Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Who says Pat Michaels is the Virginia State Climatologist?
or
Those who the gods would destroy they first fund through the Cato Institute


(Edited and enhanced as blogger functionality returns)

Kevin Lynch, a city council member in Charlottsville, VA has been digging into the issue of who (the Governor) or what (the University of Virginia) appointed Pat Michaels as State Climatologist, and whether his appointment continues. Lynch's interest was stirred up by the recent revelations about an electric coop shaking the can for Pat. Lynch, as Eli also saw, perceived the inherent conflict of interest between Michaels speaking for Virginia as State Climatologist and as a partisan in the climate wars.

Lynch was able to dig out a mass of steaming glop:

"And for whatever reason, it is apparent that the position of State Climatologist was never created by an act of the General Assembly or otherwise.

In 1980, the University recruited the current Climatologist, Dr. Patrick Michaels, to become the permanent State Climatologist. On July 8th, 1980, Governor Dalton sent a letter of appointment to Dr. Michaels in which he states: “It is my pleasure to appoint you as State Climatologist.” Note there is no “acting” designation. This is the letter for which the University bases its claim that the Climatologist is a Gubernatorial appointment. However, no action establishing the State Climatologist Office had been taken (nor has such action been taken since). Thus I do not believe Governor Dalton had the statutory authority to issue the letter. Furthermore, only the University seems to have had a copy of this letter. There was no copy at the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, nor was there any copy in Governor Dalton’s personal records of appointments and memos. Unlike the previous appointment, no copy of the letter was filed with NCDC. The result of this is that even if there were some possible legitimate basis for the letter of appointment, no Governor since Dalton has had any inkling that there ever was an appointment, and thus there has been no reappointment of the State Climatologist in 26 years.

When I asked Dr. Michaels how he became the State Climatologist in an email, he did not mention the letter of appointment from Dalton - instead he responded:

State Climatologists are appointed via a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Climatic Data Center, the relevant University, and the Executive Branch. It’s got to be around somewhere.

However, thus far no one, including Dr. Michaels has been able to produce such a MOU, which would have been dated 1980. The Governor’s office and NCDC don’t have it. There is no copy in Governor Dalton’s papers at the State Library. The only entity that could possibly have it is the University. If they do have such a document, it seems a little strange that they would insist that the Climatologist is a Gubernatorial appointment on the basis of Governor Dalton’s 1980 letter."
So, to recap, this appears to be one of those, well, this guy showed up one day and said he was in charge so we let him be in charge. E is looking at some interesting variants on this

{Blogger, of course, is acting up this morning, so there ain't much formatting here yet. I'll come back later and clean this up.} Somewhat better now....more later.

2 comments:

QUASAR9 said...

There is one question though.
If you are Noah, and you know the flood is coming - what can you do but build The Ark

QUASAR9 said...
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