QUESTION TEXT: Scientists hoping to understand and eventually reverse…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: It was wrong to use a spacecraft to try and fix the ozone layer.
REASONING: The spacecraft did as much damage to the ozone layer as would a year’s pollution from an average factory. And it is wrong for a factory to damage the ozone layer.
ANALYSIS: This is a bad argument. The use of the spacecraft might be justifiable because it helped complete crucial experiments to help fix the ozone layer. A factory does nothing to help the ozone layer.
- CORRECT. The spacecraft will help the ozone layer in the long run. The factory just hurts it more in the long run.
- The environmentalists did not generalize. They just said that this particular use of a spacecraft was wrong. They didn’t say that all space missions or all experiments were wrong.
- This is an important distinction but it isn’t relevant here. The environmentalists didn’t mention reversing harm. They only claimed that spacecraft trips increase harm.
- Actually the two quantities are directly comparable: the experiments did as much damage as one year of factory emissions.
- The environmentalists only thought that these particular experiments did harm. They weren’t generalizing.
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