Last week, the Heartland Institute went positively giddy announcing that its work debunking climate science was being translated into Chinese by the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences. Today three of Heartland's best, um, scientists are in Beijing discussing their groundbreaking findings, which generally could be summed up as "The Koch brothers paid us to say that 97% of other scientists are wrong." There's only one problem: the Chinese don't appreciate their lies, and they're saying so in uncharacteristically blunt terms.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences, in its own words: "The claim of the Heartland Institute about CAS’ endorsement of its report is completely false."
(1) The translation and publication of the Chinese version of the NIPCC report, and the related workshop, are purely non-official academic activities the group of translators. They do not represent, nor they have ever claimed to represent, CAS or any of CAS institutes. They translated the report and organized the workshop just for the purpose of academic discussion of different views.
(2) The above fact was made very clear in the Translators’ Note in the book, and was known to the NIPCC report authors and the Heartland Institute before the translation started. The false claim by the Heartland Institute was made public without any knowledge of the translator group.
(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.
Shorter Chinese: Chinese translators got hold of bad science, Heartland seized on it as vindication of its views, and now the real Chinese scientists are furious. Heartland has since taken the page down, but it hasn't apologized. Nor should the Chinese Academy of Sciences expect an apology from a rogue conservative think-tank last seen associating climate science with the Unabomber.
Dana Nucitelli, writing at the Guardian, has more on how Heartland's shenanigans got translated into Chinese and on the many steps China is taking to combat carbon pollution.
An equally interesting question is why Heartland is engaging with the Chinese in the first place.
Badly bruised by its Unabomber ad, Heartland has lost relevance in the United States. Meanwhile, the coal barons search for new markets overseas as their business model is dying in the United States. It's not a coincidence that Heartland is making overtures to the Chinese. It's simply the tactic of a cornered, doomed dinosaur.
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