"Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen" – the truth behind the quote

Storm clouds - Photo by Anandu Vinod on Unsplash

The quote “Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen” is widely attributed by climate change sceptics to scientist Sir John Houghton, a man who played a key role in founding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC).

If the quote were true, then it would be a pretty damning one.

But it isn’t – as The Independent has demonstrated.

Almost everyone using this “quote” is simply recycling the quote from others, and when the newspaper tried to track down its original source they found that the quote doesn’t exist anywhere in the book claimed.

It’s also notable in The Independent report that when queried about why they use a quote that wasn’t actually made, climate change sceptics either dodged the question or didn’t reply. Now, if they asked a scientist a question about climate change who dodged the issue or refused to respond, I wonder how some of them would react…

UPDATE: John Houghton has a letter in The Observer taking Benny Peiser to task for using the fake quote.


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