Down the memory hole: Heartland disappears fake claim about Chinese Academy of Science


Remember the claim by Heartland Institute about the Chinese Academy of Science’s turning to climate scepticism?

Sceptics across the world crowed this development as an important turning point. Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart breathlessly reported the claim on

Lakely said that this could mark the turning point in the climate change debate, and that a global consensus was beginning to form against regulation of emissions. “The latest observable climate data, new studies from scientific academies around the globe, the peer-reviewed studies one can find in Climate Change Reconsidered, and its translation and publication by the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences is making life difficult for those who declare with certainty that man is causing catastrophic global warming,” he explained. “That’s the way it should be. No scientific discipline is ever ‘settled’ — especially a discipline as young, as complicated, and as diffuse as climate science. The Heartland Institute is proud to support and promote the pursuit of the classic scientific method that follows the data and continually asks questions about what is happening to the climate of our planet.

In case people try to claim it was all a simple misunderstanding, let’s have a look at how climate sceptics tried to spin the story:


In response the Chinese Academy of Science came out with what is perhaps the most strongly worded rebuttal from a professional body I’ve ever seen.

The not only demanded Heartland apologise, but called them out for their lack of “academic integrity.”

In response, Heartland Institute have tried to disappear their false claim down the memory hole be removing it from their site (see above).

Speaks volumes.

30 thoughts on “Down the memory hole: Heartland disappears fake claim about Chinese Academy of Science

  1. john byatt says:

    yes, if everybody else was to blame for the misunderstanding then you would leave the original up,

    why remove it?

      • john byatt says:

        “Opposition ( Chinese)
        to a new climate treaty is justified based upon the real science presented in Climate Change Reconsidered,” said Bast. “Publication of a Chinese translation of Climate Change Reconsidered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences indicates the country’s leaders believe their position is justified by science and not just economics.”

        No wonder they took it down, no misunderstanding that

  2. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Where’s Eric the Red?

  3. Wasn’t it the Heartland Institute that demanded the good folks at East Anglia University practice open disclosure and reveal all their data? And now we have the Heartland Institute trying to quietly hide their embarrassment and solid evidence of their intentional deceptions. Nobody does hypocrisy quite like right-wing nutters.

  4. I hope Eric stays on sabbatical for about the lifetime of the cosmos, he adds nothing to the discussions here.

  5. I’m told there are aspiring Orwell scholars amongst our so-called sceptic friends.

    In Nineteen Eighty-Four it was the duty of the Ministry of Truth to operate the memory hole,

    Welcome to the dystopia, courtesy of right wing think tanks.

    Will any true sceptics emerge from this rubble? Or will they, as I expect, dig in?

  6. I assume they removed it because the CAS demanded that they do so. From the statement you linked above:
    “(3) Since there is absolutely no ground for the so called CAS endorsement of the report, and the actions by the Heartland Institute went way beyond acceptable academic integrity, we have requested by email to the president of the Heartland Institute that the false news on its website to be removed. We also requested that the Institute issue a public apology to CAS for the misleading statement on the CAS endorsement.”

  7. Graham Wayne says:

    Over at the Guardian, we enjoyed a surreal thread below Dana Nuccitelli’s column on the whole farrago, but after the dust had settled it occurred to me that perhaps the best was yet to come. Only now can the Chinese actually evaluate the NIPCC report for themselves, and far from endorsing it, I expect they’ll probably have some pretty scathing criticisms to make. If Heartland had kept it’s mouth shut, perhaps the Chinese might have couched their concerns in moderate terms, but now they feel slighted and used in such a shoddy way, the gloves may well come off.

  8. […] ……” Heartland Institute are trying to flush the whole incident down the memory hole. Down the memory hole: Heartland disappears fake claim about Chinese Academy of Science | Watching th… Sign in or Register Now to […]

  9. Cugel says:

    For people who are, in theory, professional communicators they don’t seem to be doing a very good job. First the billboard campaign is misunderstood, now this. Heads should roll.

    • BBD says:

      No, no. I think HI should continue with its own unique brand of communications. Perhaps we should even consider a donation.

      • Agreed. Bob Inglis and Andrew Moylan debated the Heartland Institute on June 13, and ~80% of the conservative audience rejected Heartland’s position.

        • BBD says:

          Did they now? Well that’s heartening.

          Mind you, the strident fringe is looking a bit dated these days. Not to mention swivel-eyed. What I find more disquieting are the efforts of cleverer contrarians like Richard Tol and Nic Lewis.

    • john byatt says:

      Most of the available fossil fuels cannot be burnt if we are to stabilise the climate this century.

      The burning of fossil fuels represents the most significant contributor to climate change.
      From today until 2050 we can emit no more than 600 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to have a good chance of staying within the 2°C limit.
      Based on estimates by the International Energy Agency, emissions from using all the world’s fossil fuel reserves would be around five times this budget. Burning all fossil fuels reserves would lead to unprecedented changes in climate so severe that they will challenge the existence of our society as we know it today.
      It is clear that most fossil fuels must be left in the ground and cannot be burned.
      Storing carbon in soils and vegetation is part of the solution but cannot substitute for reducing fossil fuel emissions.

      • john byatt says:

        The climate commission reports that we need to start reducing emissions by 2020,

        WRONG message

        this will be read as we can go about BAU until 2020,

        • Watching the Deniers says:

          John, I’ve been reading it. All that comes to mind is the phrase “overshoot”.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks John, it is a good report – posting something on it today.


  10. uknowispeaksense says:

    I see my favourite crackpots the csp still have their cut and paste of the HI nonsense up but then they will no doubt deny the existence of the cas rebuttal or claim it is a fake written by Peter Gleik…..oops, perhaps I shouldn’t give then any ideas.

  11. Cugel says:

    I suspect the climate beat at Heatland has been consigned to the interns and hopeless cases, while those who still have hopes of a future career are on the more current Project Renewables (How To Delay/Prevent). AGW was only ever a skirmish, the real battle is to protect the fossil-fuelled economic model against the future for as long as possible.

    People and corporations with a desire to appear sober and responsible have nothing to gain from climate denial, and a lot to lose by association with the swivel-eyed remnant of the movement. I think Watts has abandonment issues.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Cugel, I think your comments are correct: it was always about delaying the inevitable.

  12. Nick says:

    Heartland: incompetence and deception, incompetent at deception….you’d have to be a real overpaid idiot to give these people money in the belief that they were somehow useful for your ‘campaign’.

  13. john byatt says:

    Last week, a New York Appeals Court ruled unanimously that that Georgia Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, must hand over internal documents pertaining to the publication of 11 studies published in reputable scientific journals between 2008 and 2012. At issue in the case: whether the firm can be held accountable for engaging in a “crime-fraud” by planting misinformation in these journals intending to show that the so-called chrysotile asbestos in its widely used joint compound doesn’t cause cancer.

  14. jb, thanks for the tip, interesting UCS article.

    As for the NICPP stuff, I put together a collection of information on three key creators of the Heartland report:

    Thursday, June 13, 2013
    Climate Change Reconsidered – NIPCC Translation –
    Authors: Idso, Singer, Carter examined

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: