SURVIVOR SERIES: SURVIVING THE CLIMATE DEBATE
One of the biggest controversies in the world today is climate change. For most people it’s one of the biggest factors when looking at political candidates. How can we get reliable information to from our own background on the subject? Frankly this is not a matter of opinion, but fact. I’m here today to help you find credible sources to do your own research to be able to form your own background on this prominent issue.
How to identify a credible source
Research articles are often the best source of information. They are unbiased first hand work done by researchers.
What does a credible research paper look like?
Look for these components….
- An abstract. This should be the first thing you see on a research paper. This gives you a summary of the entire research paper (which is really nice to be given first).
- Methods (how they conducted the research)
Where do I find research papers?
Google Scholar is an amazing source. As students here at SUNY Oswego we may take for granted our access to credible sources because of what the school provides us through the library. Most accredited journals have to be payed for to access. However, Google Scholar gives open-access journals that can be trusted. Simply search scholar on Google and it will bring you to another search engine. Can’t get much easier than that!
Not into the science wording of a journal article… there are still ways to get sources.
Key aspects to look for in any article:
- If you find an article with no author, be a little suspicious. A person should be willing to associate their name with their work.
- Look at their credentials. Does this person have experience/education on this subject?
- Google them! If some fishy things come up like commercial brands which they may be affiliated with, it could be possible that the information they give may be biased towards what these companies are trying to sell.
- Yes good sources also need sources. If an article is giving you all these facts and statistics that could not have possibly come off the top of their heads, where did they get this information? Credit needs to be given. At the end of an article there should be a list of references the author used to retrieve the information given. Yes this means that even Wikipedia can be a reliable source. If they provide the sources in which you can access yourself to check the information, it’s credible.
- Who is publishing the site is important. For example, if I am looking to switch to a vegan diet, do you think that I should look at an article that is on a website funded by The National Dairy Council?
- .edu/.org/.com/.gov. These all have different meanings and intentions, and should be noted by the reader.
Useful Sites for Climate Change information:
The Royal Society
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Now that I’ve acquired some information of my own… How do I approach this giant debate?
We all know that everyone has different ways of approaching controversial topics. Just remember that everyone has different perspectives and levels of knowledge. Be open to listen to other people’s ideas and share your own in a respectful way.
Researched and Written by Peer Educator, Amanda George