Here’s a good take on the global warming email scandal that broke last week. It’s written by George Monbiot, a well-known environmental advocate, so it’s fair to say this isn’t ideological posturing:

It’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.

But do these revelations justify the sceptics’ claims that this is “the final nail in the coffin” of global warming theory? Not at all. They damage the credibility of three or four scientists. They raise questions about the integrity of one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence. To bury man-made climate change, a far wider conspiracy would have to be revealed. Luckily for the sceptics, and to my intense disappointment, I have now been passed the damning email that confirms that the entire science of global warming is indeed a scam. Had I known that it was this easy to rig the evidence, I wouldn’t have wasted years of my life promoting a bogus discipline. In the interests of open discourse, I feel obliged to reproduce it here.

Good points. The emails are certainly a blow for those who worship at the altar of science.