Thursday, June 13, 2013

The missionary zeal of the Heartland Institute to convert China to climate science denial

UPDATE 2: See updated article with the slap down of the Heartland Institute by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

UPDATE: See below

Anthony Watts is very proud that a couple of denier publications from the Heartland Institute, science denying/obfuscation reports, have been translated into a Chinese version.   The Heartland Institute is apparently on a mission to convert the People's Republic of China to climate science denial.  I don't think they will succeed.

About that "event"

Anthony claims the authors are to speak about the translated documents at a "conference" in Beijing, which he describes as a  "Chinese Academy of Sciences event".  I can't find the event listed on the CAS English website (and don't know how to navigate to upcoming CAS events).  However there is a cached page about it, which has since been removed. (Click to enlarge.)

That now-deleted blurb mentions the International Symposium on Global Change Research 2013 and implies that the NIPCC event is part of this.  However the symposium is in Nanjing not Beijing, and that's a four hour trip by train. And the symposium runs from 18th to the 20th June, not 15th June.  And the symposium notice starts with this introduction:
The Earth is entering into a new era of Anthropocene, which faces climate change, ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity, and many other environmental issues. To confront this grand challenge, we bring international leading scientists from relevant field and ...

So I wonder if this 'event' is to the International Symposium as the Copenhagen Climate Challenge was to COP15 at Copenhagen.

Who knows?

According to Google Analytics, HotWhopper gets quite a few hits from the People's Republic of China.  They may be bots although I read that Google doesn't do a bad job of filtering out bots.  Anyway, perhaps a scientist from the PRC or other person who is familiar with the state of affairs there would care to comment on this.

I am aware of the stated position of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that humans are causing global warming.  The People's Republic of China is also well aware of the reality of global warming.  And I must confess that I strongly doubt that Singer or Idso or Carter will be honoured in the way that Dr Cicerone was.


I'm thinking that just as in the USA, there are science deniers in the PRC among the thousands of people who may claim an association with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Or maybe Chinese scholars are bemused by the anti-science propaganda that is prevalent in the USA and to some extent in Australia and the UK.  Maybe they think they will get some insight into the conservative brain by studying the diligent efforts by the Heartland Institute to spread disinformation.  Or maybe they are interested in comparing the effectiveness, in regard to disinformation, of censorship in China with the market-based approach of the USA.

But that is merely speculating for fun.  Whatever.  One thing is for sure.  There may be two chances that Heartland Institute will succeed in its mission - Buckley's and none, and of these I favour the latter.  An NICPP report by a couple of climate science deniers in whatever language won't be enough to stop the world from heating up.


I've located the documented as translated into Chinese here but it's on the Heartland Institute website (as with all my links to anti-science websites, I've made the link with a 'no follow' tag).  I wasn't able to find the document elsewhere, possibly because I can't read Chinese or maybe it hasn't been loaded to the web in China.

Here is the website of the organisation that did the translation, the China Information Center for Global Change Studies.  I think some WUWT-ers in particular will be tickled pink by this image on the home page:

From the Translators' Preface (my bold):
The work of these translators, organizations and funders has been in the translation and the promotion of scientific dialogue, does not reflect that they agree with the views of NIPCC.
It's not often you read a disclaimer quite as blatantly obvious as that one.  Chinese people are known for being both polite and inscrutable.  To my mind that's an inaccurate stereotype.  In my experience (lecturing to visiting delegations of officials from the People's Republic of China), these days Chinese people are refreshingly no more shy about saying exactly what they think than an undiplomatic HotWhopper blogger.

More here from bigcitylib.  CAS has distanced itself from the work as I'd have expected. 

(h/t to anonymous in the comments for prompting me to look further.)


  1. Webcite here:

    Original page (in Chinese, from April 30) here:

    1. Thanks, Captain Pithart. The plot thickens. I wonder when the English version was taken down and by whom?

      The Chinese version lists the source as the Lanzhou Branch of National Science Library, which is part of CAS.

  2. From the translator's foreword of the document:

    Yet, as with any topic, there are still differing viewpoints and debates on the causes, facts, impacts and trends in climate change...
    These two unusual reports toook a skeptical "Second Opinion" against the IPCC assessment reports based on different scientific studies.

    In order to help Chinese researchers to understand different opinions and positions in debates on climate change, at the end of 2011, we contact The Heartland Institute, the publisher of these reports. Mr. Joseph L. Bast, the president of the Heartland Institute, gladly authorized our center to translate the Chinese-language edition of the two NIPCC reports.

    also from the last part of the preface:

    ... the Chinese-language edition of the NIPCC reports cannot cover all the contents. We have strived to keep the core viewpoints and examples of research case studies.

    It's a study guide to denialism, is all.

  3. I wrote to the Chinese Academy of Sciences asking about this yesterday afternoon and this morning I had a reply:
    Dear Mr. M,

    Thank you for your attention to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The news that you saw on the website is actually a mistake caused by translation and compilation.

    There is indeed a book named "Climate Change Reconsidered" to be published in China by the Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library, CAS, with a book release on June 15th. However, this is only a book cooperation between the Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library and Heartland Institute, and is limited only to copy right trading, with no academic research work involved.

    A few CAS experts participated in the translation of the book, aiming to demonstrate different voices in the global scientific field to the Chinese science community, however, that does not mean that CAS joined the research or agree with their view point; neither does it mean that CAS will decide "promote" the climate "skeptic" view or group.

    Attached are the cover of the book and the preface by the president of Heartland and translator's preface by the curator of the Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library, expressing their own viewpoint, respectively.

    Thank you again for your attention to the CAS and here is our website ( and the website of the Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library (, please stay focused on our research progress, any of your suggestions will be warmly welcomed.

    If you have any questions on CAS, please do not hesitate to ask.


    Chinese Academy of Sciences

    For more info visit

  4. Hey I'm blackballed by the WUWT comment cops...

    perhaps someone (who can still comment there) might ask Anthony about it?



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