Celebrating Pat Michaels: Colleague, Mentor, and Friend

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Dr. Patrick Michaels, a leading light of the climate realist movement and cheerful warrior for scientific integrity and individual liberty, died unexpectedly last week. CEI President Kent Lassman spoke for many when he wrote that Pat’s passing leaves a hole in our hearts.

I was delighted when Pat joined CEI as a senior fellow in 2019. He had been a mentor and friend for more than two decades. His happy warrior persona, irreverent humor, and bold candor made him a perfect fit for CEI. I had long hoped he would one day have an office across the hall from mine. And then he did!

We brainstormed and collaborated on regulatory comment letters. With pride, in blog posts and elsewhere, I called him “CEI climate scientist Patrick Michaels.”

Kent, CFACT President Craig Rucker, and CO2 Coalition Executive Director Greg Wrightstone observed Pat’s stellar career. He was the author or coauthor of nine books, a research professor at the University of Virginia for 30 years, Virginia State Climatologist for 27 years, and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. He published in prestige science journals including Nature, Science, and Geophysical Research Letters and was a contributing author and reviewer of the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Pat frequently testified before Congress and State legislatures, published numerous op-ed pieces, and was a popular lecturer and frequent guest on talk radio and television news programs.

Pat lived fully and his wife Rachel was the love of his life. Together, they lifted everyone’s spirits.

More than a longtime colleague and friend, to me, he was brother Pat.

Many will miss Pat’s brilliance and wit. I will also miss his warmth and optimism that liberty and truth will prevail.