For almost three years I’ve been blogging and commenting on climate change and climate scepticism. As many readers – both sceptics and “warmists” – appreciate I’ve allowed robust conversation on this blog.
More so than other blogs (both sceptical and pro-science). That is a conscious choice of mine: deliberate because I believe there should be debate, and I’m a strong advocate for freedom of speech.
Recently I republished a piece by Simon Chapman on hate mail and cyber trolls. It was an article which I thought interesting, primarily because of the authors reflection on the intense nature of online debate.
Very quickly my blog was overrun by advocates for “smokers rights” – or more accurately tobacco apologists. Even more quickly, the vitriol and illogical nature of many of those posts disturbed me.
As far as online interactions go, I’m pretty robust.
I’ve spent almost 20 years being part of online communities: from online gaming were “smack talk” is the norm to debating with Creationists, neo-Nazis and all forms of ignorance, hate and prejudice.
I’ve always been of the opinion of bringing the fight of those that seek to confuse or misinform. While WtD has been in operation I have allowed and interacted with with holocaust deniers, those who doubt the effectiveness of fluoridation and all manner of those in “denial”.
But I have not been as disturbed – nor felt as abused – by the tobacco apologists that swarmed to this blog.
I’d ask those posters who engaged in that abusive behavior to meditate on that point: you’ve outdone the holocaust deniers in vileness.
All too often, it is the bullies who claim the mantle of victim.
Not on my watch.
They have offended me and readers of this blog.
There are lines.
Those lines have been crossed.
Simon’s point’s in his post have been well and truly proven.
It has also been distracting conversation.
This blog is about climate change. It is an attempt to explore and discuss the politics, the science and the denial of global warming. It has always been my intention to provoke discussion, debate and contemplation.
I appreciate for some my style can be confrontational, irreverent, maddening or worthy – but the blog is welcome to all who wish to read and comment. There are many appreciative readers, and those who disagree with me and the science.
That is to be expected.
So I am forced to do what I would never would have thought I’d do – shut down commentators and a topic of debate.
- The debate on the health effects of tobacco, smokers “right” etc. is over – any further posts on this topic will be deleted
- I do this because it is not a debate, it is an incendiary invitation to hate, abuse and a magnet for the Internets scum and villainy
- I have applied permanent bans to some individuals – these bans will not be revoked, no matter how much pleading
- Those new to the blog (MJM) will be permitted to post if they stick to the topic of this blog (climate change)
- Those feeling “censored” by this… well tough. My blog. My rules. You are free to discuss/debate/deny, but not here.