Here’s the Sunday Telegraph’s Christopher Booker:
As the roof continues to fall in on them, in an endless succession of scandals, the beleaguered defenders of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have at last managed to mount a riposte by coming up with a “scandal” of their own. Under the headline “fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist”, The Independent recently trumpeted that a quotation attributed by “climate sceptics” to Sir John Houghton – one of the IPCC’s founders and long a key figure in the production of its increasingly alarmist reports as chairman of its scientific Working Group I – was an invention. Sir John was now insisting, as he again did in a letter to last week’s Observer, that he never said it or anything like it.
The sentence the former head of the UK Met Office now denies ever using – although in the past four years it has been cited unchallenged more than 100,000 times on the internet – was “unless we announce disasters, no one will listen”. In what looked like a concerted operation, Sir John’s disclaimer was circulated to sympathetic journalists across the world, along with demands for corrections and apologies issued to various prominent “climate sceptics” who had publicly quoted the remark…
…But what also came to light, thanks to that admirable expert on “risk”, Professor John Adams, and Professor Philip Stott, who for years was almost the only voice critical of climate hysteria in the British press, is an interview Sir John gave to The Sunday Telegraph in its “Me and My God” slot on September 10, 1995. As a fervent evangelical Christian, Sir John claimed that global warming might well be one of those disasters sent by God to warn man to mend his ways (“God tries to coax and woo but he also uses disasters”). He went on: “If we are to have a good environmental policy in the future, we will have to have a disaster”.
You can see a PDF of the quote here.
To repeat again, none of this ‘disproves’ climate change. What it does do, however, is shed a most interesting light on the nature (for some) of their belief in it.