Environment minister: Because of our concern about global warming, this country has committed itself to reducing its ...

Meghan on September 16, 2019

Answer Explanation

Can someone please explain why answer choice C is correct and why answer choice E is incorrect?

1 Reply

Irina on September 16, 2019


The minister tells us that the country has made a commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions substantially over the next ten years. The trees absorb carbon dioxide, hence planting large numbers of trees will help us fulfill this commitment.

The question requires us to identify a statement that would undermine/ weaken the argument.

Answer choice C tells us that the process of planting trees results in releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere by rotting organic matter than the new trees will absorb in ten years, meaning there is actually a net increase in CO2 rather than a reduction.

CO2 released by rotting organic matter > CO2 absorbed by the trees over the next decade.

Since the country has committed itself to reducing its CO2 emissions, any action that results in net increase in emissions is unlikely to help them fulfill this commitment as the minister argues.

Answer choice E is incorrect because it has no impact on the validity of the argument. The country has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions, not any other gases. It is tempting to assume because of "concern about global warming," the country might have made other commitments, but nothing in the passage indicates that. It is important not to make any unwarranted inferences on the test. Since the argument is only about CO2 emissions, the fact that the trees fail to absorb any other gases is irrelevant.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.