Lest We Forget: Pat Michaels R.I.P.

By Chip Knappenberger — July 21, 2022

“It was during the Fall of 1984 that I first met Pat Michaels. He was the professor of my Applied Climatology course during the first semester of my junior year at the University of Virginia. He entered class carrying a 3-ring binder over-stuffed with papers sticking out on all sides, pouring a Dr. Pepper over ice that was overflowing onto his khakis and sneakers, while fiddling with his tie and pushing in the tails of his button-down shirt. He was brash and entertaining, but personable and approachable—qualities unlike any other professor I had experienced during my first two years at UVa.

Over the next 32 years, Pat went on to be my graduate advisor, boss, co-author, colleague, mentor, and friend. We co-authored 25+ papers on climate and climate change published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, penned hundreds of articles in the popular media, countless blog pieces, and together wrote a book—all providing evidence that the character of anthropogenic climate change was of a more modest, less extreme, nature.

The things I experienced, professionally, with him, or through him, run the gamut from rejection to acceptance, from snub to celebration, from blacklist to A-list. The stories I could tell are endless, every interaction with him seemingly lent itself to an entertaining retelling. He was a one-of-a-kind character. A hero to many, a villain to many others.”

Ed. note: Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger was a longtime colleague and friend of Patrick Michaels (1950–2022). Knappenberger was co-author (with Michaels) of Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything (Cato Institute: 2016)

Originally published here at MasterResource on 21 July 2022.

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