You work for OneEarth, an environmental consulting company that specializes in building-condition assessments, contaminated-site remediation, and energy audits. Founded by an environmentally concerned citizen in 2010, OneEarth has emerged as the highest-quality and most comprehensive environmental services company in the northern region of the United States.
Recently, ardent local representative Sy Bill Wright contacted OneEarth for assistance evaluating the validity of arguments related to fracking. He agreed to meet with any interest or advocacy groups that wanted to discuss their positions to ensure that he was well-informed about the controversial topic. Now, he needs OneEarth’s help examining the arguments and the evidence they provided to ensure that he makes a sound decision. He believes that OneEarth, a highly-respected environmental firm with strong connections to the local community, could provide critical insights to his evaluation of the advocacy groups’ evidence. Aware of your previous work advising on fossil fuel management, your manager Claire DeAir has asked you to serve as a liaison to representative Wright.
Representative Wright has provided you with all of the information he received from the advocacy or interest groups that he entertained the previous week. This information in available in his email in the Supporting Materials section. In your position paper (750–1,250 words), you will evaluate the arguments of each group, specifically examining their conclusions, premises, assumptions, and evidence. Using your analysis, representative Wright will be able to determine how to take the soundest position on the controversial topic. In your paper, include the following components:
A discussion of the common conceptions and misconceptions about the topic
What is the topic? What are the common conceptions and misconceptions about this topic?
- What is the context of the topic?
- Why is the topic a significant issue?
- What was your own opinion as a consultant prior to conducting research?
- What is the topic? What are the common conceptions and misconceptions about this topic?
An identification and description the components of the argument
- What is the main point or conclusion about the topic?
What are the main arguments and subarguments about the topic?
- What are the premises (reasons for thinking the conclusion is true)? Are there any missing premises?
- What are the assumptions and biases?
A recognition and evaluation of the deductive and inductive arguments
If the argument is deductive (providing premises that guarantee their conclusions):
Is the argument valid? (Are the premises and the conclusions true?)
- What types of formal and/or informal logical fallacies are used?
- Is the argument sound?
- Is the argument valid? (Are the premises and the conclusions true?)
If the argument is inductive (aiming to provide premises that make the conclusion more probable):
Is the argument strong (more probable conclusion in light of premises) or weak (less probable conclusion in light of the premises)?
- What type of argument is used (analogical or causal?)
Is the argument defeasible? (Can more information defeat the verdict that the conclusion is well-supported by the premises?)
- What types of statistical fallacies are used?
- Is the argument strong (more probable conclusion in light of premises) or weak (less probable conclusion in light of the premises)?
- If the argument is deductive (providing premises that guarantee their conclusions):
Refer to the Supporting Materials section to explore how to write effectively.
What to Submit
Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:
Position Paper (750–1,250 words)Your manager, Claire DeAir, has asked you to serve as a liaison to representative Wright. You will develop a position paper that evaluates advocacy groups’ arguments about the topic. Using your analysis, representative Wright will be able to determine how to take the soundest position on the controversial topic.
Part of my project is done just need some help on the following. Attached is the paper I’ll leave some feedback from the profesor.
Distinguishes between inductive and deductive arguments
Although many of the project resources contain a lot of information, whether for fracking or against it, only two of the resources present formal(ish) attempts at making arguments: “Hydraulic Fracturing: Critical for Energy Production [etc.]” by Nicolas Loris and the article by Gina M. Angiola–contain clear attempts at making arguments. Of those two articles, one’s argument is primarily inductive and the other’s is primarily deductive. Please identify which argument is which type. This is a rather tricky decision to make because each of the articles uses some of each type of reasoning. But one of them uses mostly deductive while the other uses mostly inductive reasoning.
You’ll find much more information about deductive and inductive arguments in the feedback for the next two rubric areas. As you master those areas, you’ll also be mastering this one.
Also, please know that Angiola uses several sources—including a summary of several hundred peer-reviewed articles—to support her position, but the hyperlinks have recently disappeared. We who grade projects for this course are currently trying to determine what to do about this situation.
One more thing: please read Loris’s article very carefully to see the logical fallacies he employs. I use the word “employs” because Loris uses so many fallacies, so skillfully, that we can infer he is using them intentionally to cover the shortcomings in his argument. But as you re-read Loris’s article, ask yourself every time he makes a claim, “Okay, does this claim truly address the issue? Or is this claim kind of about the issue but really doesn’t settle it?”
For example, Loris claims that it isn’t the fracking process that can cause earthquakes, but rather the storage wells used in fracking that can cause earthquakes. Therefore, he asserts, the claim that fracking causes earthquakes is a myth. Well, Loris there is using a logical fallacy called Logic Chopping or Splitting Hairs. The storage wells for fracking wouldn’t exist–and therefore couldn’t cause earthquakes–if not for the existence of the fracking process. So saying that “fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes, fracking storage wells cause earthquakes” is rather like saying, “I’m not allergic to my cat, I’m allergic to my cat’s fur.”
