Several weeks ago, someone managed to hack a server of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and obtain a number of emails exchanged between prominent climatologists. Many of the emails contained requests to delete data, suppress the publication of certain papers that argued against global warming, and pressure academic journals with which the climatologists did not agree. Basically, the emails are evidence that supporters of the theory that man is responsible for global warming have been fudging data because recent data do not support their theories.
While many global warming skeptics will make a big deal of this and use it as evidence against global warming, I tend to agree with Robin Hanson that this says more about academia than global warming. As Hanson and others have pointed out, while academia has an “overly idealistic public image,” academics are people, too. When competing groups of people have vested interests in defending their opinions- especially in the highly publicized climate debate- it is no surprise that people will go to great lengths to ensure success for their side.