The Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman, November 5, 2006 :
This alarmist approach reeked of stupidity, snake oil, and misguided gospel preaching but was in line with a formula adopted by the first chairman of the IPCC, Sir John Houghton, who produced the IPCC's first three reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 and wrote in his book Global Warming, The Complete Briefing, in 1994: "Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.''That bolded quote cited by Akerman did not appear in Sir John Houghton's book. Today's UK Independent quotes Houghton :
Akerman's November 5, 2006 article is cited by the UK Independent as "the earliest record" of the fake quote appearing online. How proud he must be.
"It's not the sort of thing I would ever say. It's quite the opposite of what I think and it pains me to see this quote being used repeatedly in this way. I would never say we should hype up the risk of climate disasters in order to get noticed."
Even though the quotation appears on about 1.77 million web links, no one seems to know where it originated.
If Houghton does take legal action, it will be the latest in a long line of defamation suits against Akerman, who must have cost Rupert Murdoch at least $2 million in payouts, payoffs and legal fees in the past few years alone.
Sir John, who was the former head of the Met Office but is now living in semi-active retirement in Wales, said he is considering taking legal action because he feels that the continued recycling of the misquotation is doing him and his science a huge disfavour.
"It doesn't do me any good because it suggests to everyone that I have hyped things up. I've been growing aware of it now for some time. The trouble is, if I just deny it then it cuts no ice with the people who want to believe it. I have to consider legal action," Sir John said.
How did Akerman respond to questions from the UK Independent about his fabrication of this famous quote? Well, how do you reckon, once he knew he'd been busted? Again?
Mr Akerman did not respond to enquiries by The Independent.Daily Telegraph lawyers probably have a rapid response unit solely devoted to Akerman by now.