Week Four

‘Climate Change Science in the Age of Trump’

Given the opportunity to deeply analyze an article pertaining to the climate crisis stigma, I chose an article titled, ‘Climate Change Science in the Age of Trump‘ by Jerry Arkins and Jack Bernard, published February 3, 2020. There are many different aspects to thoroughly look though to ensure the credibility of any source. From the author, to sources, and quality, I will analyze several different aspects pertaining to this article.

This article goes in depth to talk about how Trump believes climate change to be sinister ‘fake news’ and further pushing the information onto his followers. It exclaims the climate change research scientist and their research regarding the negative and devastating consequences the it has had upon the planet. The article highlights the negative affects American farmers face everyday and how Trump’s latest proposal is essentially ‘bribing’ farmers to endorse him in exchange for government subsides. It explains the major misinformation and scientific coverups used in order to not conflict with their political aims. The article goes in depth about the inaccuracies stated regarding the climate crisis and Trump’s administration and statements.

Starting with the authors, Jerry Arkins and Jack Bernard, it is important to analyze their credentials and whether or not they are credible sources on the topic. Jerry Arkins is a former Texas A&M University administrator and biological and environmental systems research scientist.  Jack Bernard is a retired healthcare executive and was Georgia’s first Director of Health Planning. While they aren’t specifically experts on the climate crisis or political matters, they offer insights from varying fields that pertain to the topic. Their credentials offer a unique perspective within the article. But credentials alone, I would not completely trust their information.

As for sources, there are many different sites used to vouch for facts upping the articles credibility. Sites include President Donald Trump’s official Twitter, pertaining to his post regarding the climate crisis and his opposition towards it. There is research from the Economic Research Service/USDA concerning the demographics of farmers within the United States. The Government Accounting Office was referenced when speaking about farm subsides and corporate welfare. Along with several mentions of the Pew Research study conducting studies regarding the public’s regard for scientist and their confidence in politicians. Overall, this article references several different reliable sources. By including varying sources the quality of the article increases as well. It showcases the thought and effort put into crafting the document. This makes the article more credible by showcasing specialized research supporting their article.

Furthermore, it is important for an article to be transparent in regards to it being credible. Adding hyperlinks to the information cited would offer the readers an insight to read further about what is discussed in the article. And while using several government website to site information is great use of resources, obtaining statements from those they are referencing (ex. American farmers) could showcase great insight for readers. By looking into these statements and adding them, the article would be no doubt credible, but without, there is opportunity for misinformation to be stated.

Overall, I would rate this article a B. While offering a unique insight from the authors and including several different credible sources, the article failed to address those it often referenced and failed to include hyperlinks to further look into the data cited. For those looking into the climate change science, I would most not recommend this article first. I would offer articles that I believe are entirely well-rounded and credible. Then after I would offer this article once they gain much more insights on the topic.