QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: The environmentalists’ proposal is that we should replace gasoline with methanol.
REASONING: Gasoline produces benzene when burned and methanol does not. (But methanol also produces formaldehyde)
ANALYSIS: To strengthen the argument we should either show that benzene is dangerous or that formaldehyde is fairly safe.
- So? Diesel is irrelevant. We’re trying to decide if gasoline should be replaced with methanol.
- This weakens the environmentalists’ proposal slightly. Gasoline in the future might not need to be replaced.
- So? Methanol is also automobile fuel. Maybe those regions could produce that instead.
- CORRECT. The main drawback of the environmentalists’ proposal is that methanol produces formaldehyde. But if formaldehyde is less dangerous than benzene then perhaps methanol is safer than gasoline.
- This weakens the environmentalists’ argument that we should use methanol.
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