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Critical Reasoning: Inference Questions

A prominent statesman in Country X has recently claimed that the increased amount of recycling indicates that Country X's natural resources are no longer diminishing and that the amount of waste is no longer increasing. This specious argument is as illogical as it would be to assert that the ever increasing rate at which rain forests are being cut down demonstrates a lack of danger to that resource. The real cause of the increased amount of recycling is an increase in overall consumption, including that of recyclable materials such as paper and plastic.     

The above argument, if true, best supports which of the following as a conclusion?



None of the premises describe the intentions of the statesman, so accepting this answer choice as the argument's conclusion requires further assumptions (for example, that the statesman would benefit somehow from his claim).

Remember that the correct answer to an Inference question must take only a small step beyond what is stated in the argument.



Premise A tells us what the statesman claimed; Premise B tells us what was said was illogical. Therefore, combining the premises would not yield a conclusion which agrees with the statesman, as this answer choice does.



Premises A and B report what the statesman said and contradict it. Premise C indicates the consumption has risen, which means natural resources diminish and more waste is produced.



Premise C tells us that greater consumption is the reason for increased recycling, not the other way around, so there is no basis for concluding the opposite.



This answer choice attempts to connect two concepts that were mentioned in different parts of the argument: waste and rain forests. However, rain forests were only mentioned by the argument's author as an analogy meant to illustrate the fallacy of the statesman's claim.

The premises do not imply a direct relation between waste and rain forests.

The statesman's claim is a deliberate fallacy intended to promote his political interests.  
Country X recycles 100% of the waste generated by its population and industries.
Country X's natural resources continue to diminish and the amount of waste continues to grow. 
Recycling is the reason for the increasing consumption of recyclable materials in Country X. 
The more waste Country X's population and industry generate, the more rain forests need to be cut down.