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Luis Quito
Professor Probst
English Composition 2
November 2016
Credibility
The notion that the world is within reach, that it is at your fingertips, has never been truer
than today. In todays digital world information flows without bound. It enables us to stay
connected and stay informed. There are various methods we can obtain information but having a
prodigious amount of sources has repercussions. Although it may be convenient to adhere the
health tips on social media or to surmise the blogger with no credentials speaking of the
economy, there is a fine line between the facts and what can be a fabricated truth. That is why it
is important to be able to identify what are credible and not so credible sources and information.
The two articles that will be presented are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to
credibility. Combating Global Climate Change is an excerpt from the Stanford Environmental
Law Journal and Why so many economists back Obamas idea of a tax on oil is a news article
from The Washington Post. From evaluating the authors background, the publisher, and the
articles content, it can be concluded that Combating Global Climate Change is a more
credible source on the topic of carbon tax.
The first article, Combating Global Climate Change is written by Reuven S.
Avi-Yonah and David M. Uhlmann. Without doing extensive research their astonishing resume
can be found. Reuven S. Avi-Yonah is a decorated Professor of Law at the University of
Michigan and is the director of International Tax Llm Program at the University. He has also

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served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development on tax competition. A Harvard graduate with multiple degrees,
Reuven S. Avi-Yona is well published, with more than thirty published journals and books. It is
easy to say that Reuven S. Avi-Yona is a tax pundit. Also, the co-author, David M. Uhlmann is
the director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program at the University of Michigan Law
School. David M. Uhlmann is an advocate for criminal and civil enforcement of environmental
laws and climate change. A Yale graduate, David M. Uhlmann served in the U.S. Department of
Justice where he was a top environmental crimes prosecutor for seventeen years. Their combined
outline of experiences in the field of taxes and the environment comprises a thorough and
credible article on the efficacy of carbon tax.
The Washington Post news article, Why so many economists back Obamas idea of a
tax on oil is written by the journalist Chris Mooney. Chris Mooney is a Yale Graduate with a
B.A. in English and has published four books on science and climate change. Outside his Yale
degree, which makes him a great writer, his credentials on climate, taxes, or any related issue are
short. Moreover, his pieces of literature are a product of his interest in the environment and his
own interpretation of all things nature, rather than concrete research and data analysis. Chris
Mooney makes great work in informing the public on the current events that transpire in
government and society that will affect our environment.
An equally important aspect of ensuring a credible and usable source is where the article
is published. Combating Global Climate Change is an excerpt from the Stanford
Environmental Law Journal. Stanford Environmental Law Journal is a peer-reviewed journal
which ensures that any statement or argument made in the article must be supported by facts.

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The journal is only published twice a year and consist of an extensive examination of the
articles content by other professionals in the same field. Stanford Environmental Law Journal is
known for editing articles extensively and being particularly aggressive editors, only accepting a
small number of submitted articles. On the title page, the authors give commendation to the
editors of their article naming seven other experts in the field of taxes and the environment. This
adds assurance that the article has been thoroughly examined making it a more credible source of
information.
With the same assessment to the The Washington Post article on its publisher, it is
evident that article is from a news outlet. This raises the concern of the articles political bias and
monetary purpose. It is well known that many news outlets have an overt political preference, in
this case, a more liberal preference, which raises the question of whether the means of the article
is to inform or spread an agenda. And a very noticeable aspect of the article is when trying to
acquire the article it is flooded with advertisements. From a thirty-second commercial at the
beginning to many advertisements from sponsors that are in every other paragraph break and on
the side of the column. Rather than the main purpose of informing readers The Washington Post
may be in for profit, that is why the article content must be taken with a grain of salt. It goes
without say on how the articles have taken different avenues to inform an audience on the
environmental issues at hand.
Most importantly is the articles content. A good measure of the credibility of an article is
what the article uses as evidence for its argument. In the Stanford Environmental Law Journal
entry, there are more than one hundred and fifty sources that are quoted or referenced to validate
the argument on the effectiveness of carbon tax. For example, when validating the conditions

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required for a successful carbon emissions tax and the effect it can have on the economy the
authors use Robert N. Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, as a
source. Saying, Any carbon mitigation strategy will have economic impacts, and no approach
can eliminate all disproportionate effects. (Uhlmann) Explaining how an extensive carbon tax
plan would be required for sustainability and equal distribution of cost. This, in turn, raises the
articles credibility by verifying their argument with more reliable and accurate sources.
With similar fashion The Washington Post article does not fall to behind, using
statements made by economists and politicians to assess President Obamas desire to have a
massive tax hike on fossil fuels, specifically gasoline, as a measure of reducing emissions. Also
the article makes an argument on how a tax increase would be viewed by the American people,
reflecting public opinion at large much research suggests that gasoline taxes are very
unpopular (Mooney) insisting that a not only should the views of economist be reflected but
also those who will be on the receiving end of the tax increase.
Overall, by evaluating the authors background, the publisher, and the articles content
the Stanford Environmental Law Journal article Combating Global Climate Change can be
signaled a notable credible source. But, although the news article may not be used as strong
evidence it does not need to be ignored, it can be informative and can open a new perspective.
Coming to a conclusion, the journal entry is a good example to follow when acquiring new
information to use in an argument, because you are only as good as the sources you use. There
are many more credible sources that can be found, on a daily basis there is a plethora of new
information rushing in the web, and it is all just a fingertip away.

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Works Cited
Avi-Yonah, Reuven S., and David M. Uhlmann. "Combating Global Climate Change: Why a
Carbon Tax Is a Better Response to Global Warming than Cap and Trade." SSRN
Electronic Journal (n.d.): n. pag. Web. Nov. 2016.
Mooney, Chris. "Why so Many Economists Back Obamas Idea of a Tax on Oil." Washington
Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. Nov. 2016.