Informational Cascades, Reputational Cascades, Group Polarization, and the Climate Emails
It’s been interesting to observe the responses to the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The emails seem to show leading global warming scientists massaging data to generate the result they prefer (i.e., “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years … to hide the decline”), scheming to squelch opposing evidence (i.e., “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next I.P.C.C. report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”), admitting to a need to hide certain data from critics (“If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”), and even confessing that they were “tempted to beat” up researchers with opposing viewpoints.