CCNF ceased operations in February 2016, and this website is no longer active. Thank you to all the contributors that made the Forum a success. We had a good run! -MAQ

CCNF negotiating with potential partners, sponsors to educate millions on climate before COP21

July 11, 2015 2:28 am0 comments

Houston, Texas (CCNF) July 11, 2015 — 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 has begun hosting a bipartisan debate on climate policy that is solution-oriented and scientifically grounded. To sustain the forum’s growth, and to 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, media outlets, and a scientific institution with a strong emphasis on science communication and education. CCNF is also seeking corporate and/or foundation sponsors interested in possibly sponsoring a university department or lab’s contributions to the dialogue and associated administrative costs.

Join the dialogue on CCNF and support journalism on climate change.

Join the dialogue on CCNF and support journalism on climate change.

We hope our partners’ professors and students will be ready to help drive this new national dialogue on climate change and help keep it moored to the science. Informing and educating the American public on climate change is no small task and requires experts providing input and insights and contributing their time. It also requires the economies of scale that arise from a large body of contributors. Together, we can do more.

The partnerships we are seeking 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.


Founded by a collection of scientists, law professor, and journalist, 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, gained a readership that spans scientific and political spectra, and is now 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 not only on the science of climate change, but also on values and the big policy questions over 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
  • Michael Quirke, a law student at the University of Houston Law Center, web developer, and a former Army captain, and original creator and journalist of the CCNF project.

Professor Tracy Hester, law faculty and former Director of the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center, has stepped down as a board member but is maintaining his status as a contributing expert to the Forum.


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.


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.”


Michael Quirke, CCNF Executive Director, can be contacted at m(dot)quirke(at)ClimateChangeNationalForum(dot)org.


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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