Pat Michaels is no longer the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official Climatologist. As per DeSmogBlog’s discussion,
Pat Michaels, whose utility industry funding, private research and controversial views on global warming made him a lightning rod on climate change issues, left the office too politicized, according to officials at the University of Virgina.
Michaels argues that Global Warming — to the extent it is occurring — is primarily caused by natural forces. And, well, what a wonderful representative for the Commonwealth of Virginia — someone at odds with the vast (VAST) majority of the scientific community, especially of the very community his title would seem to suggest that he represented.
According to the Associated Press,
George F. Allen, a friend of Michaels, twice intervened on matters involving funding for Michaels’ office, once as governor and again as a U.S. senator.
Hmmm … another reason to be troubled with George Felix Allen? His efforts to keep someone at odds with science in this position:
The state climatologist’s office provides information and conducts research on the impact of weather and climate on economic and ecological systems.
Although, in fact, Michaels was evidently never officially the State Climatologist and had received what was, basically, a ‘cease and desist’ letter from the Commonwealth in 2006.
The governor’s office has sent a letter to the University of Virginia requesting that Patrick J. Michaels not use his title of state climatologist when conducting his private consulting business.
The state is concerned that the U.Va. professor’s controversial views on global warming could be mistaken for the state’s views…The governor’s office has repeatedly said that Michaels does not represent the state with his opinions about global warming.
In fact, it seems that “State Climatologist” is not even a real position:
[The] letter also addressed the question of whether Michaels’ position as state climatologist is an appointment of the governor or of U.Va. Hanley does acknowledge that Michaels was originally appointed state climatologist by Gov. John Dalton in 1980.
However, she said the code of Virginia “does not provide for the governor to appoint a state climatologist.”
Michaels is on (unpaid) leave from the University of Virginia, working at the libertarian CATO institute.