   [#permalink] 19 Sep 2017, 13:38
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