Fellow Patriot: The voluntary financial generosity of supporters like you keeps our hard-hitting analysis coming. Please support the 2022 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you for your support! —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

Cornwall Alliance / July 19, 2022

A Tribute to Patrick Michaels

To my sorrow, Pat died unexpectedly Friday, July 15, at his home, at age 72.

By E. Calvin Beisner

My first contact with Dr. Patrick Michaels was around 2006 or 2007, in the early, formative days of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. I had, over the previous two or three years, read at least five or six of the books he had by then written or edited on climate change, and I highly respected him as a careful, humble, yet confident scientist, fearlessly standing against “consensus” and insisting that hard evidence, not popularity contests, must prevail. He generously gave of his time and expertise to explain various aspects of climate change to me, a non-scientist.

Around 2009, I visited him in his office, then at the Cato Institute. I had an idea about a simple way to estimate climate sensitivity (the amount that global average temperature would rise after a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, once the climate system reached equilibrium). He listened intently as I ran through my simple formula, lifted his eyebrows, and said something like, “Hmmm! I never thought of that!” And he took the idea seriously, saying it made sense. It brought an answer a bit lower but still close to what he thought, but it got there along a totally different path. If you want to know what it was, you’ll find it on page 7 of A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming, available on the Cornwall Alliance’s website.

Over the years since then, I’ve gone to him repeatedly for advice and explanations of difficult matters related to climate change. He was always friendly, respectful, and patient, explaining things in ways I as a scientific layman could understand.

Most recently, he wrote an excellent chapter, on climate models and the scientific method, for a book Dr. David Legates and I are editing, scheduled for release in the summer of 2023. It is a work of beauty, and we are deeply honored to include it in our book.

To my sorrow, Pat died unexpectedly Friday, July 15, at his home, at age 72.

I always admired Pat’s energy, the fact that he often wore red gym shoes with the suits and ties in which he spoke brilliantly for conferences, his pointed yet friendly sense of humor when he exposed silly thought on the part of those with whom he disagreed. He was a model of scientific integrity.

He worked energetically on behalf of climate realism, completing and submitting a review of the United States Global Change Research Program’s latest report the day before he died, and then participating in a planning meeting with the CO2 Coalition.

Dr. Michaels earned his A.B. in biological science in 1971 and his S.M. in biology in 1975 from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in ecological climatology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

He was a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia for 30 years, then director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, before becoming a Senior Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 2019.

A past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and program chair of the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society, Pat wrote or edited nine books on climate and its effects on mankind and nature. His articles were published in prestigious scientific journals including Climate Research, Climate Change, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Nature, and Science, and in other publications including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. He served as a contributing author and reviewer for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It was a privilege to know Pat, and on behalf the staff and associated scholars of the Cornwall Alliance, I extend my deep sympathy to his wife Rachel, his family, and his many friends. He will be sorely missed.

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is president of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.