Virginia Asks Global Warming Skeptic To Stop Calling Himself ‘State Climatologist’

Patrick J. Michaels — a prominent critic of mainstream global warming science — bills himself as the “state climatologist” of Virginia to bolster his credibility. The State of Virginia has had enough. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

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.”

Charlottesville City Councilor Kevin Lynch researched the topic and concluded that Dalton’s “appointment” does “not appear to have been legitimate.” On the basis of Dalton’s letter, Michaels has collected a government paycheck for the last 26 years and is currently earning $91,530.


The State now has nothing to do with the title or the office, which is administered by the University of Virginia, where Michaels teaches. Much more at