I urge you to look closely for logical fallacies including Red Herring, Begging the Question, Poisoning the Well, and Reductio ad Absurdem (a rhetorical technique that doesn’t have to be used fallaciously, but is in this case). Once you’ve spotted the first one or two instances of Loris’s fallacies, you’ll probably find it easier to spot and identify the others.
Here are two lists of resources. The first list discusses the components of argument and of the two types of logic (deduction and induction). The second list discusses common logical fallacies, which can occur in both types of argument.
Components of argument and logic:
- Critical Inquiry: The Process of Argument, chapter 2 http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=421115&site=eds-live&scope=site&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover
- Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, sections 4.2 and 4.3 https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/introduction-to-logic-and-critical-thinking
CT Logical Reasoning, Chapter 2: Deductive Reasoning https://lms.nimblywise.com/courses/course-v1:Southern-New-Hampshire-University+Comp-Master+2019/block-v1:
CT Logical Reasoning, Chapter 3: Inductive Reasoning https://lms.nimblywise.com/courses/course-v1:Southern-New-Hampshire-University+Comp-Master+2019/block-v1:
- Video, Fundamentals: Deductive Arguments https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/wiphi-critical-thinking/wiphi-fundamentals/v/intro-to-critical-thinking-deductive-arguments
- Video, Fundamentals: Validity https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/wiphi-critical-thinking/wiphi-fundamentals/v/intro-to-critical-thinking-deductive-arguments
- “Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies.” Near the top of the page, hover your pointer over each of the twenty-four symbols, for an explanation and example of each fallacy: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/
- “15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know…” https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/
- “Statistical Fallacies and How to Avoid Them.” https://www.geckoboard.com/best-practice/statistical-fallacies/
- Video, Formal and Informal Fallacies https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/wiphi-critical-thinking/wiphi-fallacies/v/formal-informal-fallacy
Evaluates the validity and soundness of the deductive argument based on an examination of the premises, conclusions, and fallacies
Since your paper has not yet covered Loris’ argument, I will hold off on this rubric in case, after covering it, you change your mind about Angiola’s argument and decide that Loris’ argument is the deductive one.
For the deductive argument (Loris or Angiola), you should analyze it for the following:
- Is it valid (if the premises are true, the conclusion will be true)? Why or why not?
- Is it sound (valid plus all of the premises are true)? Why or why not?
- Does it use any logical fallacies? It would be helpful to identify at least one by name and explain it.
The following Learning Resources focus on analyzing deductive arguments (the ones marked with an asterisk focus on fallacies):
Evaluating Deductive Arguments
- Interactive: Khan Academy: Fundamentals: Truth and Validity
- Reading: Introduction to Logical and Critical Thinking, Section 1.7
- Interactive: Khan Academy: Fundamentals: Soundness
- Reading: Critical Inquiry: The Process of Argument, Chapter 2 (p. 37-59) *
- Reading: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, Sections 4.1.1-4.1.3
- Video: Fallacies: Equivocation *
- Reading: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, Section 4.2
- Reading: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, Sections 4.3-4.3.2
- Video: Khan Academy: Fallacies: Affirming the Consequent; Fallacies: Denying the Antecedent; Fallacies: Appeal to the People; Fallacies: Red Herring *
In addition, these resources on fallacies can also be helpful:
Assesses the strength or weakness of an inductive argument based on an examination of the type (analogical or causal), premises, fallacies, and conclusions
For the inductive argument (Loris or Angiola), you should analyze it for the following:
- If it is strong or weak (depending on how likely the conclusion is to be true if the premises are true)
- If it is causal or analogical (depending on whether it works by claiming one thing causes another or by drawing an analogy or comparison between two things)
- If it is defeasible (depending on whether new information can be added to it that would make the conclusion false or “defeat” it)
- If it uses any logical or statistical fallacies (it would be helpful to identify at least one by name)
The following Learning Resources are related to analyzing inductive arguments:
Analyzing Inductive Arguments
- Reading: Fundamentals of Logic, Chapter 5, Section I (beginning on p. 152)
- Reading: Introduction to Logical and Critical Thinking, Sections 3.1-3.3
- Reading: Fundamental Methods of Logic, Chapter 6, Section V (beginning on p. 218)
- Reading: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, Sections 3.8 and 3.10
- Resource: Extending Evaluation, Chapter 3: Statistics: both videos
Scenario You work for OneEarth, an environmental consulting company that specializes in building-condition assessments, contaminated-site remediation, and energy audits. Founded by an environmentally
