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The following appeared in a letter to the editor of the Clearview

newspaper.

1. "In the next mayoral election, residents of Clearview should vote


for Ann Green, who is a member of the Good Earth Coalition,
rather than for Frank Braun, a member of the Clearview town
council, because the current members are not protecting our
environment. For example, during the past year the number of
factories in Clearview has doubled, air pollution levels have
increased, and the local hospital has treated 25 percent more
patients with respiratory illnesses. If we elect Ann Green, the
environmental problems in Clearview will certainly be solved."

The author of this letter propose that Ann Green


should be voted, rather than Frank Braun, as the
next mayor of Clearview, because she will help
solve pollution problems in Clearview as a member
of Good Earth Coalition. This recommendation for
Ann Green depends on the assumption that as a
member of the Good Earth Coalition, she will take
care of the environmental problems. To justify that
poor environmental conditions is attributable to
Braun’s inability to solve those problems, tThe letter
also cites the evidence supporting the poor
environmental conditions of Clearview, including
twice as many more factories built in Clearview,
increased air pollution, and the uprising percentage
of hospital patients with respiratory illnesses being
treated. A closer scrutiny on the assumption and
evidence of this letter suggest a lack of credibility.

First of all, this argument assumes that Ann Green's


membership in the Good Earth Coalition renders
her the most qualified person to help improve the
poor environmental conditions. No evidence has
been provided on how Ann Green typifies a
responsible member of Good Earth Coalition, for
example, her previous role and contribution in
tackling pollution. Without such evidence, it is likely
that another member of Good Earth Coalition, other
environmentalist, or even Frank Braun, are equally
qualified as a potential leader to help reduce
pollution in Clearview. Similarly, the mere fact the
Frank Braun is a member of the Clearview town
council does not indicate that he is not aware of
pollution in Clearview and will not take action to
protect the environment if he is elected as a mayor.

Second, the argument is questionable in the sense


that Ann Green will be the sole effort to solve
pollution problems. After all, the effectiveness of
environmental protection programs depends not
only on the effort mayor, but also the collective
force of the whole community in terms of factors
likes the resident's awareness to the severity of
pollution, and the compliance of factories to reduce
emission of pollutants. Therefore, it is doubtful
whether Ann Green, as the future mayor, will
sufficiently guarantee that pollution problems be
solved.

Third, the author falsely infers casual relationships


between increased number of factories in
Clearview, hightened air pollution rate, and the 25-
percent increase in the number of patients with
respiratory illnesses treated by local hospital that
the worsening environmental situation is
accountable to the city-council’s decision. The city
council might have taken considerable measures to
oppose establishment of factory or emission of
pollutants; but lacks the compliance of factory
owners and automobiles drivers to allow
improvements in environmental condition. Without
clear information on how the council has viewed
and issued any protective measures, one cannot
conclude that the council has been indifferent or
incapable to protect the environment. Nor The mere
fact that the increased respiratory illnesses cases
that has been treated in local hospitals indicate the
worsening of environmental conditions. is
discovered together with air pollution and
establishment of local factories during last year
does not indicate cause-and-effect among them.
Other factors, like the awareness of the
consequences of respiratory illnesses among local
residents and the efficiency of medical services in
local hospital, will as likely contribute to the
increase in the number of local respiratory illnesses
cases being treated. Thus, I remain unconvinced
about the actual severity of environmental problems
in Clearview.

As a conclusion, the argument is not sufficiently


supported by sound assumptions and clear
evidence. Clearview's resident needs further
evidence on the Ann Green's past contribution on
solving environmental problems, information of
other mayor candidates who is potential qualifies to
lead environmental protection, and also clearer
studies on the severity of pollution and the major
cause of pollution-related health problems among
Clearview residents.