Patrick J. Michaels, Vocal Outlier on Climate Change, Dies at 72

“An expensive (read $6 trillion) attempt to avoid an effective doubling of carbon emissions will almost certainly fail, and at best slow it down by a few years,” he wrote in a 1990 USA Today op-ed. “If we go down this path, we may face (1) an impoverished world waiting for warming that never happens, or (2) a world too poor to adapt to a climate catastrophe.”

if dr Attempting to undermine others’ understanding of climate change, Michaels retaliated against his critics, attacking his interpretations of data and his conclusions. In 2013, progressive news site Think Progress published an article titled “Patrick Michaels: Cato’s climate expert has made mistakes in the past,” cataloging various predictions and pronouncements he had made that didn’t hold up. For example, Dr. Michaels in a 2001 Washington Times article that hybrid cars are a doomed experiment.

Companies like Toyota, which introduced the Prius in 1997, “were just discovering that gas in this country is so cheap (despite 40 cents a gallon tax) that nobody but die-hard techies and hyper-greenheads is willing to shell out several thousand dollars extra for a hybrid.” issue,” wrote Dr. Michaels.

dr Michaels is the author or co-author of a number of books, including Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media (2004) and, with Paul C. Knappenberger, Lukewarming: The New Climate Science That Changes Everything (2016). In the foreword to “Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know,” a book he co-wrote with Robert C. Balling Jr. in 2009, he explained his decision to quit the job as a climatologist at university. He said that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine muzzled him and that other state climatologists who challenged climate change dogma felt similar pressure.

“What’s so scary that some governors don’t want you to know?” he wrote. “Apparently, the world isn’t ending because of global warming. Also, we don’t really have the tools to significantly alter the planet’s temperature curve.”

The marriage of Dr. Michaels with Erika Kancler ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife Rachel Schwartz; two brothers, Robert and Tom; and two children from his first marriage, Erika and Robert Michaels.

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