The cause of “climate-realism” lost one of its heroes over the weekend.
Dr. Patrick Michaels, a former President of the American Association of Climatologists and professor at the University of Virginia (UVA), passed away unexpectedly. He leaves behind him an incredible legacy of accomplishments and will be sorely missed. For anyone who knew Pat, he was always full of—as the saying goes—vim and vigor. He had an enquiring mind and powerful presence, and he somehow packed all of that into his presentations that were always entertaining to watch. He could hold an audience like few could.
I first met Pat in the early 1990’s when he was just starting to make a name for himself in the climate change issue. I remember watching him on stage engaging a crowd that was at first somewhat skeptical of his realist message concerning global warming, but then applauding him as he continued to build his case. I realized right then he’d make a great speaker at university campuses. When I asked him if he would be interested in speaking to students in our Collegians program, naturally, he was—and so Pat spoke to our CFACT students on several occasions.
Pat also featured large in our CFACT films Climate Hustle and Climate Hustle 2. His ability to make the complex simple, so to speak, made our job of editing his comments quite easy. He also had a knack for appropriately inserting humor to underscore his points—something we loved, but I’m doubtful his critics in the media appreciated.
As for his resume, Dr. Patrick Michael’s was one of the best. In addition to being a UVA professor and holding the position of president of the American Association of State Climatologists, he also held positions at the respected Cato Institute, CO2 Coalition and produced numerous studies and articles that appeared in respected publications such as Climate Research, Climatic Change, Geophysical Research, Journal of Climate, Nature, Science, and others. Pat authored nine books, appeared frequently on television and in print media, and was an expert reviewer to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). When it came to work ethic, the man was a beast.
We at CFACT feel privileged to have worked with Pat through the years. He will be missed, but we are blessed to have known him. His work will be carried on through the various people and organizations he has graced with his wisdom.