There actually are independent scientists, and as the CRU emails show, they have been disparaged and shut up at every possible point.
Yes, because as we all know, a single case study always generalizes to the whole. I think it's ridiculous that people who are criticizing science are being so unscientific themselves.
As someone who has worked a great deal on climate change issues, I want to respect skepticism in the scientific process because it *usually* is very healthy. In this case though, so much of the skepticism is fueled by political bias that I believe it's become, for the most part, unhealthy for the science. That said, I understand your criticism of the CRU emails. It made me mad too, but it has been blown out of proportion. If you look at the IPCC reports, many of the studies the CRU scientists were criticizing were actually included. These guys had some power in the discourse, but not as much as people attribute to them.