Environmental Impact of Fracking Name Date Environmental Impact of Fracking Conceptions and Misconceptions One of the most widely held beliefs about fracking is that it is a relatively safe and influential oil and gas extraction. This notion stems partly from the fact that fracking has been employed in the United States for decades. This is not to say that fracking has no environmental concerns. Moreover, the process poses significant ecological dangers, including water contamination, air pollution, and methane emission, a potent greenhouse gas, into the sky. Another common misconception regarding fracking is that it is a renewable energy source. While fracking does not emit as many emissions as other fossil fuels, it has been related to several environmental issues (Dorkshin, 2021). They include using enormous volumes of water, the risk of water contamination, and releasing methane into the atmosphere. As a result, it is not regarded as a renewable energy source. Fracking is extracting oil and natural gas from subsurface rock formations by fracturing them with pressurized water, sand, and chemicals. It is a relatively inexpensive and efficient means to extract oil and natural gas and has become more popular in the United States (Dorkshin, 2021). Fracking is a hotly debated topic, with proponents extolling its potential benefits and detractors emphasizing its risks. On the one hand, enhanced energy independence and economic benefits for local communities are possible (Meng, 2022). Fracking, on the other hand, has significant environmental dangers, including water contamination, air pollution, and the release of methane into the sky. Because of the possible threats to the environment and public health, fracking is a significant concern. Fracking involves using massive amounts of water and harmful chemicals, which can contaminate water. There is also the possibility of air pollution due to the chemicals used in fracking being discharged into the atmosphere (Black et al., 2021). As a result of fracking, methane, a vital greenhouse gas, can be released into the sky. Because of these environmental hazards, there has been strong opposition to fracking, with numerous local and state governments introducing legislation to regulate or prohibit the process. Furthermore, various ecological and public health organizations have spoken out against fracking, given the possible hazards. Before undertaking the study, my consulting view was that fracking has the potential to be a beneficial source of energy, but it must be done responsibly. While fracking can efficiently extract oil and natural gas and benefit local communities economically, it also poses substantial environmental dangers. As a result, it is critical to guarantee that any fracking activities are carried out responsibly and continuously monitored to ensure that they do not affect the environment or public health. Identification and Description The central point or conclusion about the environmental implications of fracking is that it is a complex topic with numerous advantages and disadvantages. Arguments and sub-arguments on both sides, and no single point of view is correct or incorrect. The primary justifications and sub-arguments in favor of fracking are that it can provide an affordable, reliable energy source, create community jobs, and provide government cash (Black et al., 2021). Fracking supporters also say it can lessen reliance on foreign energy sources while reducing air and water pollution. The primary arguments and sub-arguments against fracking are that it can pollute ground and surface water, discharge poisons into the environment, create seismic activity, and increase light, noise, and traffic pollution. Fracking opponents also claim that it can harm human and animal health. The grounds for thinking about the environmental effects of fracking are based on scientific evidence, such as research papers and environmental agency reports. The evidence on both sides of the issue is highly circumstantial and open to interpretation. The assumptions and biases about the environmental effects of fracking are heavily influenced by who is making the argument. Opponents of fracking are likely to believe that any environmental impact will be negative, while proponents may assume that environmental damage will be manageable or minor (Meng, 2022). Political or economic biases may also impact both sides of the debate. Recognition and Evaluation The arguments made on the topic of fracking’s environmental implications are primarily logical. The conclusion of a deductive argument is logically deduced from a collection of premises. In the case of fracking, the premises are scientific proof of the process’s potential hazards and advantages. The conclusion is that fracking is a complex problem with advantages and disadvantages. A sound argument is one in which all premises are true, and the decision follows logically from them. The assumptions—the facts from environmental agencies—are accurate in fracking, and the conclusion that fracking is a complex topic with pros and disadvantages follows logically from them. As a result, the reasoning is sound. The argument makes no use of formal logical fallacies, flaws in reasoning that may be found by evaluating an argument’s structure. It does, however, use informal logical fallacies, which are reasoning flaws that cannot be seen by examining the form of an idea. The argument, for example, assumes that any environmental impact of fracking is either positive or negative without addressing the possibility that the effect is neutral. This is an example of the false dilemma fallacy, in which two options are presented as the only potential outcomes. The notion that the environmental effects of fracking are a complex subject with both advantages and disadvantages is valid and sound. It is founded on sound principles and proceeds logically to its conclusion. While the argument contains certain informal logical flaws, it is helpful and generally good. References Black, K. J., Boslett, A. J., Hill, E. L., Ma, L., & McCoy, S. J. (2021). Economic, environmental, and health impacts of the fracking boom. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 13, 311-334. Dokshin, F. A. (2021). Variation of public discourse about the impacts of fracking with geographic scale and proximity to proposed development. Nature Energy, 6(10), 961-969. Meng, Q. (2022). The Impacts of Fracking on Climate Change. In Handbook of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (pp. 3225-3236). Cham: Springer International Publishing.