Double Dipping Pat Michaels Told to Choose Sides

Bravo to the Ranoake Times for this editorial on the “Virginia State Climatologist” Pat Michaels.

It has recently come to public attention that Michaels' title is somewhat ceremonial and dates back to 1980. The Ranoake Times points out that Michaels seems to have two paymasters: the University of Virginia (which holds the paperwork on his state appointment) and the energy industry financiers that pay him consulting fees as he wanders about the country quibbling about climate change.

The title of State Climatologist, and Michaels position as a UVa professor, seem to give him credibility, while the money from industry might be taken to suggest that he is a well-paid corporate apologist. The Times suggests that he clear up the issue by foresaking further payments from one of those two masters.

Willingly? We think not.


I have been there, many times. I would not, however, use the Roanoke Times as an authoritive source. There are many fine newspapers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but I do not think many residents of the Commonwealth would rank the Times near the top of the list.

The un-named editor who wrote the piece made the following statement:

He accepts checks from two conflicting sources. If he supported Al Gore’s global warming position and took money from wind, solar and other clean-energy industries, the problem would be the same.

The point of the editorial is that no university professor (at least none in the Commonwealth of Virginia) should accept money from any source other than the university - at least I think that is his point.

Cutting back funding for research, be it from any source, is hardly in the best interest of science. Making the funding blind would certainly keep professors (or others) from trying to please the paymaster.

Two small points:
1. I still have not seen any link which shows the pupose of the funds Michaels received. We can all believe what we wish, but although I have read many assumptions of nefarious intent, I have yet to read anything substantive on the issue.
2. The correct spelling is Roanoke.