Though Earth's human population is increasing, it currently uses only a relatively small fraction of the supply of fr...

Jaimee on October 19, 2018

Can you please explain?

Can someone explain by B is the right answer, and not D?

3 Replies

Jacob on October 27, 2018

As always, let’s focus on the question stem. We are looking for an answer that weakens the argument if it is accepted as true.

The argument is structured as follows.

Premise: Though earth’s population is increasing, we use a fraction of fresh water.

Conclusion: Claims that water shortages will plague humankind unless population growth changes are mistaken.

B is correct because it adds a variable: the location of fresh water. Therefore, even if the human population overall only uses a fraction of available fresh water, certain locations (and certain populations at those locations) may be using a much larger fraction of the available fresh water. And therefore the claim that water shortages will plague humankind may be true in those locations.

D is incorrect because even if is true that if population increases, all resources will be outstripped, that truth doesn’t weaken the argument that water shortages will plague humankind. If anything, it strengthens it!

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.

on October 10, 2019

If it is true that population growth will outstrip resources(water is a resource), then it would support the claim being argued against. And if true means it's a fact would that not mean the claim is accurate and the argument is wrong?

Shunhe on December 27, 2019

Hi @chris_va,

The problem with (D) is the time frames involved. (D) talks about the "eventual" outstripping of resources, whereas the stimulus is concerned with the "near future." Hope this helps clear things up.