Climate Change National Forum Now Expanding Dialogue and Negotiating with Partners, Sponsors to Educate Millions Before COP21

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CCNF exists to inform and educate Americans on the science of climate change and host an ongoing debate on values and national policy. To accomplish these goals, CCNF is turning to universities and scientific institutions to supply a portion of its content stream and underwrite a premiere journalism shop, and, to receive funding, CCNF is seeking five corporate or foundation sponsors.

With support from our partners and sponsors, CCNF will hire a crack team of journalists, establish a new standard of journalism in this space, cover the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, and confront the presidential candidates on the science.

Already a trusted source for citizens and educators wanting to hear what real climate scientists have to say about climate change, CCNF has now opened up its online forum to an ongoing discussion on values and begun hosting a bipartisan debate on climate policy that is solution-oriented and scientifically grounded. To sustain the forum’s growth, provide quality coverage of the climate crisis, and realize the full potential of this new national dialogue, CCNF is seeking partnership with a group of accredited 501(c)(3) universities, a media outlet, and a scientific institution with a strong #SciComm/#SciEd arm. CCNF is also communicating with potential corporate/foundation sponsors who might sponsor a partner’s contributions to the dialogue and associated administrative costs.

“We want to be a vehicle for ideas and findings from the best and brightest organizations, such as humanities departments, journalism schools, debate teams, engineering schools, premiere energy and sustainability programs, and atmospheric sciences departments or institutions,” said Michael Quirke, the Executive Director of CCNF and the project’s founding journalist. “We hope our partners' professors and students will be ready to really drive this new national dialogue on climate change and help keep it moored to the science and based on shared values. Informing and educating before COP21 on a national scale is no small task and this requires the best professors and students providing input and insights. It also requires the economies of scale that arise from a large body of contributors. Together, we can do more.”

Partnership would bring additional science and policy expertise to CCNF and facilitate the growth of the journalistic arm of CCNF. Partners would benefit from the additional exposure of their in-house experts and by association with a unique and essential source for climate change information and ideas.

ClimateChangeNationalForum.org launched in January 2014 as a “go to” website for the American public to learn about climate change. The blog, forum, and fact checker platform has featured an ongoing and open dialogue on climate change led by scientists. Eighteen months in, CCNF has built an engaged community of climate scientists, has gained a readership that spans scientific and political spectra, and is advancing climate literacy. On April 23-24 2015 at Earth Day Texas in Dallas, CCNF commemorated the kick-off of the policy debate in the Forum, and just last week, CCNF rolled out its new & improved website, “CCNF 3.0.” This new framework will facilitate an expanded dialogue on not only the science of climate change, but also values and the big policy questions on what can or should be done as a nation.

The CCNF project is being led by: Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon—Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University; Dr. Scott Denning—Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of Education and Diversity for the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes at Colorado State University; Dr. Bart Verheggen—atmospheric scientist and Lecturer at Amsterdam University College, and founder of the blog Our Changing Climate; and Tracy Hester—law faculty and former Director of the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center. Michael Quirke, a law student at the University of Houston Law Center, web developer, and a former Army captain, started the project.

CCNF’s growing community of science contributors include: Dr. Barry Lefer— Tropospheric Composition Program Manager at NASA and former Associate Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston; Dr. Ronald Sass—Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Natural Science Emeritus and current Fellow in Climate Science Policy at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University; Dr. Kerry Emanuel—Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Andrew Dessler—Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, Google Science Communications Fellow, and former Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Dr. John Anderson—W. Ewing Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University; Dr. Judith Curry—Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr. Mauri Pelto—glaciologist, Professor of Environmental Science at Nichols College, and Director of the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project; Dr. Andreas Schmittner—Associate Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University; Dr. Jeremy Shakun—paleoclimatologist and Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College; Dr. Will Howard—Deputy Chair of the Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research and Research Scientist at the University of Melbourne, and former Lecturer in oceanography at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole; Dr. Daniel Cohan—Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Rice University and Faculty Fellow at the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies; Dr. Sean Bryan—paleoclimatolgist and paleoceanographer and Instructor in the Department of Geosciences at Colorado State University; Dr. Sean Robinson—Lecturer in the Dept. of Physics at MIT, leader of the MIT Physics Junior Lab, and Committee Member and Secretary of the Coastal Adaptation Advisory Committee for the Town of Marshfield, MA; Lulu Liu—2nd year PhD candidate in Applied Physics at Harvard University, writer on science communication, and former AAAS Mass Media Science Fellow; and others.

CCNF’s growing community of subject matter experts and policy contributors include: Prof. Hester; Mr. Bob Inglis—former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-SC4 1993-1999; 2005-2011) and Executive Director of the Energy & Enterprise Initiative; Prof. Shi-Ling Hsu—Larson Professor of Law at Florida State University School of Law; Mr. David Hone—Chief Climate Change Adviser for Royal Dutch Shell and Board Member of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; Prof. Jed Anderson—Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, Clean Air Act attorney and reform advocate; and Ben Franta—PhD candidate in Applied Physics at Harvard University and Board Member of Divest Harvard.

PARTNERSHIP DETAILS:

CCNF hopes each partner will set up a fellowship program to take advantage of the educational opportunities afforded by CCNF. Partners that want to maximize their visibility have the option of acting as their own sponsors. Partners may instead associate with a corporate sponsor to support their collaboration with CCNF. “CCNF can play match-maker, but the onus is on the academic sponsors to find their own corporate sponsors if they desire sponsorship. Either way, the journalists get paid,” said Quirke.

“With premier academic partnership and corporate/foundation sponsorship, CCNF will hire a crack team of journalists and establish a new brand and new standard of journalism on this issue and expand into multiple platforms targeting different demographics. Such support will enable our journalists to not only cover the dialogue, but also report on major news in the climate space, be dispatched to investigate key issues, buildup and cover the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris this winter, and confront each presidential candidate on the science and get an answer on what can or should be done as a nation.”

GENERAL INQUIRIES:

Michael Quirke, CCNF Executive Director, 281-832-3170, m(dot)quirke(at)ClimateChangeNationalForum(dot)org.

ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE NATIONAL FORUM:

Climate Change National Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded and led by leading climate scientists. The mission of CCNF is to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. CCNF administers an ongoing public forum wherein scientists can discuss the latest research on climate change, share and debate ideas on aspects of climate change, and fact check outside claims being made in the news media. Now in Phase II, subject matter experts and policy makers are also welcome to join this forum to compare and debate the costs and benefits of possible responses. CCNF is headquartered in Houston, TX.

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Michael Quirke
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