Many people are passing the so-called Climategate scandal off as not being important and not affecting climate science.
The problem with that view is that without confidence in the dendro temperature record climate science is pretty much reduced to localised physics and the ice core record, which, inconveniently, shows warmer Roman and Medieval Warm Periods than present.
The corruption of the HadCRU temperature record is plain to see in the very code that produces the models. We already knew that the NASA GISS temperature record was suspect so it was amusing to see the CRU crowd casting doubt on Hansen's methodology.
Here are the best examples of just how bad this situation is:
Summary of emails from Bishop Hill.
Willis Eschenbach's attempt to get information via the FOI.
The comments in the code tell the story:
; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
; of growing season temperatures. Uses "corrected" MXD - but shouldn't usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.
And for terrific entertainment:
One might be able to defend one or two emails here and there and I have defended the use of the term 'trick' to describe a programming shortcut (though the trick referred to looks dubious) but the overall tone of the emails and code is one of manipulation of both data and scientific journals.
It's also interesting that all of the people involved seem to be activist environmentalists with email exchanges with Greenpeace, WWF and the NYT's enviro reporter, Andy Revkin. People in the hard sciences tend to split down the political middle. Perhaps the conservatives go to work for industry and the lefties go and work in theory-land at the universities.
I developed a view quite some time back that climate science seemed to attract mediocre scientists to its ranks. My reasoning is that they are able to undertake research that is not able to be tested in the here and now whereas decent scientists want to see their research create tangible outcomes. Michael Mann and our very own David Karoly are two shining examples of this mediocrity. These scientists have achieved prominence (and funding) far beyond where their abilities should have taken them. Nothing I have read in the emails changes my opinion.
I have also been commenting for a long time that climate scientists will give real scientists a bad name in the public square. Job done.