“If he really wants to get this out there, he can just put it on the web.”
I think you’re missing the point. In academia, peer review is the “quality control” on published work. Any crank can post anything s/he wants on the Web: that doesn’t in any way make it legitimate. Being published in a top-tier scientific journal that is peer-reviewed obviously isn’t a guarantee against error, but it means that at least 2-3 reviewers who presumably know something about the subject in depth have reviewed the paper and vetted any obvious errors.
The scandal about ClimateGate in part related to evidence that the AGW “insiders” may have been deliberately trying to either ensure that the work of skeptics didn’t get into the best peer-reviewed journals and/or discrediting the reputations of journals that did publish challenges to the AGW orthodoxy. So while this particular individual’s claims of being blacklisted may or may not be true, the claim itself is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility given the past behavior of AGW worshipers.
I’ve published several papers and been a reviewer for several conferences.