Piers Akerman

Feb 18, 2010

Poor Piers Perplexed by Paraphrase.

Piers has a stinging response to the Independent's cl

Piers has a stinging response to the Independent’s claim, highlighted here by us and here by Mediawatch, that he was the original source of a quote attributed to the first chair of the IPCC Sir John Houghton.

How that remark came to be slightly paraphrased in the quotation sent to me we shall probably never know. It’s possible that someone, somewhere in cyberspace tidied up Houghton’s original remark before including it in the material which was sent to me. That sort of thing occurs in the blogosphere.

So the quote is wrong then? It didn’t come from his 1994 book?

… published in The Sunday Telegraph (UK) on September 10, 1995, in which Houghton told writer Frances Welch: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

So that’d be a no to that too then? And when did you find the reference to the 1995 quote?


Did if take much research to find that article, considering it had a completely different quote to the one you were looking for?

I was forwarded an article

Oh, so someone found it for you. So that means that it wasn’t amongst the information from “numerous scientists who have provided me with information which undermines the IPCC’s reports over the past decade” then?

So you can’t find the original quote, you don’t know who paraphrased the quote, and you only found what you are now claiming to be the original quote when someone sent it to you yesterday? Is that right? OK, glad we’ve got that cleared up.

Let’s take a look at the ‘real’ quote then, the one that’s not from Sir John’s 1994 book.

“If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

Is that all he said, or was there more to the quote which might add some context? There was more? Well let’s look at the whole thing then, shall we?

“If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident.”

Hmm, that doesn’t sound like a blueprint for climate change alarmism to me, it sounds more like a reflection on the inertia of humankind, but to each his own.

I’m glad that this has all been cleared up, it’s nice to know that the root of the problem was nothing more than some sloppy paperwork.


61 thoughts on “Poor Piers Perplexed by Paraphrase.

  1. zoofhead

    Ackerman claims that scientists such as Sir John Houghton are fraudulent & should be classed as criminals for manipulating climate change evidence. But, Piers believes, it’s perfectly legal to attribute non existent quotes to Sir John Houghton to suit his own agenda as a skeptic of global warming. And Ackerman has the arrogance to suggest Sir John Houghton is just an old bluffer that is unlikely to offer any resistance to him as you can read into his replies to his dissenting bloggers. He is even baiting Sir John
    to respond & i hope he responds in the form of a writ.


  2. Keith is not my real name

    Opps , Sorry, Madam 😀

  3. monkeywrench

    Perhaps you’re right. I’ll hold me fire.

  4. confessions

    Keith: thanks, but it’s madam not Sir.

  5. confessions

    Yes, I think Matthew of Canberra is right on that front: I used my work email with my signature block so they would know it was from a fellow university employee – if they wanted to check my legitimacy they could just ring my number or reply email. If I’d just used my home account and written as a private citizen I doubt my email would of been looked at. Bombarding them with emails would make it look like an orchestrated campaign, which it isn’t, it’s about bringing greater accountability to these people.

  6. Keith is not my real name

    Confessions, I tips me lid to you Sir, great work.

  7. Matthew of Canberra

    monkeywrench –

    Leave them alone. They know about it and it’s their decision what they do. I don’t think it’s right to badger them, and it’s counterproductive anyway (you want them to be narked at piers, not this blog). I suspect they’ll see it as harassment to be suddenly getting a bunch of emails from people who obviously want them to behave a certain way.

  8. monkeywrench

    Good work, confessions. I might add my concerns by emailing UEA; if they get more than one message about it, they might be more inclined to act. Hopefully others in here could also add their voices….?

  9. Matthew of Canberra

    It’s interesting to note that bolta didn’t touch piers’ response with a barge pole. Just ignored it completely.

  10. Idlaviv

    Thanks for taking the time Confessions in a worthy fight in getting Piers to understand accountability.

    I only hope the University of East Anglia doesn’t just forward a letter to the Daily Terror. As we all know Timmeh, the letter’s editor, will promptly introduce that baby to his V8 shredder.

  11. twobob

    The reply is still there at 9:27 this morning. I have taken another screen shot and saved it too (under Piers’ folly)
    LOL @ Piers he is going to love reading this.

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