Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen
Well, well, well. According to the Independent, Sir John Houghton's best-known aphorism never actually passed his lips.
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.
The source appears to have been an Australian journalist who said it appeared in Houghton's 1994 book on global warming. This appears not to have been true.
I wonder why Sir John kept mum for all these years?