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# Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap

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Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 15 Oct 2018, 04:26
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

66% (01:50) correct 34% (02:06) wrong based on 1174 sessions

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Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escape of heat into space. So emission of these “greenhouse” gases contributes to global warming. In order to reduce global warming, emission of greenhouse gases needs to be reduced. Therefore, the methane now emitted from open landfills should instead be burned to produce electricity.

Objection: The burning of methane generates carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

Which of the following, if true, most adequately counters the objection made to the proposal?

(A) Every time a human being or other mammal exhales, there is some carbon dioxide released into the air.

(B) The conversion of methane to electricity would occur at a considerable distance from the landfills.

(C) The methane that is used to generate electricity would generally be used as a substitute for a fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned.

(D) Methane in the atmosphere is more effective in blocking the escape of heat from the Earth than is carbon dioxide.

(E) The amount of methane emitted from the landfills could be reduced if the materials whose decomposition produces methane were not discarded, but recycled.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 9: Critical Reasoning

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Originally posted by bkk145 on 08 Oct 2007, 10:26.
Last edited by Bunuel on 15 Oct 2018, 04:26, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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11 May 2017, 08:58
9
1
The conclusion of the initial proposal is that "the methane now emitted from open landfills should instead be burned to produce electricity." In other words, the methane from landfills should be burned to produce electricity, preventing the methane from entering the atmosphere. Why do this? Because methane in the atmosphere blocks the escape of heat and contributes to global warming. If we want to reduce global warming, we should reduce the amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere. Burning the methane from landfills would accomplish this goal, according to the proposal.

This proposal is then met with an objection. The person making the objection does not dispute that burning methane from landfills would reduce emission of methane into the atmosphere. However, because burning methane generates carbon dioxide (another greenhouse gas), reducing methane emissions in this way would increase emissions of another greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide). In other words, the proposed method of reducing emissions of one greenhouse gas (methane) would simply increase the emissions of another (carbon dioxide). Now we need to select a statement that, if true, would counter this objection:
Quote:
A. Every time a human being or other mammal exhales, there is some carbon dioxide released into the air.

The proposal in the passage -- and the objection to that proposal -- are related to the burning of methane emitted from open landfills. But the proposal and the objection have nothing to do with the amount of carbon dioxide released by humans and other mammals when they exhale. This statement does not counter the objection in the passage, so (A) can be eliminated.
Quote:
B. The conversion of methane to electricity would occur at a considerable distance from the landfills.

Regardless of where the methane is burned to produce electricity, the conversion process would still presumably generate carbon dioxide emissions that would enter the atmosphere. Thus, the distance from the landfills does not counter the objection, and choice (B) can be eliminated.
Quote:
C. The methane that is used to generate electricity would generally be used as a substitute for a fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned.

Remember, the objection is that "the burning of methane generates carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere." If anything, choice (C) strengthens the objection. The burning of methane will generate another greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) that contributes to global warming, AND this methane will be used as a substitute to replace a fuel that does NOT produce any greenhouse gases and thus does NOT contribute to global warming. Thus, this statement presents another drawback of burning methane to produce electricity, and choice (C) can be eliminated.
Quote:
D. Methane in the atmosphere is more effective in blocking the escape of heat from the Earth than is carbon dioxide.

The objection is that the proposed method of reducing emissions of one greenhouse gas (methane) would increase the emissions of another greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide). However, choice (D) tells us that methane is MORE effective in blocking the escape of heat than is carbon dioxide. If we are trying to reduce global warming, we would certainly rather have carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than methane, since carbon dioxide traps less heat and thus contributes less to global warming than methane does. The objection implies that burning the methane will NOT reduce global warming because it will simply replace one greenhouse gas with another. However, choice (D) effectively counters this objection by stating that having carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is better than having methane in the atmosphere, if we want to reduce global warming. Choice (D) looks good.
Quote:
E. The amount of methane emitted from the landfills could be reduced if the materials whose decomposition produces methane were not discarded, but recycled.

Regardless of the amount of methane emitted from open landfills, the proposal is that this methane should be burned instead of being allowed to enter the atmosphere, and the objection is that burning the methane will create another greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide). Reducing the amount of methane would not impact either argument, so choice (E) can be eliminated, and (D) is our answer.
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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 06:09
8
3

There is only one way to break the weaken questions. "work on the reasoning" that's it. I really want to give you points for your efforts but i want you to work on your approach. repeat it question by question. Something is reasoning when on the basis of facts you come to a conclusion. Something wrong in that reasoning. you need to make your mind or rather say read the reasoning of the GMAT guy, who made that question. what he/she was thinking. Remember in real life probably all of these options can be the solution, but in GMAT something specific is. Just execute your plan. For this specific case your plan should be

1. find the author's reasoning. ----- conclusion backed with evidence. and now think why it is wrong.
2. You must pre-phrase your answer. with out that you will loose a lot of time.
3. Repeat the plan in every question.

