Many of the leading publishers of global warming would not allow articles to be published in their publications. Especially authors and articles that did not follow the AGW line. And the articles that were published were both favorable to the global warming view and peer reviewed by others that were part of the same cadre. Here's an article that explains the specifics.
Here is George Monbiot, a leader in the environmentalist movement and a believer in global warming. Though it seems everyone who believes in AGW wants to pretend that these emails are nothing to pay attention to, this man has the integrity to admit the truth.
I think the argument is not that there is global warming or not. Though I believe science shows there has not been global warming for 10 years. The questions are: Is global warming caused by man? and: "If caused by man, will it cause untold destruction to mankind? and: Are we, collectively on this earth, able to prevent global warming?
Col. Douglas Mortimer writes:
You know, when you consider that “We’re Saving The Planet” is the biggest power/money grabbing scam since “We’re Saving Your Souls,” whoever leaked/released those e-mails and such is kind of like the modern scientific equivalent of Martin Luther. This person/persons may well have broken the backs of the Global Warming Priests who did everything in their power to make sure that the common man, and those who would oppose them, had no direct access to the Spoken Word of God.
Update: And this is from a commenter on another blog (which I think is most crucial):
It is a bit misleading to focus on the “emails” — the key new information is the code. Recall that the emails document years of effort by Jones et al. to keep the code that homegenizes data for use by other researchers and that models climate change secret.
The climate change researchers used a number of excuses not to share the code: for example that it was proprietary (although it was funded publicly) or that it would be mishandled by Steve McIntyre, a skeptic (although McIntyre had already discovered key mistakes in the hockey stick code).
Anyway, once the code is available, it was clear that all that it was doing was manipulating data to give predetermined results. (Non-software engineers may have to rely on summaries, e.g. here and here among others.)
Advocates for the climate change scientists argue that even if there were mistakes or improprieties, these were localized. But the fact is that much of the field relied on the results from these codes.
More important, the fact that these researchers, with this kind of code, agglomerated so much grant money and garnered so many “peer-reviewed” publications demonstrates that the process of peer-review as to climate change cannot be trusted.
Anyway, the point is that the emails are an amusing sideshow: the core here, the proof of the breakdown of the scientific process, is the code