As the Guardian has noted of the conclusion to all investigations into the Climategate “scandal”:
There was no scientific scandal, only scientific stupidity. There was no attempt to hoax the world into believing that climate change exists, just excessive secrecy. There was no panicky cover-up to hide rigged data, for no data was rigged. There was no cabal of scientists cooking up fake evidence of catastrophe. There is, however, a real crisis of the most extreme nature: evidence suggests that climate change is real, urgent and increasing. Nothing about the so-called Climategate affair challenges that fact.
So, all that happened was that climate scientists – in the face of the overwhelming nastiness of the bullying of the libertarian far right – were over-protective of their work, and I have little doubt, their sanity and their families.
I don’t blame them.
I do think it is now time for the Guardian to make appropriate response.
One quite appropriate response would be to ban those identified to be users of such thuggish approaches to debate from Comment is Free, because free comment is the last thing these people want. As Climategate showed, intimidation is their goal. And that is something that should not be tolerated in democratic society – of which these people are not a part.
Is that censorship? Of course not.
It is the exercise of editorial freedom in the pursuit of freedom – and that is very important indeed. After all – freedom only exists when thuggery is outlawed – and its impact is seen all over the Guardian web site every day.