Mayor: Our city faces a difficult environmental problem caused by the enormous amount of garbage that we must dispose...

on September 27 at 09:22PM

Why is the answer B?

I am not sure why the answer is B. Could someone please explain? Thank you!

2 Replies

Shunhe on October 2 at 05:05PM

Hi @John,

Thanks for the question! So we’re told here by a mayor that the city faces a difficult environmental problem caused by a bunch of garbage. Recycling could reduce it, but that’d actually be counterproductive to minimizing the overall amount of environmental damage.

Now we’re asked to resolve this inconsistency; this is a resolve the paradox question. And you can see the paradox: normally, we’d think recycling would be good for getting rid of garbage and good for the environment. But here, it’s not for some reason, and we need something to explain why.

Now take a look at (B), which tells us that the great costs of new recycling projects would prevent other pollution-reducing projects from being undertaken. So this is a question of financial efficiency. Sure, we could spend a bunch of money on this recycling project, and it might make the environmental damage go down. But if we want to minimize it, if we want to be the most efficient? We should take all that money and fund a bunch of other pollution-reducing projects, which will have more impact than just the recycling projects. That’s why (B) is correct, it’s a question of opportunity cost if you know some econ.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

on October 22 at 07:41PM

Ok thank you for this explanation!