LSAT 53 – Section 3 – Question 21

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT53 S3 Q21
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Harder 145.896 +SubsectionMedium

We’ve got an MSS question here which we can identify from the question stem: The statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following?

Our author starts with a sentence that is way too long: they tell us that a certain group of people (who are opposed to a proposed waste storage site based on extremely implausible scenarios in which the proposed site fails to contain waste) are overlooking the massive risks that would arise from waiting to move the waste from its current site.

You might notice that I put some of that information in parentheses. This is a tool that writers use in normal writing to make sentences more easily digestible and understandable. We separate bits of modifying information and context away from the core sentence so that readers can better understand the meaning of the text. The LSAT doesn’t do that here because the goal is to confuse you. Nonetheless, the information that I’ve offset with parentheses is an extremely long phrase that is modifying the word “people.” We have a set of people who object to a new waste storage site based on an implausible scenario in which the site fails to contain the waste. What these people fail to realize is that there’s a risk to just leaving this waste where it is.

In the next sentence we’re told that if we wait to move the waste until we find the perfect site, it’s going to stay where it is for the foreseeable future because it’s impossible to guarantee that there’s a site that meets all the necessary criterion. The author then explains that leaving the waste where it is “for that long” creates “unacceptable risks.”

It’s easy to get lost in the big picture of this stimulus, but if we break it down into bite sized chunks, it’s much more manageable. We’ve worked through the stimulus methodically, so hopefully we all have a good grasp of the information as we move into the answer choices:

Answer Choice (A) We don’t have any information about where the waste should have been stored in the past. We only have information about the relative risks of keeping the waste in its current location at this moment in time.

Answer Choice (B) This runs contrary to what our stimulus tells us in the second sentence. We’re told that it’s unclear that we’ll find a site that matches all of our criteria for an ideal site. The stimulus is arguing that we need to commit to the current proposal immediately instead of waiting to find the best possible option.

Correct Answer Choice (C) The author has argued that the current proposal is much better than nothing and has claimed that there are substantial risks that stem from leaving the waste in its current location. Our stimulus supports the notion that there is greater risk presented by the current site than by the proposed new site, so this answer choice is supported.

Answer Choice (D) This is too broad. We know that in this specific case time is of the essence because there are risks associated with waiting to find a better site. We don’t have any information to support the idea that this is a broad principle that should be applied every time people are locating alternative waste sites. What if the waste is in a relatively good location with moderate risk and all the alternatives present much higher risks? That would be a hypothetical in which it would be advantageous to wait until we find a better site.

Answer Choice (E) Again, this is too broad. The stimulus clearly argues for one specific site. We don’t have anything that supports the idea that any site is better than the current site.

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