Megan McArdle, an AGW true believer, seems to think that most of the problems highlighted by Climategate are due to confirmation bias. That is where the experts tend to accept data that is in line with what they expect, while assuming that anything which goes against the prevailing theory must just be faulty in some way.
I’d agree with her except for the way the people involved in the scandal went against the law to delete emails, hatched plans to punish other scientists whose work showed different results, and even worked to discredit scientific journals which dared to publish contrary research.
That sort of willing participation in unethical and illegal behavior doesn’t fit any definition of “confirmation bias” I’ve ever come across. Crooks, liars, cheats and con artists act like that, not respectable scientists who simply put a bit more weight on one side of the scale.
It is certainly true that the history of science is rife with examples of confirmation bias. But, while debate and disagreement might become heated, it is rare to come across a case where one side of the issue actively schemes to silence their opponents through purposely causing them some form of harm.
In this instance, I suppose the AGW dissenters should be grateful that only their careers were damaged.
The Belmont Club has a post that is worth your time.