Climate Skeptics Are Using Fake Quote: Scientist

Sir John Houghton says he's considering legal action
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2010 5:43 AM CST
Climate Skeptics Are Using Fake Quote: Scientist
The cover of the 1994 edition of Houghton's book, which he says does not contain the oft-cited quote.

“Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.” That quote, attributed to leading climate scientist Sir John Houghton, has been bandied about by climate change skeptics for years, as proof of the creative alarmism of climate scientists. There’s just one problem: Houghton never said it, and it doesn't appear in the 1994 book it's often attributed to. “It’s not the sort of thing I would ever say,” he tells the Independent. “It’s quite the opposite of what I think.”

“I’ve seen it printed in many books,” says one skeptic who used the quote in a column last week. “This quote has been used for the past 15 years.” Actually, its first appearance seems to be a 2006 Daily Telegraph column, which attributes it to Houghton’s 1994 book Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. But the quote isn’t in the book. Houghton says he’s considering legal action. “If I just deny it, then it cuts no ice with the people who want to believe it.” (More John Houghton stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.