What to do here ?
1. what question want to ask -> counters the objection made to the proposal.
2. What is the basis of that objection ? The burning of methane generates carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. ---- objection says that this is not good. as co2 will be released when CH4 will be burned.
3. Now pre-phrase - ask urself, before looking any choice, why this objection is baseless. Here is how I pre-prased my answer.

Pre-thinking:
1. burning 1 ch4 produce only half amount of co2.
2. Some how it is not a good idea to release ch4 when compared to CO2.

Why pre-thinking is important here?
1. once you start reading an option, you start thinking about it and sometime you fall into the traps created by GMAT Gurus.
2. pre-prasing put you in right direction. you just want to find an option or something in that direction. This way you will read faster.

Why C is wrong?
So you are saying that CH4 should be used in place of a fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned. so you will use CH4 in place which will burn and produce CO2. How this is a good solution. basically you are saying in a different way what Objection guy is saying.

Crux: Substitute methane for electricity with methane for fuel -> Fewer greenhouse gases and hence less temp will rise. ---> How you came to this crux ? why you think Fewer greenhouse gases will be released. moreover fewer then what ? all we know is that when CH4 will be burned, CO2 will be produced. May be more amount of CO2 will be produced.

Summary:
Improvements you should make.
1. Have a plan for every type of question and no matter how easy question is, Just execute your plan.
2. Just look at the reasoning in the statement. This will define the scope for you. Do not go beyond it.
4. Make your notes. follow them and only follow them for every question. If still you cant make it then find what was wrong, your notes or your approach.

Tag me in any post where you can't pre-think or can't execute your plan. I will definitly try to help you.

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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2008, 12:48
2
2
x97agarwal wrote:
Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escape of heat into space. So emission of these “greenhouse” gases contributes to global warming. In order to reduce global warming, emission of greenhouse gases needs to be reduced. Therefore, the methane now emitted from open landfills should instead be burned to produce electricity.
Objection: The burning of methane generates carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

Which of the following, if true, most adequately counters the objection made to the proposal?

A. Every time a human being or other mammal exhales, there is some carbon dioxide released into the air. -> irrelevant
B. The conversion of methane to electricity would occur at a considerable distance from the landfills. -> irelevant
C. The methane that is used to generate electricity would generally be used as a substitute for a fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned. -> this strengthens the objection saying methane should not be burnt
D. Methane in the atmosphere is more effective in blocking the escape of heat from the Earth than is carbon dioxide. -> this counters most effectively saying that CO2 is less effective than methane in releasing greenhouse gases
E. The amount of methane emitted from the landfills could be reduced if the materials whose decomposition produces methane were not discarded, but recycled. -> irrelevant

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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 03:53

Please validate my reasoning for (C)
Quote:
Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escape of heat into space. So emission of these “greenhouse” gases contributes to global warming. In order to reduce global warming, emission of greenhouse gases needs to be reduced. Therefore, the methane now emitted from open landfills should instead be burned to produce electricity.

Conclusion: M to be burned instead of simply releasing it into atmosphere
since
this gas along with Co2 (Carbon dioxide) causes the temperature to rise

Imagine above to be Person A's claim:

Claim: The burning of methane generates carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

Person B objects: No, burning M will cause more CO2 and hence more temperature will rise.

Quote:
Which of the following, if true, most adequately counters the objection made to the proposal?

I need to weaken B's claim:

Quote:
C. The methane that is used to generate electricity would generally be used as a substitute for a fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned.

Here is how I broke it:
The methane
that is used to generate electricity would generally be used as a substitute for a fuel
that does not produce any greenhouse gases when burned.

So basically in more common usage, methane that was used to generate electricity in now
used as a fuel. The characteristics of this fuel is that: it does not generate any gases that lead to global warming.

Crux: Substitute methane for electricity with methane for fuel -> Fewer greenhouse gases and hence less temp will rise.

OR

Could I have taken help of SC for grammar tense of would (if unsure) from is used, and when burned

Since now it implies:

Currently, the methane that is used to generate electricity WOULD BE USED (in past tense; to align parallelism with past tense:
burned)

So in past, we were using fuels that DID NOT generate GH gases , but now we are using substituting fuel with methane which
causes global warming and hence this is opposite answer.
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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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22 May 2019, 03:51
Can anyone please let explain why option "c " is wrong....

If burning of meyhane doesn't produce any green house gas than objection that methane not to be burn get weaken ....

So y not "c " is correct ...

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap  [#permalink]

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01 Jun 2019, 03:09
rakeshtewatia0105 wrote:
Can anyone please let explain why option "c " is wrong....

If burning of meyhane doesn't produce any green house gas than objection that methane not to be burn get weaken ....

So y not "c " is correct ...

Posted from my mobile device

There is an explanation for why (C) is incorrect in this post, take a look and let us know if you have any other questions!
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Re: Proposal: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere block the escap   [#permalink] 01 Jun 2019, 03:09
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