I'm hiding this post for the moment, in light of John B's comment. I wouldn't normally be so coy, but my internet connection is behaving very strangely at present: I am able to access some sites, but a great many others seem to be either inaccessible to me (Timmy's site) or intermittant (Blogger: it's taken me seven tries to get in to do this edit).
I'll return to this when my internet's better and I've re-read the paper.
UPDATE: yes, I am using Be and I know that they are doing some upgrade work. However, it does mean that I am unable to tell reliably, which of the sites that I host are up or down. Anyway...
Regarding Lockwood's paper: he very much does not, as John B states below, reject the idea of blog censorship. The only caveat that he puts forward is that, if censorship is seen to exist then it may denigrate the mainstream media.
He does obviously believe in anthropogenic, catastrophic climate change: he is wrong, but never mind. He does use terms such as "denialist" a number of times, and also slyly attempt to paint the Englishman as some kind of lunatic little Englander—the citation of that blog comes immediately after Lockwood states that "the UK sceptic sites are fewer, but are well read and bound up with concepts of nationalism." The Englishman's site was, of course, named as a piece of wordplay, i.e. "An Englishman's homepage is his castle..."
No, what I have decided to do it to go through the paper much more carefully and provide rebuttals in a fisking style. This will take me rather longer to do (and is quite impossible with such intermittent service), but it is worth it, I think.
However, as a preliminary, what makes this paper so absolutely worthless is that Alex Lockwood assumes that the science is settled; the entire paper is predicated upon this assumption. For, if the science is not settled, then the side that blogs take is not important and, therefore, neither is the question of whether they should be gagged.
Unfortunately, Lockwood is a lecturer in journalism; it is entirely fair that he discuss how blogs are disseminating the debate, but he should not be quite so obviously taking sides in said debate—especially since he is possessed of no scientific credentials nor, it seems, any real understanding of either the articles being presented or the characters behind them (Steve McIntyre is not merely a "sceptic blogger"). Quite simply, Alex Lockwood is not in a position to make that kind of judgement.*
The whole point of science is, in fact, to question everything and never to assume that anything is utterly correct—citing Galileo is the Godwin's Law of science discussion but is, nonetheless, entirely relevant.
As the world, as not predicted by the climate models, continues to get cooler (as far as we can measure these things), people like Lockwood are going to look steadily more silly and hysterical as the evidence against anthropogenic climate change piles up even more.
* Many will argue that nor am I; however, I am willing to bet that both my scientific training and my reading of original papers are rather more extensive than Alex Lockwood's.
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