4. Phil Jones
Never heard of him? Neither had just about anyone, until a hacker leaked some awkward emails written by Jones and his colleagues at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which he directed. Climate change skeptics pounced on the emails as evidence of malpractice among some of the world’s leading climate scientistsEven if the scandal was thin on, well, actual scandal — no data were improperly manipulated, and evidence remains overwhelming that the climate is indeed changing — Jones was forced to step down, pending an investigation. Fair or not, “Climategate” handed global warming deniers the fodder they had so desperately been seeking and put climate activists on the defensive.